Iowa winter forecasts predict cold and snowy weather

Photo by iowa_spirit_walker, Flickr

Like the snow? Then you will be pleased by the latest winter predictions for Iowa. Current forecasts show that this winter could yield lower than average temperatures, and greater than average snowfall. If this occurs, it will be Iowa’s fifth straight winter of high-snowfall, and its fourth straight winter of below-average temperatures.

However, the Des Moines Register points out that these long-range forecasts are often incorrect:

Those who don’t like those odds might take comfort in the fact that the National Weather Service, which readily admits its long-term forecasts are statistically dicey, often misses the mark with the winter forecasts that are published each fall.

For example, the weather service predicted a significant chance of warmer than usual temperatures for each of the last five winters. The reality: All but one of those winters were much colder than the 30-year average. Forecasters generally gave us a 50-50 chance of more snow in those five years. That part proved correct. Snowfall amounts have generally been up since 2006.

Winter weather brings risk to air quality

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Listen to this week’s radio segment about how winter weather affects air quality.

Bone-chilling temperatures, snow and ice – that’s what most Iowans expect to brave each winter. But we should be aware of another quirk of Iowa’s winters: poor air quality.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

In these cold months, you may notice more air quality warnings than normal. Continue reading