On this Date in Iowa Weather History – Early Snow


Radar from October 10, 2009 shows the small band of light to moderate snow that set up generally along and south Interstate 80 from Omaha to Des Moines. Image is courtesy of Iowa Environmental Mesonet.

October 10, 2009: An unusually cold autumn storm system brought snow to parts of western, northern, and central Iowa. A band of moderate snow developed during the morning hours stretching from around the Omaha metro area eastward to the Des Moines metro, roughly parallel to and just south of Interstate 80 (See Figure 1). Within this band, several locations received an inch or more of snowfall including 3.0 inches at Atlantic and an amazing 6.7 inches at Underwood in Pottawattamie County (See Figure 2). This is the second-highest snowfall amount on record in Iowa for so early in the season, bested only by the 9.0 inches recorded at Hawarden on October 9, 1970. At the Des Moines airport, 1.1 inches of snow was recorded which tied the earliest date on record of measurable snow at that location and broke their record for the earliest snow of an inch or more.  We had a little fun with our updated forecast graphic with the mention of an ‘angry’ snowflake due to the early snow (See Figure 3). The snow melted very quickly at all affected locations.


Accumulated snowfall map from October 10, 2009. Image courtesy of Midwestern Regional Climate Center.

DMX_evil snowflake

One of our archived forecast graphics from October 10, 2009.