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Cedar Rapids’ new 30 year climate data

Earlier this month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its new set of 30 year climate normals. NOAA looks back at the past 30 years of weather to determine the daily normal temperatures, monthly normals, and yearly normals.

Let's take a look at Cedar Rapids' normals, starting with temperatures. Click for Waterloo -- Dubuque -- Iowa City

Over the past 30 years, half of the months have had slightly cooler temperatures, with half of the months averaging slightly warmer (especially December)

Let's take a look at the normal monthly maximum/minimum temperatures.

As you might expect, it follows the same trend for the overall monthly temperatures.

Compared to 1981-2010, the new 30 year period shows Cedar Rapids' annual temperature unchanged. The cooling in the 1991-2020 period balances the warming.

Nationally and globally the overall temperatures have been warming, which leads to more extreme weather.

Here's a look at the comparison of the normal monthly precipitation.

As you can see, there has been more precipitation, overall. February is unchanged, but March, July, August and November have had less precipitation in the past 30 years compared to the previous.

The normal annual precipitation is up 1.3".

Unfortunately, NOAA does not keep official snowfall climate data for Cedar Rapids or Iowa City.

Climate Central put together this map showing that most of the United States has experienced a warming trend over the past 120 years (left) and 30 years (right). In the last 30 years, the northern Plains states were the only areas with near the same or slightly cooler temperatures. Between 1991-2020 there wasn't a huge difference in temperature across Iowa.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is thumbnail_warming.jpg
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Kyle Kiel


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Brandon Libby


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Joie Bettenhausen


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