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Dubuque’s 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 Dubuque's normals, starting with temperatures. Click for Waterloo -- Cedar Rapids -- Iowa City

Over the past 30 years, the normal monthly temperature has generally been less than a degree cooler, with the exception of May (same), June, September and 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 Dubuque averaging a tenth of a degree cooler, so overall not much change in temperatures.

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, each month. March, August, November and December have averaged slightly less than the previous 30 years.

This translates to a higher yearly total as well.

Previously in Dubuque, the snowiest month was December, but new data indicates the most snow usually falls in January and February. Interestingly, there has been a decrease in snowfall during December, March and April.

The normal annual snowfall has increased by a half inch.

Out of the top 10 snowiest seasons on record in Dubuque, four have occurred since 1991.

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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