See the most extreme temperatures in Iowa history

Written by:
April 11, 2022

See the most extreme temperatures in Iowa history

On July 9, 2021, California's Death Valley reached 130 degrees Fahrenheit, according to an automated measuring system there, representing one of the highest temperatures ever recorded on the planet. The world record, also recorded at Death Valley, was 134 degrees in July 1913.

More than 210 degrees Fahrenheit separates the highest and the lowest temperatures on record in the United States, the third-largest country in the world. As some states are infamous for having blistering hot summers, others become inundated by winter storms and frigid cold. The contiguous U.S. had its warmest meteorological summer (June-August) on record in 2021, according to NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information.

Stacker consulted 2021 data from the NOAA's State Climate Extremes Committee (SCEC) to illustrate the hottest and coldest temperatures ever recorded in each state. Each slide also reveals the all-time highest 24-hour precipitation record and all-time highest 24-hour snowfall.

Keep reading to find out your state's record, or see the national list here.

Iowa by the numbers

- All-time highest temperature: 118° F (Keokuk No 2 on July 20, 1934)
- All-time lowest temperature: -47° F (Elkader 6 SSW on Feb. 3, 1996)
- All-time highest 24-hour precipitation: 13.18 inches (Atlantic 1 NE on June 14, 1998)
- All-time highest 24-hour snowfall: 24 inches (Lenox on April 20, 1918)

The Nishnabotna River that runs along Atlantic in Iowa's Cass County experienced intense flooding on June 14, 1998, after heavy rainfall and a severe thunderstorm. Many bridges were either damaged or completely destroyed, and all highways and roads had to be closed once the flooding started intensifying. More recently, in October 2020, western Iowa suffered from repeated flooding that forced the closure of Interstate 29 and Interstate 680.

Continue below to see the most extreme temperatures in the history of other states in your region.

Illinois by the numbers

- All-time highest temperature: 117° F (East St. Louis on July 14, 1954)
- All-time lowest temperature: -38° F (Mount Carroll on Jan. 31, 2019)
- All-time highest 24-hour precipitation: 16.91 inches (Aurora on July 18, 1996)
- All-time highest 24-hour snowfall: 36 inches (Astoria on Feb. 28, 1900)

East St. Louis recorded the state's most sweltering temperature on July 14, 1954. While the residents of East St. Louis first woke up to stifling 100-degree heat; by late afternoon, the temperature soared to 117 degrees. Residents in St. Louis recalled July 14, 1954, as the day "they were just cooked."

Minnesota by the numbers

- All-time highest temperature: 115° F (Beardsley on July 29, 1917)
- All-time lowest temperature: -60° F (Tower 2S on Feb. 2, 1996)
- All-time highest 24-hour precipitation: 15.1 inches (Hokah Wastewater Treatment Plant on Aug. 19, 2007)
- All-time highest 24-hour snowfall: 36 inches (Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center on Jan.7, 1994)

Hokah, a city in Houston County, had the state's heaviest one-day rainfall on Aug. 19, 2007. The flood of 2007 claimed the lives of six people and resulted in nearby counties also going several feet underwater.

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