The Ottumwa Courier


December 9, 2013

Cooler trend finally brings significant snow

OTTUMWA — While this weekend brought the first significant snowfall of the year, it has felt like winter for quite some time in southeast Iowa.

Since mid-November, Ottumwa’s daily high has averaged 8.6 degrees below normal, and the daily low has averaged exactly seven degrees below normal. Saturday marked the first time this season that temperatures have dipped below zero, with an overnight low of -2.

How long a streak has it been? Only seven of the past 22 days have been warmer than average, and no such days are forecast for the next week.

State Climatologist Harry Hillaker said the weather turned cooler in mid-October. Iowa had been on a run of nine consecutive Novembers where the average temperature was above normal, but this year snapped the streak. This year ran 2 degrees below normal.

“Certainly not to record territory,” Hillaker said. “But compared to recent years, it’s been quite a change.”

Snow has fallen several times in Ottumwa so far this season. When Courier asked Facebook followers whether they would prefer subzero lows without snow or warmer weather with snow, they voted to keep the snow coming.

The preference was strong, though some said they would prefer to avoid the sloppy streets a snowstorm inevitably causes. Most people chose to stay a bit warmer, even if it meant some accumulations. Several wanted more than just a little bit, too. Jennifer Williams set a target of three feet of snow, while Ashley Probst said she wants “lots of snow and [I] don’t care what the temp is.”

This winter hasn’t set records for snow yet, but it is the earliest people have seen subzero temperatures in this area for the past dozen years or so. You have to go back to 1991 to find the last time that happened in November in Ottumwa, but about two-thirds of the years show Ottumwa temperatures falling below zero in December.

Text Only
  • City Council approves sale of properties OTTUMWA — On Tuesday the Ottumwa City Council met for the last regularly scheduled meeting of April. Included in the agenda for the evening were several dispositions of city owned property. Structures and land located at 519 W. Fourth St., 723 E. Mar

    April 15, 2014

  • Where to play OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Community School District wants to discuss moving to another athletic conference. Superintendent Davis Eidahl revealed that the district has been contacted by a smaller sports league, which has extended an invitation to join the

    April 15, 2014

  • 0415 Right side up monster truck pic Nice driver --- mean machine OTTUMWA --- Drivers sat at one end of their vehicles during the "pit party," meeting fans and signing autographs before the motorsport and monster truck exhibition at Bridge View Center this weekend. Monster truck driver Orville Hill let kids --- and

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0415 OTT Composting ethical pic Recycling in a garden OTTUMWA --- Parents will tell you: They hate to see kids waste food. A gardner named Scott Koepke feels the same way. “First, let’s get our food to people who are going to eat it,” he said. “It hurts me to see kids in the schools throw away an entire

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0412 OTT Pothole color photo -T -M [Duplicate] A bumper crop of potholes OTTUMWA — The nice weather has been putting the bad roads on display. Officials say good: It gives us a chance to fix them. “Every city is going through the same thing,” said Larry Seals, Ottumwa Public Works director. “It has been an unusual winter

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Home in a tent OTTUMWA -- As people live without shelter, they become desperate finding a place to sleep. The situation impacts more than just the community's homeless. "There is nowhere to put people who are homeless," said Mary Margaret Butler. "Nowhere." Ottumwa

    April 11, 2014

  • 0412 OTT Martha Speaks color photo -T -M Ottumwa children visited by cartoon star OTTUMWA — Iowa Public Television is celebrating its 45-year anniversary this year by helping communities like Ottumwa educate young children before they get into a school setting. One of the programs they are using to help reach out to children is by

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • United Way expanding on Corporate Community Garden OTTUMWA — The United Way of Wapello County created its Corporate Community Garden last year as a way to donate locally grown food to community members in need, and after a successful first year, it's hoping to expand the garden’s impact in its second

    April 11, 2014

  • City Council to discuss several property sales OTTUMWA -- The Ottumwa City Council will meet Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall for its second and final regularly scheduled meeting of April. Included on the agenda for the evening, among various other items, are several public hearings on t

    April 11, 2014

  • Volunteers wanted for playground construction OTTUMWA — Wildwood Park in Ottumwa is going to be the recipient of some rather significant playground upgrades in the near future, but in order for the construction of the new equipment to be free for taxpayers, there has to be enough volunteer power

    April 10, 2014

AP National