(State) Temperatures this winter have been yo-yoing up and down like many have never seen before. State Climatoligist Harry Hillaker says he can only recall one winter on record similar to this one. That was in 1995-96, however this year has featured a little bit more extreme cold and a little bit less in terms of above average temperatures.
"Closer to your area, I'm not sure if it would be a record in the Atlantic region, but some places had the longest duration ever of sub-zero temperatures that late January, early February and yet we had mixed in there some very mild temperatures. And the winter as a whole ended up averaging very close to average but it was very much a case of extremes."
Hilaker says it's all due to geography. Western Iowa is getting the cold air that's headed towards Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Great Lakes, but also far enough west to receive the mild temperatures as well.
"We are just far enough west that as each winter storm system passes by to our northseast we are getting very mild weather just ahead of those storm systems and conversely very cold weather once those systems pass by allowing cold air to come back in our direction."
Hilaker is hopeful the pattern will shift to a pattern with more moisture because January has been below average in precipitation.