Arrival of Spring Doesn’t Mean End of Snow Chances for Central Iowa


DES MOINES, IOWA — Meteorological Spring arrived on Monday, March 1st – but that doesn’t mean that winter weather won’t still return this season.

Des Moines’ current snowfall total for the season is 54.5″ – good enough for the 14th snowiest winter on record in the capital. That ‘record’ includes 136 winter seasons.

The last recorded snowfall in Des Moines as of March 5th was two weeks ago when 2.2″ of snow fell in Des Moines. If no snow falls in the rest of March, April or May – it would mark the second earliest final snowfall on record. The current record is February 10th, 1981. That means that 97% of the time we see some snowfall in the Spring in Des Moines. On average, the last snowfall for Des Moines usually happens around April 2nd. The latest ever recorded was May 16th, 1907.

Even if there is no snow, freezing temperatures are still a possibility in the early spring. A “freeze” is considered to be any temperature below 32 degrees. In the last ten years Des Moines saw its final freeze during the month of April. It ranges from April 5th to April 28th, with an average date of April 15th.

There are only six years on record in Des Moines where the final freeze came in March. There are 14 years where it came in May.


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