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Central Iowa Weather Preparedness

Weather in DSM

July 21, 2023

Movies are always a fun way to recharge your energy and wind down the wealth of activities life has to offer. Films also tend to lose a percentage of their entertainment value while increasing their impact of questioning reality. Two recent films that come to mind are "2012" and "Day After Tomorrow." In both films, there are scientists who warn of Armageddon by the accumulation of a multitude of natural disasters and the frequency and magnitude of their occurrences. Imagine living in a place where we do experience more than one or two types of natural disasters. Iowans do not have to imagine, but we do need to remain prepared!

The year 2023 thus far, has had more billion-dollar natural disasters than any year, other than 2017, dating back to when the U.S. first began record keeping of such events in 1980. These events have impacted everything from the economy to agriculture, to healthcare. Iowa has yet to have any billion-dollar natural disasters this year, but Iowans are all too familiar with experiencing different types of disasters of the extreme, such as floods, tornadoes and derechos, blizzards and the mild in between. In Iowa, we know how 110°F heat with 90% humidity feels, as well as -30°F with a polar vortex that freezes water in an instant. Neither of these temperature extremes stops Iowa from having fun things to do, but our safety must be a top priority when participating in those engagements.

Summer Weather in Greater Des Moines

In the summer, Greater Des Moines (DSM) has an immense number of activities keeping even the most active individuals engaged. There are relaxing activities to enjoy such as the I-Cubs baseball team, ice cream parlors, hiking and bike trail riding, fishing and swimming, just to name a few. There are also plenty of thrill-seeking adventures like Adventureland Resort, an amusement park and waterpark, Indycar races, skydiving and so much more!

When engaging in your choice of summertime fun, it is important to remember the weather will have the biggest impact on your experiences. The summer sun brings high heat and dramatic changes in weather patterns that medical professionals often provide information for mitigation of heat stroke or exhaustion, sun burn, dehydration and vehicle warnings for the elderly, children and pets. Being unprepared can ruin your already underway summer fun so let us get prepared by:

  • Drinking water and eating light cool foods like salads or fruit
  • Often applying sunscreen, preferably SPF between 15 and 50
  • Resting and minimizing time in direct sunlight
  • Wearing sunglasses and hats
  • Checking your back seats
  • Maintaining your air conditioners and finding cooling stations
  • Checking on others

Winter Weather in Greater Des Moines

In the winter, DSM can be one of the most beautiful sights to see, and a place to experience activities that you cannot in warmer climates. We may take it for granted occasionally but what would a passing winter feel like without Brenton Ice Skating Plaza, sledding or skiing at Sleepy Hollow and Seven Oaks, cruising holiday light shows or even walking out in your own backyard to build a snowman?! Downtown Des Moines (DSM) also has plenty of indoor activities at the Des Moines Civic Center, Science Center of Iowa and sporting events to enjoy thanks to the Iowa Wolves and Iowa Wild.

The best way to enjoy all that DSM has to offer during its colder conditions is to find opportunity to do so safely. Many times, meteorologists and forecasters can predict what may impact an area, but it is a personal responsibility to avoid black ice driving, frostbite, windburn and electrical outages. When temperatures begin to drop as they will in a few short months, make sure to remain safe by:

  • Wearing appropriate warm clothing like mittens, parkas, blankets or boots
  • Maintaining a high energy food supply like crackers, fruit bars and soups
  • Winterizing your car with topped fuels, proper tires and a new battery
  • Keeping survival kits with first aid, water and light
  • Exercising to keep warm but avoid overexertion
  • Signing up for alerts and other emergency advisories

There are many additional ways to remain prepared and often we disregard the impact that even mild conditions may have on the environment. Many of these hazards and so many more can also be present in all seasons here and Iowa, not just the summer and winter. Do not allow the overestimation of your abilities to leave yourself unprepared. Take time to gather the right tools, create executive plans and, most importantly, practice them as often as you can. Continue having fun this summer as well as in the ensuing winter, but make sure your memories are not of the unfortunate kind, but instead full of excitement that will last a lifetime.

Information above sourced from the following:

With the #7 Lowest Cost of Living in the U.S. and a Top Metro for Number of Economic Development Projects (among metros with a population of 200,000 to 1 million), Greater Des Moines (DSM) is a region where you can have it all. Learn more about what it’s like to live here.

Kiandré J. Smith

Kiandré is a Sr. Agency Support Analyst at Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. As an Iowa transplant, he has found comfort in raising a family within Iowa’s diverse cultures and activities. Whether serving as an army veteran or working in the insurance industry, he is passionate about protecting Iowa families.