On Saturday, October 4th, Iowa recorded its first hard freeze of the year in Sibley and Holstein, up in northwestern Iowa. Cold temperatures continued in that area through Saturday, with thermometers registering in the low 30s in Sheldon and Storm Lake, followed by 28 degree readings on Sunday in Elkader and Stanley in Northeastern Iowa.
State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says recent rains have helped postpone the freeze.
"Well, way back when, in early, mid-September, it certainly helped us in that situation and that, when you're in the kind of light winds, clear skies, the temperature can't really fall any lower than what the dew point temperature is. And having more soil moisture, especially top-soil moisture from the recent rain, gives you a bit of extra moisture and higher humidity than you'd have otherwise." He says, "Which means the dew point's a little higher. So instead of being down to 31-32 degrees maybe you'll only get down to 34-35."
Hillaker says early to mid-October is the state average for early freeze and forecasts point to that later this week.
He says, "The next few days will be a bit on the milder side, after say, Thursday, Friday time period, temperatures will back down again for a while and then in this time of year you don't have to be very far below normal to be down in the freezing territory."