If you thought today was unusually warm, you are right. Wednesday was officially the warmest Christmas day on record for the city of Des Moines. Temperatures made it to the low 60s by mid-afternoon, flying past the old record high of 58 (set in 1936).
A few other new records include:
Lamoni 63 (Old Record: 60 in 1922)
Ottumwa 63 (Old Record: 50 in 1936)
Many of the previous records were set in the Dust Bowl years of the 1930s.
A warm front to the north of Iowa across southern Minnesota and a cold front approaching from the northwest, placed Iowa in the perfect spot for a southerly flow and warm temperatures above to help lead to easy heating here at the surface to help cause temperatures to rise up to and above record highs this afternoon. We had high thin clouds with more sun, which also led to more heating.
Tonight, a Dense Fog Advisory is in place out ahead of the cold front. Northern Iowa is where we are seeing the visibility drop. Cold air advecting in and meeting up with the warmer conditions ahead have lead to a narrow area of fog to form in the northern part of the state overnight. Visibility may drop to less than a quarter mile in spots.
Thursday and Friday will be noticeably cooler in the 40s, but that is still above average for late December. We will get a period of quiet through the end of the work week. But a more significant storm system will move in this weekend, bringing rain and 50s on Saturday and then 20s and snow on Sunday.