This report describes the historical weather record at the Des Moines International Airport (Des Moines, Iowa, United States) during 1952. This station has records back to December 1947.
Des Moines, Iowa has a humid continental climate with hot summers and no dry season. The area within 25 mi of this station is covered by croplands (95%) and built-up areas (3%)
Daylight saving time (DST) was observed at Des Moines, Iowa during 1952. There were two time changes during 1952:
1952 was a leap year and thus has 366 days rather than the normal 365. Leap years occur every fourth year and the extra day is always February 29th. In 1952 February 29th falls on a Friday.
The summer and winter solstices and the spring and fall equinoxes mark the passing of the seasons. They fall on nearly the same day each year, with differences of a day or two depending on the year. In 1952 they occurred on:
|Spring Equinox||Thursday, 20 March 1952.|
|Summer Solstice||Saturday, 21 June 1952.|
|Fall Equinox||Tuesday, 23 September 1952.|
|Winter Solstice||Sunday, 21 December 1952.|
The hottest day of 1952 was July 27, with a high temperature of 100°F. For reference, on that day the average high temperature is 86°F and the high temperature exceeds 94°F only one day in ten. The hottest month of 1952 was June with an average daily high temperature of 86°F.
Relative to the average, the hottest day was January 14. The high temperature that day was 54°F, compared to the average of 29°F, a difference of 25°F. In relative terms the warmest month was June, with an average high temperature of 86°F, compared to an typical value of 81°F.
The longest warm spell was from April 25 to May 8, constituting 14 consecutive days with warmer than average high temperatures. The month of June had the largest fraction of warmer than average days with 73% days with higher than average high temperatures.
The coldest day of 1952 was January 29, with a low temperature of -11°F. For reference, on that day the average low temperature is 14°F and the low temperature drops below -4°F only one day in ten. The coldest month of 1952 was January with an average daily low temperature of 13°F.
Relative to the average, the coldest day was January 29. The low temperature that day was -11°F, compared to the average of 14°F, a difference of 25°F. In relative terms the coldest month was October, with an average low temperature of 36°F, compared to an typical value of 43°F.
The longest cold spell was from October 2 to October 24, constituting 23 consecutive days with cooler than average low temperatures. The month of October had the largest fraction of cooler than average days with 81% days with lower than average low temperatures.
The clearest month of 1952 was October, with 81% of days being more clear than cloudy. The longest spell of clear weather was from October 17 to November 1, constituting 16 consecutive days that were clearer than they were cloudy.
The cloudiest month of 1952 was December, with 55% of days being more cloudy than clear. The longest spell of cloudy weather was from December 19 to December 26, constituting 8 consecutive days that were cloudier than they were clear.
This station reports both the quantity of liquid precipitation and categorical observations of precipitation (e.g., moderate rain, or heavy snow). Both are subject to erroneous reports, but the former is particularly prone to false reports, especially ones indicating an excessive quantity of precipitation. Please bear this in mind when reading the extrema reported in this section.
The day with the largest quantity of precipitation was May 22. That day saw 2.016" of liquid (or liquid equivalent) precipitation, compared to a median value of 0.191". The month with the most precipitation was June, with 5.760", compared to a median value of 3.496".
As determined by quantitative measurements, the longest dry spell was from October 2 to November 16, constituting 46 consecutive days with no measured precipitation. The month with the largest fraction of dry days was October, with 97% of days reporting no measured precipitation at all.
The month with the largest fraction of days with at least some measured precipitation was March, with 45% of days reporting some measured precipitation.
This station reports when significant weather events (including precipitation) are visually observed at or near the station. Such events do not always correspond to measured quantities of liquid equivalent precipitation, such as when the event is near by not at the station, or in the case of solid precipitation that does not melt in the collection basin.
The day in 1952 with the most precipitation observations was December 22. There were 24 hourly weather reports that day (out of a maximum of 24) in which some form of precipitation was observated at or near the station. The month with the most precipitation observations was December, with 181 hourly present weather reports involving some form of precipitation.
As determined by the present weather reports, the longest dry spell was from October 15 to November 16, constituting 33 consecutive days with no observed precipitation. The month with the largest fraction of days without observed precipitation was October, with 94% of days reporting no observed precipitation at all.
The month with the largest fraction of days with at least some observed precipitation was March, with 61% of days reporting some observed precipitation.
In this section we consider only those weather reports that indicate liquid precipitation. For the purposes of this analysis, we include thunderstorms even though some thunderstorms are not accompanied by liquid precipitation.
The month of 1952 with the largest number of those reports was May, with a total of 85 reports. The day with the largest number of those reports was April 12, with a total of 18 reports.
This station reports when snow is observed falling but does not report the quantity of snow that has fallen or the depth of snow on the ground.
In this section we consider hourly weather reports that contain an observation of falling snow. These reports do not necessarily correspond to accumulation.
The first reported snow fall in 1952 was on November 19; the last was on April 13. The month of 1952 with the largest number of those reports was December, with a total of 126 reports. The day with the largest number of those reports was February 14, with a total of 20 reports.
Humidity is an important factor in determining how weather conditions feel to a person experiencing them. Hot and humid days feel even hotter than hot and dry days because the high level of water content in humid air discourages the evaporation of sweat from a person's skin.
When reading the graph below, keep in mind that the hottest part of the day tends to be the least humid, so the daily low (brown) traces are more relevant for understanding daytime comfort than the daily high (blue) traces, which typically occur during the night. Applying that observation, the least humid month of 1952 was October with an average daily low humidity of 29%, and the most humid month was December with an average daily low humidity of 72%.
But it is important to keep in mind that humidity does not tell the whole picture and the dew point is often a better measure of how comfortable a person will find a given set of weather conditions. Please see the next section for continued discussion of this point.
Dew point is the temperature below which water vapor will condense into liquid water. It is therefore also related to the rate of evaporation of liquid water. Since the evaporation of sweat is an important cooling mechanism for the human body, the dew point is an important measurement for understanding how dry, comfortable, or humid a given set of weather conditions will feel.
Generally speaking, dew points below 50°F will feel a bit dry to some people, but comfortable to people accustomed to dry conditions; dew points from 50°F to 68°F are fairly comfortable to most people, and dew points above 68°F are increasingly uncomfortable, becoming oppressive around 77°F.
To take some examples, and basing our categorization on the daily high dew point in 1952, January had 30 dry days, 1 comfortable day, and no humid days; April had 22 dry days, 8 comfortable days, and no humid days; July had no dry days, 11 comfortable days, and 20 humid days; and October had 30 dry days, 1 comfortable day, and no humid days.
The highest sustained wind speed was 46 mph, occurring on November 26; the highest daily mean wind speed was 31 mph (November 26);
The windiest month was November, with an average wind speed of 13 mph. The least windy month was August, with an average wind speed of 9 mph.
Visibility is the maximum distance at which a given reference object or light can be clearly discerned. In the United States, visibilities that are greater than or equal to 10 miles are typically reported as 10 miles.
The day of 1952 with the lowest average visibility was December 31, with an average visibility of 0.6 mi. The month with the lowest average visibility was December, with an average visibility of 9.4 mi. With an average visibility of 14.2 mi, the month of July had the highest average visibility.
This station did not reliably report the cloud ceiling during 1952.