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Average Weather in Urbandale Iowa, United States

In Urbandale, the summers are warm, humid, and wet; the winters are freezing, dry, and windy; and it is partly cloudy year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 16°F to 86°F and is rarely below -3°F or above 95°F.

Climate Summary

very coldcoldcoolwarmhotwarmcoolcoldvery coldJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec70%70%46%46%clearovercastprecipitation: 4.5 inprecipitation: 4.5 in0.6 in0.6 inmuggy: 54%muggy: 54%0%0%drydrytourism score: 6.7tourism score: 6.70.00.0
Click on each chart for more information.

Based on the tourism score, the best time of year to visit Urbandale for warm-weather activities is from early June to mid September.

Temperature

The hot season lasts for 3.8 months, from May 25 to September 19, with an average daily high temperature above 75°F. The hottest day of the year is July 20, with an average high of 86°F and low of 68°F.

The cold season lasts for 3.1 months, from November 28 to March 1, with an average daily high temperature below 43°F. The coldest day of the year is January 21, with an average low of 16°F and high of 32°F.

Average High and Low Temperature

The daily average high (red line) and low (blue line) temperature, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted lines are the corresponding average perceived temperatures.

The figure below shows you a compact characterization of the entire year of hourly average temperatures. The horizontal axis is the day of the year, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the color is the average temperature for that hour and day.

Average Hourly Temperature

Average Hourly Temperature in UrbandaleJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec12 AM4 AM8 AM12 PM4 PM8 PM12 AMfreezingfreezingcoldcoldcoolcoolcomfortablewarmvery coldvery cold
The average hourly temperature, color coded into bands: frigid < 15°F < freezing < 32°F < very cold < 45°F < cold < 55°F < cool < 65°F < comfortable < 75°F < warm < 85°F < hot < 95°F < sweltering. The shaded overlays indicate night and civil twilight.

Pyongyang, North Korea (6,344 miles away) is the far-away foreign place with temperatures most similar to Urbandale (view comparison).

Clouds

In Urbandale, the average percentage of the sky covered by clouds experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The clearer part of the year in Urbandale begins around June 8 and lasts for 4.5 months, ending around October 26. On August 26, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 70% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 30% of the time.

The cloudier part of the year begins around October 26 and lasts for 7.4 months, ending around June 8. On February 13, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 54% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 46% of the time.

Cloud Cover Categories

Cloud Cover Categories in UrbandaleclearercloudiercloudierJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%100%10%90%20%80%30%70%40%60%50%50%60%40%70%30%80%20%90%10%100%0%Aug 2670%Aug 2670%Feb 1346%Feb 1346%Jun 858%Jun 858%Oct 2658%Oct 2658%clearmostly clearpartly cloudyovercastmostly cloudy
The percentage of time spent in each cloud cover band, categorized by the percentage of the sky covered by clouds: clear < 20% < mostly clear < 40% < partly cloudy < 60% < mostly cloudy < 80% < overcast.

Precipitation

A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days in Urbandale varies significantly throughout the year.

The wetter season lasts 5.6 months, from April 5 to September 23, with a greater than 26% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 44% on June 8.

The drier season lasts 6.4 months, from September 23 to April 5. The smallest chance of a wet day is 8% on January 9.

Among wet days, we distinguish between those that experience rain alone, snow alone, or a mixture of the two. Based on this categorization, the most common form of precipitation in Urbandale changes throughout the year.

Rain alone is the most common for 10 months, from February 10 to December 22. The highest chance of a day with rain alone is 44% on June 8.

Snow alone is the most common for 1.6 months, from December 22 to February 10. The highest chance of a day with snow alone is 6% on January 25.

Daily Chance of Precipitation

Daily Chance of Precipitation in UrbandalesnowrainJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%Jun 844%Jun 844%Jan 98%Jan 98%Feb 1012%Feb 1012%Dec 2212%Dec 2212%Apr 526%Apr 526%Sep 2326%Sep 2326%rainsnowmixed
The percentage of days in which various types of precipitation are observed, excluding trace quantities: rain alone, snow alone, and mixed (both rain and snow fell in the same day).

Rainfall

To show variation within the months and not just the monthly totals, we show the rainfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. Urbandale experiences extreme seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.

The rainy period of the year lasts for 10 months, from February 14 to December 25, with a sliding 31-day rainfall of at least 0.5 inches. The most rain falls during the 31 days centered around June 15, with an average total accumulation of 4.5 inches.

The rainless period of the year lasts for 1.6 months, from December 25 to February 14. The least rain falls around January 21, with an average total accumulation of 0.2 inches.

Average Monthly Rainfall

The average rainfall (solid line) accumulated over the course of a sliding 31-day period centered on the day in question, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted line is the corresponding average liquid-equivalent snowfall.

Snowfall

We report snowfall in liquid-equivalent terms. The actual depth of new snowfall is typically between 5 and 10 times the liquid-equivalent amount, assuming the ground is frozen. Colder, drier snow tends to be on the higher end of that range and warmer, wetter snow on the lower end.

As with rainfall, we consider the snowfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. Urbandale experiences some seasonal variation in monthly liquid-equivalent snowfall.

The snowy period of the year lasts for 4.4 months, from November 12 to March 23, with a sliding 31-day liquid-equivalent snowfall of at least 0.1 inches. The most snow falls during the 31 days centered around December 20, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 0.4 inches.

The snowless period of the year lasts for 7.6 months, from March 23 to November 12. The least snow falls around July 21, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 0.0 inches.

Average Liquid-Equivalent Monthly Snowfall

Average Liquid-Equivalent Monthly Snowfall in UrbandalesnowsnowJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0 in1 in2 in3 in4 in5 inDec 200.4 inDec 200.4 inJul 210.0 inJul 210.0 inNov 120.1 inNov 120.1 inMar 230.1 inMar 230.1 in
The average liquid-equivalent snowfall (solid line) accumulated over the course of a sliding 31-day period centered on the day in question, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted line is the corresponding average rainfall.

Sun

The length of the day in Urbandale varies significantly over the course of the year. In 2018, the shortest day is December 21, with 9 hours, 9 minutes of daylight; the longest day is June 21, with 15 hours, 12 minutes of daylight.

Hours of Daylight and Twilight

Hours of Daylight and Twilight in UrbandaleJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0 hr24 hr4 hr20 hr8 hr16 hr12 hr12 hr16 hr8 hr20 hr4 hr24 hr0 hr12 hr, 6 minMar 2012 hr, 6 minMar 2015 hr, 12 minJun 2115 hr, 12 minJun 2112 hr, 10 minSep 2212 hr, 10 minSep 229 hr, 9 minDec 219 hr, 9 minDec 21nightnightday
The number of hours during which the Sun is visible (black line). From bottom (most yellow) to top (most gray), the color bands indicate: full daylight, twilight (civil, nautical, and astronomical), and full night.

The earliest sunrise is at 5:39 AM on June 14, and the latest sunrise is 2 hours, 9 minutes later at 7:49 AM on November 3. The earliest sunset is at 4:44 PM on December 8, and the latest sunset is 4 hours, 9 minutes later at 8:53 PM on June 27.

Daylight saving time (DST) is observed in Urbandale during 2018, starting in the spring on March 11, lasting 7.8 months, and ending in the fall on November 4.

Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time

Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time in UrbandaleJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec12 AM2 AM4 AM6 AM8 AM10 AM12 PM2 PM4 PM6 PM8 PM10 PM12 AMJun 145:39 AMJun 145:39 AM8:53 PMJun 278:53 PMJun 27Dec 84:44 PMDec 84:44 PM7:49 AMNov 37:49 AMNov 3Mar 11DSTMar 11DSTDSTNov 4DSTNov 4daynightnightnightnightSolarMidnightSolarMidnightSolarNoonSunriseSunset
The solar day over the course of the year 2018. From bottom to top, the black lines are the previous solar midnight, sunrise, solar noon, sunset, and the next solar midnight. The day, twilights (civil, nautical, and astronomical), and night are indicated by the color bands from yellow to gray. The transitions to and from daylight saving time are indicated by the 'DST' labels.

Humidity

We base the humidity comfort level on the dew point, as it determines whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid. Unlike temperature, which typically varies significantly between night and day, dew point tends to change more slowly, so while the temperature may drop at night, a muggy day is typically followed by a muggy night.

Urbandale experiences extreme seasonal variation in the perceived humidity.

The muggier period of the year lasts for 3.5 months, from June 1 to September 18, during which time the comfort level is muggy, oppressive, or miserable at least 14% of the time. The muggiest day of the year is July 21, with muggy conditions 54% of the time.

The least muggy day of the year is December 9, when muggy conditions are essentially unheard of.

Humidity Comfort Levels

Humidity Comfort Levels in UrbandalemuggyJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%Dec 90%Dec 90%Jul 2154%Jul 2154%Jun 114%Jun 114%Sep 1814%Sep 1814%muggymuggydrydryoppressiveoppressivecomfortablecomfortablehumidhumidmiserablemiserable
The percentage of time spent at various humidity comfort levels, categorized by dew point: dry < 55°F < comfortable < 60°F < humid < 65°F < muggy < 70°F < oppressive < 75°F < miserable.

Wind

This section discusses the wide-area hourly average wind vector (speed and direction) at 10 meters above the ground. The wind experienced at any given location is highly dependent on local topography and other factors, and instantaneous wind speed and direction vary more widely than hourly averages.

The average hourly wind speed in Urbandale experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The windier part of the year lasts for 7.9 months, from September 29 to May 27, with average wind speeds of more than 10.4 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is April 1, with an average hourly wind speed of 12.8 miles per hour.

The calmer time of year lasts for 4.1 months, from May 27 to September 29. The calmest day of the year is August 3, with an average hourly wind speed of 8.0 miles per hour.

Average Wind Speed

Average Wind Speed in UrbandalewindywindyJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0 mph2 mph4 mph6 mph8 mph10 mph12 mph14 mph16 mph18 mph20 mphApr 112.8 mphApr 112.8 mphAug 38.0 mphAug 38.0 mphSep 2910.4 mphSep 2910.4 mphMay 2710.4 mphMay 2710.4 mph
The average of mean hourly wind speeds (dark gray line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

The predominant average hourly wind direction in Urbandale varies throughout the year.

The wind is most often from the north for 3.7 months, from January 1 to April 22, with a peak percentage of 36% on March 8. The wind is most often from the south for 7.3 months, from April 22 to December 1, with a peak percentage of 45% on September 5. The wind is most often from the west for 1.0 months, from December 1 to January 1, with a peak percentage of 33% on December 30.

Wind Direction

Wind Direction in UrbandaleNSWJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%100%20%80%40%60%60%40%80%20%100%0%westsouthnortheast
The percentage of hours in which the mean wind direction is from each of the four cardinal wind directions (north, east, south, and west), excluding hours in which the mean wind speed is less than 1 mph. The lightly tinted areas at the boundaries are the percentage of hours spent in the implied intermediate directions (northeast, southeast, southwest, and northwest).

Best Time of Year to Visit

To characterize how pleasant the weather is in Urbandale throughout the year, we compute two travel scores.

The tourism score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 65°F and 80°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit Urbandale for general outdoor tourist activities is from early June to mid September, with a peak score in the last week of August.

Tourism Score

Tourism Score in Urbandalebest timeJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec02468106.76.70.00.0 precipitationprecipitationcloudscloudstemperaturetemperaturetourism score
The tourism score (filled area), and its constituents: the temperature score (red line), the cloud cover score (blue line), and the precipitation score (green line).

The beach/pool score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 75°F and 90°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit Urbandale for hot-weather activities is from late June to mid August, with a peak score in the third week of July.

Beach/Pool Score

Beach/Pool Score in Urbandalebest timeJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec02468105.75.70.00.0 precipitationprecipitationcloudscloudstemperaturetemperaturebeach/pool score
The beach/pool score (filled area), and its constituents: the temperature score (red line), the cloud cover score (blue line), and the precipitation score (green line).

Methodology

For each hour between 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM of each day in the analysis period (1980 to 2016), independent scores are computed for perceived temperature, cloud cover, and total precipitation. Those scores are combined into a single hourly composite score, which is then aggregated into days, averaged over all the years in the analysis period, and smoothed.

Our cloud cover score is 10 for fully clear skies, falling linearly to 9 for mostly clear skies, and to 1 for fully overcast skies.

Our precipitation score, which is based on the three-hour precipitation centered on the hour in question, is 10 for no precipitation, falling linearly to 9 for trace precipitation, and to 0 for 0.04 inches of precipitation or more.

Our tourism temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 50°F, rising linearly to 9 for 65°F, to 10 for 75°F, falling linearly to 9 for 80°F, and to 1 for 90°F or hotter.

Our beach/pool temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 65°F, rising linearly to 9 for 75°F, to 10 for 82°F, falling linearly to 9 for 90°F, and to 1 for 100°F or hotter.

Growing Season

Definitions of the growing season vary throughout the world, but for the purposes of this report, we define it as the longest continuous period of non-freezing temperatures (≥ 32°F) in the year (the calendar year in the Northern Hemisphere, or from July 1 until June 30 in the Southern Hemisphere).

The growing season in Urbandale typically lasts for 6.1 months (186 days), from around April 13 to around October 17, rarely starting before March 28 or after April 29, and rarely ending before September 27 or after November 6.

Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season

Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season in Urbandalegrowing seasonJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%100%10%90%20%80%30%70%40%60%50%50%60%40%70%30%80%20%90%10%100%0%50%Apr 1350%Apr 1350%Oct 1750%Oct 1790%Apr 2990%Apr 2990%Sep 2790%Sep 2710%Mar 2810%Mar 2810%Nov 610%Nov 60%Feb 40%Feb 4Jul 14100%Jul 14100%frigidfreezingvery coldcomfortablewarmcoolhotcold
The percentage of time spent in various temperature bands: frigid < 15°F < freezing < 32°F < very cold < 45°F < cold < 55°F < cool < 65°F < comfortable < 75°F < warm < 85°F < hot < 95°F < sweltering. The black line is the percentage chance that a given day is within the growing season.

Growing degree days are a measure of yearly heat accumulation used to predict plant and animal development, and defined as the integral of warmth above a base temperature, discarding any excess above a maximum temperature. In this report, we use a base of 50°F and a cap of 86°F.

Based on growing degree days alone, the first spring blooms in Urbandale should appear around April 5, only rarely appearing before March 23 or after April 24.

Growing Degree Days

Growing Degree Days in UrbandaleJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0°F500°F1,000°F1,500°F2,000°F2,500°F3,000°F3,500°FApr 589°FApr 589°FJun 14900°FJun 14900°FJul 211,800°FJul 211,800°FDec 313,537°FDec 313,537°F
The average growing degree days accumulated over the course of the year, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

Solar Energy

This section discusses the total daily incident shortwave solar energy reaching the surface of the ground over a wide area, taking full account of seasonal variations in the length of the day, the elevation of the Sun above the horizon, and absorption by clouds and other atmospheric constituents. Shortwave radiation includes visible light and ultraviolet radiation.

The average daily incident shortwave solar energy experiences extreme seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The brighter period of the year lasts for 3.6 months, from May 3 to August 23, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 6.0 kWh. The brightest day of the year is July 4, with an average of 7.0 kWh.

The darker period of the year lasts for 3.3 months, from November 2 to February 10, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 2.9 kWh. The darkest day of the year is December 21, with an average of 1.8 kWh.

Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy

Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy in UrbandalebrightdarkdarkJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0 kWh1 kWh2 kWh3 kWh4 kWh5 kWh6 kWh7 kWh8 kWh9 kWhJul 47.0 kWhJul 47.0 kWhDec 211.8 kWhDec 211.8 kWhMay 36.0 kWhMay 36.0 kWhAug 236.0 kWhAug 236.0 kWhNov 22.8 kWhNov 22.8 kWhFeb 102.9 kWhFeb 102.9 kWh
The average daily shortwave solar energy reaching the ground per square meter (orange line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

Topography

For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Urbandale are 41.627 deg latitude, -93.712 deg longitude, and 909 ft elevation.

The topography within 2 miles of Urbandale contains only modest variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 171 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 919 feet. Within 10 miles also contains only modest variations in elevation (305 feet). Within 50 miles contains only modest variations in elevation (833 feet).

The area within 2 miles of Urbandale is covered by artificial surfaces (100%), within 10 miles by cropland (45%) and artificial surfaces (44%), and within 50 miles by cropland (89%).

Data Sources

This report illustrates the typical weather in Urbandale, based on a statistical analysis of historical hourly weather reports and model reconstructions from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2016.

Temperature and Dew Point

There are 3 weather stations near enough to contribute to our estimation of the temperature and dew point in Urbandale.

For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and Urbandale according to the International Standard Atmosphere , and by the relative change present in the MERRA-2 satellite-era reanalysis between the two locations.

The estimated value at Urbandale is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between Urbandale and a given station.

The stations contributing to this reconstruction are: Des Moines International Airport (53%, 11 kilometers, southeast); Ankeny Regional Airport (39%, 14 kilometers, northeast); and Perry Municipal Airport (7%, 43 kilometers, northwest).

Other Data

All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Tables of the Sun, Moon and Planets , by Jean Meeus.

All other weather data, including cloud cover, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and solar flux, come from NASA's MERRA-2 Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis . This reanalysis combines a variety of wide-area measurements in a state-of-the-art global meteorological model to reconstruct the hourly history of weather throughout the world on a 50-kilometer grid.

Land Use data comes from the Global Land Cover SHARE database , published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Elevation data comes from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) , published by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Names, locations, and time zones of places and some airports come from the GeoNames Geographical Database .

Time zones for aiports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .

Maps are © Esri, with data from National Geographic, Esri, DeLorme, NAVTEQ, UNEP-WCMC, USGS, NASA, ESA, METI, NRCAN, GEBCO, NOAA, and iPC.

Disclaimer

The information on this site is provided as is, without any assurances as to its accuracy or suitability for any purpose. Weather data is prone to errors, outages, and other defects. We assume no responsibility for any decisions made on the basis of the content presented on this site.

We draw particular cautious attention to our reliance on the MERRA-2 model-based reconstructions for a number of important data series. While having the tremendous advantages of temporal and spatial completeness, these reconstructions: (1) are based on computer models that may have model-based errors, (2) are coarsely sampled on a 50 km grid and are therefore unable to reconstruct the local variations of many microclimates, and (3) have particular difficulty with the weather in some coastal areas, especially small islands.

We further caution that our travel scores are only as good as the data that underpin them, that weather conditions at any given location and time are unpredictable and variable, and that the definition of the scores reflects a particular set of preferences that may not agree with those of any particular reader.