With most of the winter finally behind us (fingers crossed), I finally feel like I can write about what experiencing the University of Iowa at its hottest and coldest is really like. Coming from Pennsylvania, I expected a climate similar to the one I grew up in when I came to college; hot summers, cold and snowy winters, with plenty of rain and thunderstorms scattered throughout the year. I wasn’t wrong – but I wasn’t right, either.
From what I’ve experienced, the weather in Iowa City is like it’s trying to be extreme at all times. When I moved in during the middle of August, I expected the end-of-summer heat before moving into fall weather for a couple of months, but I completely missed the mark there. It was constantly in the high 90s with humidity through the roof all the way through September. And when it wasn’t deathly hot, it was downpouring. On the morning of my very first day of classes, the thunder and rain were so loud I would’ve believed a Civil War-era cannon was being shot right outside my window. I practically had to swim to class through the knee-deep puddles.
As October settled in, I thought I could finally enjoy some nice fall hoodie weather for a while – but that only lasted ~two weeks. Before I knew it, I was freezing the whole way across campus for the rest of the semester. And when it getss cold in Iowa, it. gets. cold. When I came back for the spring semester, I got used to it feeling like -20 degrees 3-4 times a week. My hands have never been so dry in my life! But at least the city and campus look pretty in the snow.
But by far the most noteworthy aspect of Iowa’s weather is without a doubt the wind. The wind will take a hot day and make it bearable, but Iowa wind on a cold day is insufferable. As an example of just how brutal the wind can be here, finals week of last semester culminated in a tornado drill for all on-campus dorms when winds passed 80 mph. I guess I never realized how nice the mountains in Pennsylvania are for breaking up the wind, because Iowa is as flat as land can be, and the wind definitely proves that.
Iowa definitely gets the widest range of weather I have ever experienced, which can make life on campus pretty interesting. With that being said, it’s finally starting to warm up now, so I’m hoping to move into an early spring, and (once again, fingers-crossed here) some mild weather for once.