April snow in Iowa not unusual

DES MOINES, Iowa -- While snow in Iowa in mid-April is out of the ordinary, it's not all that unusual.

"The statewide average snowfall for April, we typically are around 1.6 inches. While people do get mad because it is spring, it's not unheard of to have snow. In fact, the latest snowfall we've had for this date (April 19th) is actually May 28th, 1947," says Iowa State Climatologist Justin Glisen.

He says as Iowa farmers start planting corn and soybean crops, any moisture--be it rain or snow--is welcome.

"Where we're concerned about snow versus rain is when the ground is still frozen, because you don't get infiltration. We'll take any type of moisture that will get into the ground," Glisen says.

When it comes to weather in spring that feels more like winter, he says cold temperatures will do more to more to delay the state's corn and soybean crop than will snow.

"The recent cold snap we had dropped our soil temperatures down into the 40's. It will slow field work, it will slow planting," Glisen says.

He says farmers want soil temperatures above 50 degrees--and closer to 60--for planting corn and soybeans.

Image from National Weather Service--Johnston, Iowa