The best times to visit Des Moines for ideal weather are

April 30th to June 17th

based on average temperature and humidity from NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). Read below for more weather and travel details.

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Weather in Des Moines

Temperature

Average temperatures in Des Moines vary an incredible amount. Considering humidity, temperatures feel cold for about half of the year and otherwise nice with a fair chance of precipitation about half of the year. The area is less temperate than some — in the 26th percentile for pleasant weather — compared to tourist destinations worldwide. Weeks with ideal weather are listed above. If you’re looking for the very warmest time to visit Des Moines, the hottest months are July, August, and then June. See average monthly temperatures below. The warmest time of year is generally mid July where highs are regularly around 90.3°F (32.4°C) with temperatures rarely dropping below 67.4°F (19.7°C) at night.

Des Moines Temperatures (Fahrenheit)

Key
High
Average
Low

Des Moines Temperatures (Celsius)

Key
High
Average
Low

“Feels-Like” Temperatures

The way we experience weather isn’t all about temperature. Higher temperatures affect us much more at higher humidity, and colder temperatures feel piercing with high winds. Our perceived temperatures factor in humidity and wind chill to better represent how hot or cold the day feels to a person.

Des Moines Perceived Temperature (F)

Key
High
Average
Low

Des Moines Perceived Temperature (C)

Key
High
Average
Low

 

Average Des Moines Temperatures by Month

Daily highs (averaged for the month) usually give the best indication of the weather. A significantly lower mean and low generally just means it gets colder at night.

Show Fahrenheit

Month Avg. High (°F) Avg. Mean (°F) Avg. Low (°F)
Jan 33.9 22.1 12.5
Feb 35.2 23.8 14.2
Mar 53.8 40.7 30
Apr 65.7 52.1 40.1
May 76.6 63.8 52
Jun 84.7 73.1 62.1
Jul 88.5 77.1 66.2
Aug 87 75.2 64.4
Sep 80.4 67.1 55.3
Oct 67.8 54.6 43.2
Nov 53.3 41 30.4
Dec 37.8 27.3 18.3

Show Celsius

Month Avg. High (°C) Avg. Mean (°C) Avg. Low (°C)
Jan 1.1 -5.5 -10.8
Feb 1.8 -4.6 -9.9
Mar 12.1 4.8 -1.1
Apr 18.7 11.2 4.5
May 24.8 17.7 11.1
Jun 29.3 22.8 16.7
Jul 31.4 25.1 19
Aug 30.6 24 18
Sep 26.9 19.5 12.9
Oct 19.9 12.6 6.2
Nov 11.8 5 -0.9
Dec 3.2 -2.6 -7.6


 

Precipitation (Rain or Snow)

If dry weather is what you’re after, the months with the lowest chance of significant precipitation in Des Moines are January, February, and then November. Note that we define “significant precipitation” as .1 inches or more in this section. The lowest chance of rain or snow occurs around early January. For example, on the week of January 1st there are no days of precipitation on average. By contrast, it’s most likely to rain or snow in late May with an average of 3 days of significant precipitation the week of May 21st.

When can you find snow in Des Moines? Weather stations report large amounts of snow likely to be deepest around February, especially close to early February. The best time to ski (if at all) in Des Moines is often around around January 15th when fresh powder is deepest. Please note that a value of 0 for snow in the graph below may either mean there was no snow, or that snow is unreported.

Chanceof Precipitation

The graph below shows the % chance of rainy and snowy days in Des Moines.

Key
Days with precipitation

Snow on the Ground

The graph below shows the average snow on the ground in Des Moines (in).

Key
Snow depth

Average Rain and Snow by Month

Show Inches

Month Daily Chance of Rain Average Snow Depth (in) Total Precipitation (in)
Jan 9% 4.9 0.8
Feb 12% 5.5 1.3
Mar 17% 3.3 2
Apr 29% 1.2 5.4
May 30% 0 5
Jun 33% 0 8
Jul 19% 0 3.9
Aug 25% 0 5.1
Sep 17% 0 3.3
Oct 17% 0 3.5
Nov 14% 1.8 1.8
Dec 17% 4.6 2.3

Show Centimeters

Month Daily Chance of Rain Average Snow Depth (cm) Total Precipitation (cm)
Jan 9 12.4 2
Feb 12 14 3.3
Mar 17 8.4 5.1
Apr 29 3 13.7
May 30 0 12.7
Jun 33 0 20.3
Jul 19 0 9.9
Aug 25 0 13
Sep 17 0 8.4
Oct 17 0 8.9
Nov 14 4.6 4.6
Dec 17 11.7 5.8

 

Humidity and Wind

Des Moines has some slightly muggy months, with moderately humid months on the other side of the year. The least humid month is April (48% relative humidity), and the most humid month is December (63.8%).

Wind in Des Moines is usually moderate. The windiest month is April, followed by January and November. April’s average wind speed of around 9.7 knots (11.1 MPH or 17.9 KPH) is considered “a gentle breeze.” Maximum sustained winds (the highest speed for the day lasting more than a few moments) are at their highest in early to mid April where average top sustained speeds reach 17.8 knots, which is considered a fresh breeze.

Relative Humidity (%)

The graph below shows the average % humidity by month in Des Moines.

Key
Avg. Relative Humidity

Wind

The graph below shows wind speed (max and average) in knots.

Key
Max Sustained Wind
Average Daily Wind

Average Wind Speeds

Show Wind Speeds

All wind speeds are in knots. 1 knot = 1.15 MPH or 1.85 KPH.

Month Avg. Wind Avg. Wind Feel Sustained High Wind High Wind Feel
Jan 9.3 Gentle breeze 16.6 Significant breeze
Feb 8.9 Gentle breeze 15.8 Significant breeze
Mar 9.1 Gentle breeze 16.2 Significant breeze
Apr 9.7 Gentle breeze 17.4 Strong breeze
May 8.8 Gentle breeze 16.6 Significant breeze
Jun 7.6 Gentle breeze 15.8 Significant breeze
Jul 6.7 Light breeze 14 Significant breeze
Aug 6.3 Light breeze 13.1 Significant breeze
Sep 7 Gentle breeze 13.7 Significant breeze
Oct 8.2 Gentle breeze 15.1 Significant breeze
Nov 9.2 Gentle breeze 16.2 Significant breeze
Dec 8.6 Gentle breeze 15.2 Significant breeze

Show Relative Humidity by Month

Month Avg. Relative Humidity
Jan 57.4%
Feb 57.6%
Mar 53.1%
Apr 48%
May 51.6%
Jun 58%
Jul 56.9%
Aug 59.5%
Sep 56.1%
Oct 51.7%
Nov 53.3%
Dec 63.8%

 

Is it Safe to Travel to Des Moines?

Our best data indicates this area is generally safe. As of Jan 19, 2018 there are no travel advisories or warnings for the United States; exercise normal security precautions. Check this page for any recent changes or regions to avoid: Travel Advice and Advisories


 

The Busiest and Least Crowded Months

The busiest month for tourism in Des Moines, IA, US is June, followed by May and February. Prices for hotels and flights will be most expensive during these months, though you can save if you purchase well in advance. Tourists are unlikely to visit Des Moines in November. Those willing to visit at these times will likely find it the least expensive month.

Estimated Tourism by Month

 

Most Popular Months to Visit

Key
Tourists Seeking Accommodations

Tourism graph is based on Google searches for services used by tourists relative to the rest of the year. Tourism data for this area is extrapolated based on nearby areas. Displayed data is calculated relative to the peak, so a score of 48.4 in November means 48.4% of the tourists vs. June.


Overall Des Moines Travel Experience by Season

Spring (March through May)

Humidity and temperatures combine to make this season feel moderately cold. Highs range from 80.7°F (27.1°C) and 37.6°F (3.1°C) with far warmer temperatures in the later months. Rain is somewhat common with 5 to 9 days of significant precipitation per month. Spring is the second busiest for tourism, which makes it a good time for those looking for things to do.

Summer (June through August)

The middle-year months have very comfortable weather with high temperatures that are quite warm. These months see the most precipitation with 6 to 10 days of precipitation per month. June – August is the busiest season for tourism in Des Moines, so lodging and other accommodations may cost more than usual.

Fall (September through November)

Fall daily highs range from 83.2°F (28.4°C) and 45.2°F (7.3°C), which will feel chilly given the humidity and wind. It rains or snows a significant amount: 4 to 5 days per month. Tourism is the slowest during these months due to the weather, so hotels may be affordably priced.

Winter (December through February)

Weather is far too cold this time of year in Des Moines to be enjoyable for warm weather travelers. The average high during this season is between 38.9°F (3.8°C) and 32.5°F (0.3°C). On average, it rains or snows a smalll amount: 3 to 5 times per month. These times of year are fairly slow with tourists.

 

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