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.
Des Moines Travel Guide
Weather in Des Moines
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)
Des Moines Temperatures (Celsius)
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)
Des Moines Perceived Temperature (C)
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.
|Month||Avg. High (°F)||Avg. Mean (°F)||Avg. Low (°F)|
|Month||Avg. High (°C)||Avg. Mean (°C)||Avg. Low (°C)|
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.
The graph below shows the % chance of rainy and snowy days in Des Moines.
Snow on the Ground
The graph below shows the average snow on the ground in Des Moines (in).
Average Rain and Snow by Month
|Month||Daily Chance of Rain||Average Snow Depth (in)||Total Precipitation (in)|
|Month||Daily Chance of Rain||Average Snow Depth (cm)||Total Precipitation (cm)|
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.
The graph below shows wind speed (max and average) in knots.
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|
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
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.