Urbandale In Weather Tomorrow

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Urbandale, Iowa, has a rich and evolving history that reflects the broader trends in American suburban development, community growth, and economic diversification. The city was officially incorporated on April 16, 1917, but its roots extend back to the late 19th century. Originally, Urbandale served as a streetcar suburb for the larger city of Des Moines, benefiting from its proximity to the state capital and the transportation links that connected it to the surrounding region.

In its early years, Urbandale was primarily a coal mining community. Several mines operated in the area, providing employment for local residents and contributing to the economic foundation of the community. The streetcar line that ran through Urbandale was instrumental in transporting coal to Des Moines, further solidifying the connection between the two cities. This period of Urbandale’s history was marked by a reliance on mining and agriculture, with a small, tight-knit population working together to build the community.

As the 20th century progressed, the decline of the coal mining industry led to significant changes in Urbandale’s economic landscape. The community began to transition from a mining hub to a more residential suburb. This shift was facilitated by the expansion of the streetcar lines and the development of new transportation infrastructure, including highways and roads that made commuting to Des Moines more convenient. This suburbanization trend attracted new residents seeking a quieter, more spacious alternative to urban living.

Post-World War II, Urbandale experienced rapid growth and suburban expansion. The economic prosperity of the post-war era, combined with the rise of the automobile, encouraged the development of new housing subdivisions and commercial areas. Families were drawn to Urbandale for its affordable housing, good schools, and proximity to job opportunities in Des Moines. During this period, the city expanded its boundaries through annexation, incorporating more land to accommodate the growing population.

The latter half of the 20th century saw Urbandale continue to grow and diversify. The city’s economic base broadened beyond residential development to include a variety of commercial and industrial enterprises. The establishment of business parks and shopping centers provided jobs and services for local residents, further enhancing the city’s appeal as a desirable place to live and work. Community leaders focused on developing infrastructure and public services to support the burgeoning population, including parks, schools, and recreational facilities.

In recent decades, Urbandale has continued to thrive, evolving into a vibrant and diverse community with a strong sense of identity. The city has made significant investments in education, infrastructure, and community amenities. The Urbandale Community School District is known for its high-quality education, attracting families to the area. Additionally, the city has developed a comprehensive network of parks and trails, promoting outdoor recreation and a high quality of life for residents.

Urbandale's commitment to sustainable growth and development is evident in its planning and zoning policies. The city has implemented initiatives aimed at preserving green spaces, promoting energy efficiency, and encouraging smart growth. These efforts reflect a forward-looking approach to urban planning, ensuring that Urbandale remains a livable and attractive community for future generations.

Today, Urbandale is recognized as one of the most desirable suburbs in the Des Moines metropolitan area. Its strategic location, excellent schools, and robust community amenities continue to attract new residents and businesses. The city’s history is celebrated through various community events and historical landmarks, preserving the legacy of those who built and shaped Urbandale. As the city looks to the future, it remains committed to fostering economic growth, enhancing quality of life, and maintaining its strong community spirit.


Urbandale, Iowa, experiences a humid continental climate, which is characterized by four distinct seasons: hot summers, cold winters, and transitional periods of spring and autumn. This type of climate results from Urbandale's inland location, away from the moderating influence of large bodies of water, leading to significant temperature variations throughout the year.

Summers in Urbandale are typically warm to hot, with July being the hottest month. Average high temperatures in July range from the mid-80s to low 90s Fahrenheit (approximately 29-34°C). The summer season is marked by high humidity levels, which can make the heat feel more intense. Thunderstorms are common during the summer months, often bringing heavy rainfall, lightning, and occasionally hail. These storms can be brief but intense, contributing to the region's overall precipitation. The summer weather supports a variety of outdoor activities, including festivals, fairs, and recreational sports.

Winters in Urbandale are cold and can be harsh, with January being the coldest month. Average low temperatures in January typically fall into the teens Fahrenheit (around -7 to -12°C), but it is not uncommon for temperatures to drop below zero Fahrenheit (below -18°C) during particularly cold spells. Snowfall is a regular feature of the winter season, with the city receiving an average annual snowfall of around 33 inches (84 cm). Winter storms can bring significant snow accumulation, strong winds, and icy conditions, which can impact travel and daily activities. The cold weather provides opportunities for winter sports such as ice skating, hockey, and sledding.

Spring in Urbandale is a season of renewal, with temperatures gradually rising from the winter lows. Highs in spring can range from the 50s to 70s Fahrenheit (10-25°C) by May. Spring is also a season of volatility, with frequent thunderstorms and the potential for severe weather, including tornadoes. The city's location in Tornado Alley means that residents must remain vigilant during the spring months, and local authorities maintain robust warning systems to ensure public safety. The arrival of spring brings blooming flowers and budding trees, adding vibrant colors to the landscape and signaling the end of winter.

Autumn in Urbandale is characterized by gradually cooling temperatures and decreasing humidity. September and October typically feature pleasant weather, with highs in the 60s and 70s Fahrenheit (15-25°C) and cooler nights. The fall foliage adds to the scenic beauty of the region, making it a popular time for outdoor activities such as hiking and scenic drives. Autumn is generally a calm and enjoyable season before the onset of winter's cold. Harvest festivals and community events celebrate the bounty of the season, bringing residents together in a spirit of camaraderie and gratitude.

The overall climate in Urbandale is influenced by various factors, including its latitude, elevation, and the movement of air masses. The city experiences a significant range of temperatures and weather conditions throughout the year, requiring residents to be prepared for everything from summer heat to winter cold. Despite these variations, Urbandale's climate supports a diverse range of outdoor activities and contributes to the city's high quality of life.


Urbandale, Iowa, is situated in the central part of the state within both Polk and Dallas counties. The city covers a total area of approximately 22.38 square miles (58.0 km²), making it one of the larger suburbs in the Des Moines metropolitan area. Urbandale's geography is characterized by gently rolling hills, fertile soils, and a mix of urban, suburban, and rural landscapes.

The terrain around Urbandale is typical of the central plains region of the United States, with broad expanses of flat to gently undulating land. The area is part of the Des Moines Lobe, a region shaped by glacial activity during the last Ice Age. The glacial history of the region has left behind rich, fertile soils that are ideal for agriculture. These soils have supported farming for generations, contributing to the region's economic development. Although Urbandale has transitioned primarily to residential and commercial uses, the agricultural heritage remains an important part of its identity.

Urbandale's strategic location within the Des Moines metropolitan area has played a significant role in its growth and development. The city is situated to the northwest of Des Moines and is connected to the larger metropolitan area by several major highways, including Interstate 35, Interstate 80, and U.S. Route 6. This connectivity provides residents with easy access to the amenities and job opportunities available in the greater Des Moines area while allowing Urbandale to maintain its distinct community identity.

Urbandale is known for its extensive park system and recreational facilities. The city's commitment to maintaining and expanding its parks and trail systems is evident in the variety of outdoor amenities available to residents. Parks such as Walker Johnston Park, Lions Park, and Urbandale's network of greenbelts and trails offer sports fields, playgrounds, picnic areas, and walking trails, providing spaces for relaxation and community gatherings. The parks and trails enhance the quality of life for residents, promoting outdoor recreation and an active lifestyle.

The city also boasts a well-developed urban infrastructure that supports its diverse population and economy. Urbandale's transportation network includes major highways, local roads, and public transportation services that facilitate mobility within the city and to neighboring areas. The city's infrastructure supports a variety of commercial and industrial enterprises, contributing to its economic vitality. The presence of business parks, retail centers, and service industries provides employment opportunities and supports the local economy.

Urbandale's downtown area is a vibrant hub of activity, featuring a mix of historic buildings, modern developments, and cultural institutions. The downtown district is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues, making it a popular destination for both residents and visitors. Key landmarks such as the Urbandale Historical Society and the Urbandale Public Library celebrate the city's rich cultural heritage and provide educational and recreational opportunities for the community. Efforts to revitalize the downtown area have included the development of pedestrian-friendly streetscapes, public art installations, and community events that enhance the area's appeal.

Urbandale's commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship is reflected in various initiatives aimed at reducing the city's environmental footprint. Programs focused on energy efficiency, waste reduction, and water conservation are part of the city's strategy to promote sustainable development. The use of renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, is also being explored to ensure a greener future for Urbandale. These efforts align with the city's broader goal of creating a sustainable and livable environment for current and future generations.

In summary, Urbandale, Iowa, is a city with a rich history, diverse climate, and distinctive geography. Its location within the Des Moines metropolitan area, combined with its well-planned urban infrastructure and commitment to sustainability, makes it a vibrant and attractive place to live. As Urbandale continues to grow and evolve, it remains a community that values its past, embraces its present, and looks forward to a prosperous future. The city's natural beauty, cultural heritage, and strong sense of community all contribute to its unique identity and enduring appeal.

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