Cedar Valley Information

In the Cedar Valley

ClimateWhile there are no set boundaries, “Cedar Valley” generally refers to Waterloo-Cedar Falls urban area, surrounding communities of Black Hawk County, and the southern Bremer County communities of Denver, Janesville, and Waverly.

Waverly and the college are mutually supportive, as is Waverly’s sister-city relationship with Eisenach, Germany, home of the Wartburg Castle. Waverly, a city of 10,000, offers several nice restaurants, two golf courses, a public outdoor swimming pool, a paved bicycle trail near campus, and a movie theatre with three screens.

There is no public transportation in Waverly, so most travel is by private car. Both Student Diversity Programs and International Student Programming offer regular van trips to Waterloo, Cedar Falls, and other destinations. International friendship hosts or other friends may also offer to take you on day trips to such places, and it’s okay to accept such offers.

Residents of Waverly are predominantly Caucasian, and there is a strong sense of German heritage throughout the community. The town offers several Christian churches and elementary, junior high, and senior high schools.

Waverly is 2.5 hours northeast of Des Moines, Iowa; 3.5 hours south of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.; and six hours west of Chicago, Ill.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls metropolitan area, with a combined population of more than 101,000, is a 20-minute drive from Waverly. It offers an airport, two large shopping malls, movie theaters, and other entertainment and recreational options, including minor league baseball and hockey teams.

Iowa’s Weather
Iowa’s weather can be unpredictable. During September, it may be 50 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler in the morning, but temperatures can climb 30 degrees or more during the average September day. Similar temperature fluctuations can occur in October. Iowans and other Midwesterners call such warm weather after the autumn’s first frosts Indian Summer.

Chilly temperatures can be expected in October and November, sometimes accompanied by rain and/or snow. Snowfall, including sleet, freezing rain, and winter storms, is likely during the months of October, November, December, January, February, and March. However, it may snow in the months before and after that timeframe.

Thunderstorms and electrical storms are also a possibility in Iowa, especially during the spring and summer months. These usually aren’t dangerous, although sometimes thunderstorms may be accompanied by heavy winds and/or may cause your electricity to be shut off for a period of time.

In addition, Iowans may experience tornadoes, beginning in late March and early April and continuing through July. These funnel clouds—similar to a thunder squall, whirlwind, or hurricane—travel at 100 to 300 miles per hour and are very destructive. Meteorologists can often predict the possibility of a tornado, using atmospheric conditions, but the funnel clouds can still form without notice. When a funnel cloud has been sited, the National Weather Service (NWS) issues a Tornado Warning. When conditions show that a tornado may be possible, the NWS issues a Tornado Watch. In the event of either, tune into a local radio or television station for instructions, or contact Campus Security.

Students from warm climates find Iowa cold from early fall. January is the coldest time of year. The temperatures may not rise higher than 0 degrees Fahrenheit, or -18 degrees Centigrade, for several days at a time. Wind-chill factors can make it seem much colder.

To protect yourself from the cold, wear layers of clothing so you can adjust to inside and outside temperatures. It’s also important to keep your head and hands covered with hats, gloves, and scarves. It’s advisable to have boots with good tread for traction on ice or snow. Special stockings and undergarments can protect against cold. Heavy coats with insulating layers are the best choice for the coldest days.

Note that automobiles have slower breaking times under adverse road conditions, so it’s important to be watchful and give other cars more room.

Iowans don’t retreat indoors for all of winter. Instead, there are several enjoyable outdoor activities such as sledding, snow shoeing, skiing, and ice skating. It is healthy to go outside and exercise in the fresh air, but it is important to be dressed properly.

In spring, temperatures vary from cool to warm and almost hot. Grass, trees, and flowers begin blooming at this time. Summertime can be very hot, more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. It rains frequently during spring and summer months.