Reddish Sun and Moon

July 2, 2015

During the last week we have seen some unique looking sun and moon photos. The reddish color to the sun and moon are due to the wild fires in Canada. The image below shows where some of the fires are and their related smoke from June 28.

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The below information is from Canadian Wildland Fire Information System:

Over the past 5 days fire activity has increased dramatically, with 758 new fires and 381,690 ha of area burned. The majority of the new fires have occurred in British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan (14%, 29%, and 15% respectively), while the majority of the area burned was in Yukon, Saskatchewan and Parks Canada (14%, 40%, and 16% respectively). Seasonal fire occurrence and area burned are both well above the 10-year average.

Fire danger increased to very high throughout western and northern Canada, while central and eastern Canada remained at moderate or low fire danger. Fire danger in British Columbia is very high. Northern Alberta has very high to extreme fire danger while southern regions are at moderate to low. Fire danger in the Northwest Territories and Saskatchewan is high to extreme. Manitoba and western Ontario are showing moderate fire danger. Fire danger from eastern Ontario to Atlantic Canada is low to moderate.

Here is a photo from Tuesday as the sun was setting in eastern Iowa.

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(Photo: Al Sundt)

Here is another photo from Rochester, MN Thursday evening as the sun was setting.
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(Photo: KTTC-TV Chief Meteorologist Randy Brock)

The images below show the set up today with a northwest flow aloft taking the smoke from Canada southeast in the upper levels of the atmosphere across the middle of the country.
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We might continue to see the reddish sun and moon for the next couple of days while the northwest flow remains in place and as long as the fires keep burning.

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A Look Back and Ahead

July 1, 2015

June wound up being a wet month for many locations in Iowa. The map below shows the radar estimated rain totals for the month of June.

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Here are a few monthly rain totals in eastern Iowa.
Waterloo 5.47″ (+0.49″ of normal)
Dubuque 8.34″ (+3.49″ of normal…10th wettest June)
Cedar Rapids 8.85″(+3.93″ of normal)
Iowa City 5.88″ (+1.27″ of normal)

Other rain totals across the state:
Des Moines 8.40″
Mason City 5.04″
Ottumwa 7.79″
Sioux City 4.19″
Burlington 7.06″

At times it felt like it rained every day of the month. In reality it didn’t here are the number of days with 0.01″ of rain reported.
Waterloo 10 days
Dubuque 12 days
Cedar Rapids 13 days
Iowa City  14 days

A look at the average temperatures shows near normal readings in June
Waterloo -0.7° of normal
Dubuque -04.° of normal
Cedar Rapids -0.4° of normal
Iowa City +0.3° of normal

The look ahead shows more wet weather with potentially above normal rain and below normal temperatures across Iowa.

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24 Hour Rain Totals

June 29, 2015

rain

7 AM Sunday to 7 AM Monday

*Note: It rained in many locations before 7 AM Sunday*

Location County 24-Hr Rain
Waterloo Black Hawk 0.24
Dubuque Dubuque 0.13
Cedar Rapids Linn 0.44
Iowa City Johnson 0.41
Ainsworth 7.4 N Washington 0.08
Amana 4.7 W Iowa 0.14
Anamosa 3SSW, IA Jones 0.19
BELLE PLAINE, IA Benton 0.05
Calamus 2.0 NE Clinton 0.46
Cedar Falls 1.4 SSE Black Hawk 0.27
Cedar Rapids 3.4 NW Linn 0.78
Central City 6.7 W Linn 0.14
Clinton 1.7 W Clinton 0.23
COGGON, IA Linn 0.06
COLWELL, IA Floyd 0.20
CONRAD, IA Grundy 0.37
Coralville 1.8 NW Johnson 0.49
CRESCO 1NE, IA Howard 0.58
Decorah 7.9 ENE Winneshiek 0.31
Delmar 2.3 NW Clinton 0.18
Dubuque #3, IA Dubuque 0.15
Dubuque L&D 11, IA Dubuque 0.30
EDGEWOOD, IA Clayton 0.75
Eldora 1.2 ENE Hardin 0.05
FAYETTE, IA Fayette 0.56
Goose Lake 6.4 SSW Clinton 0.18
GRUNDY CENTER, IA Grundy 0.14
GUTTENBERG L & D 10, IA Clayton 0.06
HAMPTON, IA Franklin 0.01
IONIA 2W, IA Chickasaw 0.40
IOWA CITY, IA Johnson 0.35
IOWA FALLS, IA Hardin 0.06
Kalona 7.3 NNW Johnson 0.08
KESLEY 3 NNE, IA Butler 0.03
Lost Nation 0.3 S Clinton 0.31
LOWDEN, IA Cedar 0.66
MANCHESTER NO. 2, IA Delaware 0.74
MAQUOKETA 4 W, IA Jackson 0.21
Marengo 2.6 SSW Iowa 0.14
Marion 1.2 NE Linn 0.15
Marion 1.7 NNW Linn 0.18
Monona WWTP, IA Clayton 0.21
Monticello, IA Jones 0.60
MUSCATINE 2 N, IA Muscatine 0.03
New Hampton 0.4 SW Chickasaw 0.69
NEW HAMPTON, IA Chickasaw 1.02
New London 0.5 ESE Henry 0.30
New London 1.5 SW Henry 0.36
NORTH ENGLISH, IA Iowa 0.04
Oelwein 0.8 WNW Fayette 0.38
OSAGE , IA Mitchell 0.41
OSKALOOSA, IA Mahaska 0.06
Ottumwa 2.2 NE Wapello 0.62
Ottumwa 4.3 S Wapello 0.45
Parnell 0.1 SSW Iowa 0.14
Peosta 2.9 E Dubuque 0.18
Robins 0.4 SSE Linn 0.21
Rose Hill 4.0 NNW Mahaska 0.51
Salem 1 S, IA Henry 0.28
Solon 0.3 ESE Johnson 0.26
TOLEDO 3 N, IA Tama 0.13
TRAER, IA Tama 0.20
TRIPOLI, IA Bremer 0.02
VINTON, IA Benton 0.60
VOLGA 1NE, IA Clayton 0.30
Walker 3.5 NE Buchanan 0.17
WASHINGTON, IA Washington 0.01
Waterloo 3.0 NNW Black Hawk 0.09
Waucoma 0.2 N Fayette 0.36
Waucoma 3.2 S Fayette 0.34
WILLIAMSBURG 3 SE, IA Iowa 0.16
Wyoming 0.3 WSW Jones 0.03
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This post was written by Denice Pelster
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July Outlook

June 25, 2015

The July outlook was released on June 18th from the Climate Prediction Center (CPC).

The map below shows temperatures below normal for the middle of the country with above normal temperatures on the east and west coast.

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The map below shows above normal precipitation expected for much of the middle and western part of the nation except the west coast. Expect below normal precipitation in the southeast and far southern Texas.

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A look at the June numbers, through 24th, it has been a wet June with near normal temperatures.

Waterloo
Rain: 4.41″
Avg Temp: 0.2 below normal

Dubuque
Rain: 7.43″
Avg Temp: 0.3 above normal

Cedar Rapids
Rain: 8.23″
Avg Temp: 0.5 above normal

Iowa City
Rain: 5.13″
Avg Temp: 0.7 above normal

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Storms Yesterday

June 25, 2015

It was a wild evening and night for areas around Des Moines and west, on Wednesday. Showers and storms developed around 5:30 pm and developed into a massive cluster of storms. Very heavy rain caused many problems last night and this morning. Rivers, in that area, are getting to near record levels in a just a short period of time. The map is a radar estimate on how much rain fell. It shows the area with the heaviest rain.

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Here are a few rain totals.

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Here is a look at Grand Ave. in West Des Moines from a drone.

Click on the image below to take you to the Des Moines Register photo gallery.
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Take a look at this visible satellite image from Wednesday afternoon.

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Flash Flooding Potential

June 24, 2015

It’s been a rainy stretch of weather across eastern Iowa in the past week.  With more heavy rain on the way, there is a threat for flash flooding across much of the area.  The map below shows how much rain the ground can handle within a 3 hour period before flash flooding occurs.  Much of the area can only handle an inch and a half to 2 inches.

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Here is how much rain the WPC is forecasting for the area.  This is through tonight, and the bullseye of just over 3 1/2 inches across eastern Iowa.  Keep in mind, thunderstorms with heavier rain could drop heavier amounts within a short period of time.

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With the heavy rain potential, a Flash Flood Watch goes into effect at 4 PM Wednesday, and lasts through Thursday morning for much of the KWWL viewing area.

Flash Flood Watch

Here’s a check of Storm Track 7 Live Doppler Radar (~2PM).  It’s showing some strong thunderstorms with heavy rain tracking east through the area.

KWWL 2015 MAX Storm ED

Right now, these storms are below severe limits.  Later this afternoon and evening that we need to keep an eye out for severe weather as a warm front tracks through the area.   We’ll keep an eye on it and break in on KWWL if need be.

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Evening Sky & Northern Lights

June 23, 2015

The sky is mostly clear to clear tonight. When you look into the western sky you will be able to see two planets (Jupiter and Venus). Above and to the left you will see the Moon. The current phase of the moon is waxing crescent with 43% of the Moon’s visible disk illuminated. The next primary phase of the Moon is the First Quarter and that is on the 24th at 6:02 AM.

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Last night the Northern Lights were visible across Iowa. Here are a few of photos taken in Iowa.

Taken by Dylan Johnson
Hot Shot #1

Taken by Mike Thalman
Hot Shot #2

Taken by Carol Hansen
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We do have a chance to see them again tonight (Tuesday night). Typically the best chance to see them is around midnight or later. You look north. You would be surprised how many people ask me which direction they should look to see the Northern Lights.
The larger green area has the best chance to see the northern lights tonight and the area north of the thing green line has a chance to see them.

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More Rain and Possible Severe Storms

June 23, 2015

We are tracking the potential for more severe storms tomorrow…particularly Wednesday night. A stray shower is possible this afternoon/evening otherwise a lot of sunshine continues.

There is a chance for a few showers/storms to move into eastern Iowa, south of Cedar Rapids, late tonight into early Wednesday morning. A few showers or a stray storm are possible in the afternoon. At this point, these storms don’t appear to be severe.

The best chance of storms and severe weather will be Wednesday night. Right now the timing for the severe storms would be between 7 pm and 3 AM. Large hail, damaging wind and heavy rain would be the primary threat. Isolated tornadoes are possible, but chances are low.

Here is the Storm Prediction Center Outlook for Wednesday/Wednesday night.
KWWL 2015 MAX Storm ED
As mentioned above, some of these storms will have the potential to drop some heavy rain in a short period of time. Here is the rain potential through Thursday evening.

 

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Due to the heavy rain possible south of Highway 20 with these storms, there is a FLASH FLOOD WATCH in effect Wednesday afternoon into Thursday morning.
Flash Flood Watch

 

 

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Mammatus Clouds Saturday Evening

June 21, 2015

After strong and severe storms passed through the areas we were left with these beautiful mammatus clouds. Click here for see how they form.

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24 Hour Rain Totals

June 21, 2015

Rain

7 AM Saturday to 7 AM Sunday

Location County 24-Hr Rain
Waterloo Black Hawk 0.21
Dubuque Dubuque 1.47
Cedar Rapids Linn 0.71
Iowa City Johnson 0.62
Anamosa 3SSW, IA Jones 2.45
BRIGHTON, IA Washington 0.73
CHARLES CITY, IA Floyd 0.36
CLUTIER, IA Tama 0.40
COLWELL, IA Floyd 0.24
CRESCO 1NE, IA Howard 0.16
Dubuque #3, IA Dubuque 1.10
Dubuque L&D 11, IA Dubuque 1.23
ELKADER 6SSW, IA Clayton 0.18
FAIRFIELD, IA Jefferson 1.00
FAYETTE, IA Fayette 0.37
Gilman, IA Marshall 0.15
GRINNELL 3 SW, IA Poweshiek 0.03
GRUNDY CENTER, IA Grundy 0.65
GUTTENBERG L & D 10, IA Clayton 0.14
HAMPTON, IA Franklin 2.14
IONIA 2W, IA Chickasaw 0.35
IOWA CITY, IA Johnson 0.74
IOWA FALLS, IA Hardin 0.72
LOWDEN, IA Cedar 0.30
MAQUOKETA 4 W, IA Jackson 0.23
MARSHALLTOWN, IA Marshall 0.32
Monona WWTP, IA Clayton 0.11
MONTEZUMA 1 W, IA Poweshiek 0.23
MUSCATINE 2 N, IA Muscatine 0.61
NASHUA 2SW, IA Floyd 0.34
NEW HAMPTON, IA Chickasaw 0.28
NORTH ENGLISH, IA Iowa 0.04
OSKALOOSA, IA Mahaska 0.96
Salem 1 S, IA Henry 0.67
STRAWBERRY POINT, IA Clayton 0.34
TOLEDO 3 N, IA Tama 0.71
TRAER, IA Tama 1.18
TRIPOLI, IA Bremer 0.17
VINTON, IA Benton 2.57
WASHINGTON, IA Washington 1.00
WILLIAMSBURG 3 SE, IA Iowa 0.50
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This post was written by Denice Pelster
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