Weather Hot Shots on Mon. Apr. 30

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One photo is shown on the 5 pm newscast and one on the 10 pm newscast.

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Posted under Hot Shots, Photo

This post was written by Schnack on April 30, 2012

Monday Forecast Updated at 4:00 PM


Tonight:
Mostly clear with patchy fog late. Low: 48-55. Wind: S 5-10 mph

Tuesday: Partly cloudy, warmer and more humid. There is a slight chance (20%) of a shower/storm to develop in the afternoon. High: 75-78. Wind: SE 10-20 mph

Tuesday Night: Partly cloudy with a 40% chance of showers/storms. Low: 62-64. Wind: S 10-15 mph.

Wednesday: Partly cloudy with a 40% chance of showers/storms. High: upper 70s.

Thursday: Partly cloudy with a 30% chance of showers/storms. High: mid 70s.

Friday: Partly cloudy with a 20% chance of showers/storms. High: near 80.

Saturday: Partly cloudy with a 20% chance of showers/storms. High: upper 70s.

Sunday: Partly cloudy with a 20% chance of showers/storms. High: near 70.

Monday: Partly cloudy with a 20% chance of showers/storms. High: upper 60s.

This Evening/Tonight: The clouds from today will continue to clear from west to east late this afternoon/evening. The wind will be light tonight and there will be a chance for some patchy fog to form late tonight and early Tuesday morning. The satellite image below is from 2:15 pm today.


Tuesday/Tuesday Night:
Patchy fog is possible early in the morning. A warm front will be south of Iowa early in the day. The warm front is attached to low pressure in South Dakota. The low is forecast to move northeast during the day. At the same time, the warm front will lift north through Iowa. The map below shows the forecast position of the warm front at 1 pm.


The map below is the 7 pm surface map.


As the front crosses Iowa, the temperatures will increase as well as the humidity. It will be warmer and a bit muggier. There is a slight chance of a shower/storm developing in the afternoon in eastern Iowa. There is better chance showers/storms developing in western Iowa and Nebraska during the late afternoon and evening. The storm development would be ahead of a cold front. If the storms develop, they would move east/northeast Tuesday night and impacting eastern Iowa Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. The map below is for 7 AM Wednesday.


Wednesday:
A cold front will slowly move across Iowa with a better chance of showers/storms. Early indications show the best chance of showers/storms to be in the first half of the day. Locally heavy rain is possible with the storms.
There is a chance of severe storms with large hail and strong winds Tuesday and Wednesday (see maps below from left to right).

The map below is the rain forecast for Tuesday evening to Wednesday evening.

Extended Forecast (Thu-Mon): The cold front will stall across northern Iowa Thursday and drift a few miles north along the Iowa/Minnesota state line Friday. The map below is for Thursday morning.


Along the front showers and storms are possible. The front will drift south…across central Iowa Saturday with another day with a chance of showers/storms. Monday and Tuesday, the front is forecast to be across northern Missouri. Showers/storms are still in the forecast in addition, the temperatures will be a little cooler since we will be north of the front.

Long Range Forecast (May 8-14) The Climate Prediction Center has Iowa with near normal to slightly below normal temperatures and below normal precipitation.

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Posted under Forecast Discussion

This post was written by Schnack on April 30, 2012

24 Hour Rain Totals

7 AM Sun – 7 AM Mon

Location County Rain
Waterloo Black Hawk 0.31
Dubuque Dubuque 0.34
Cedar Rapids Linn 0.28
Iowa City Johnson 0.43
Ainsworth 7.4 N Washington 0.49
Anamosa 3SSW, IA Jones 0.31
Asbury 0.1 WNW Dubuque 0.35
BELLE PLAINE, IA Benton 0.27
CALMAR, IA Winneshiek 0.81
CASCADE, IA Dubuque 0.44
Central City 6.7 W Linn 0.21
CHARLES CITY, IA Floyd 0.33
CLERMONT, IA Fayette 0.52
COGGON, IA Linn 0.32
CONRAD, IA Grundy 0.24
CRESCO 1NE, IA Howard 0.61
Decorah 7.9 ENE Winneshiek 0.70
Dubuque #3, IA Dubuque 0.36
Dubuque L&D 11, IA Dubuque 0.46
EDGEWOOD, IA Clayton 0.19
ELKADER 6SSW, IA Clayton 0.32
ELMA, IA Howard 0.62
Ely 0.5 SE Linn 0.29
FAYETTE, IA Fayette 0.38
FULTON, IA Jackson 0.47
GARWIN, IA Tama 0.25
GRUNDY CENTER, IA Grundy 0.22
GUTTENBERG L & D 10, IA Clayton 0.20
HAMPTON, IA Franklin 0.23
IONIA 2W, IA Chickasaw 0.28
IOWA FALLS, IA Hardin 0.30
KESLEY 3 NNE, IA Butler 0.21
LADORA, IA Iowa 0.29
Latimer 1.9 NE Franklin 0.24
LOWDEN, IA Cedar 0.62
MAQUOKETA 4 W, IA Jackson 0.59
Marengo 2.6 SSW Iowa 0.30
MARENGO, IA Iowa 0.24
Marion 1.2 NE Linn 0.26
Monticello, IA Jones 0.30
NASHUA 2SW, IA Floyd 0.26
New Hampton 0.4 SW Chickasaw 0.70
NEW HAMPTON, IA Chickasaw 1.27
NORTH ENGLISH, IA Iowa 0.42
North Liberty 1.0 ENE Johnson 0.38
Oelwein 0.8 WNW Fayette 0.50
OSAGE , IA Mitchell 0.50
POPEJOY 1 S, IA Franklin 0.24
Solon 0.3 ESE Johnson 0.33
ST ANSGAR, IA Mitchell 0.73
STRAWBERRY POINT, IA Clayton 0.22
SWISHER, IA Johnson 0.28
TOLEDO 3 N, IA Tama 0.16
TRAER, IA Tama 0.22
TRIPOLI, IA Bremer 0.50
VINTON, IA Benton 0.23
VOLGA 1NE, IA Clayton 0.23
WASHINGTON, IA Washington 0.47
Waterloo 0.8 SW Black Hawk 0.26
Waterloo 1.8 SSE Black Hawk 0.29
Waterloo 3.0 NNW Black Hawk 0.34
WAUKON, IA Allamakee 0.58
WILLIAMSBURG 3 SE, IA Iowa 0.43
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Posted under Precipitation Totals

This post was written by Schnack on April 30, 2012

April 30

From NWS
1994
: A late season snow storm affected eastern and southeastern Iowa dropping a quick 6.0 inches of snow at Dubuque which is the highest total on record so late in the season at that location. Other snowfall accumulations included 4.0 inches at Marion and 3.0 inches at Columbus Junction.

1936: Several tornadoes touched down across Iowa. One produced F4 damage in Estherville with at least 50 buildings destroyed and several people injured. Another F4 tornado moved from northwest of Everly to Lake Okoboji, killing 2 people and injuring 15 before dissipating as a waterspout over the lake.

1909: Rain fell across nearly all of Iowa then changed to snow across about the northern half of the state, with many stations reporting light accumulations including 1.0 inches at Algona and Mason City and 1.5 inches at Le Mars and New Hampton. Flurries continued through the day on May 1st and some locations reported significant blowing of snow as winds increased. Behind the storm unseasonably cold air filtered into the region for the first several days of May, with temperatures falling to as low as 20 F at Sheldon on the 1st and 18 F at Inwood on the 2nd and Washta on the 3rd. At Grand Meadow in Cherokee County the last of the snow drifts did not melt until May 5th.

  This Day in National/World Weather History …
 30 April 1054 → The earliest tornado reported in Europe occurred on this day. It was in Rosdalla, Ireland.
 30 April 1852 → A significant tornado outbreak spread across Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky. One tornado touched down near Paducah, KY, crossed into Illinois, and then crossed back into Kentucky, ending near Carrsville. Another tornado struck just south of New Harmony, IN and was said to have felled trees at a rate of 7,000 per minute.
 30 April 1888 → During a hailstorm in Moradabad, India baseball-sized hailstones killed over 230 people and more than 1600 animals.
 30 April 1924 → A large tornado outbreak struck a five-state region from Alabama to Virginia. One tornado family was on the ground for 105 miles and caused up to F4 damage from Aiken County to Darlington County in south-central South Carolina. Though no large towns were hit, 53 lives were still taken from rural communities by that tornado family.
 30 April 1989 → This day ended the first April in Oklahoma City�s history during which no thunderstorms occurred.
 30 April 2011 → There were 753 tornadoes in the U.S. in April 2011, the most ever recorded in a month (beating the old record by 211).
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Posted under Weather History

This post was written by Schnack on April 30, 2012

The Greatest Show above the Earth

Have you ever heard someone exclaim, “There’s a satellite!” Most people are unaware that quite a few naked eye visible satellites pass overhead every night. The brightest ones are always relatively close by in so-called low earth orbits, abbreviated LEO. The closer they are to the observer, the easier they should be to see, assuming that you are in the dark and they are in sunlight. The International Space Station (ISS) becomes brighter than any other satellite, even rivaling the planet Venus at times. It is brightest when it is high in the sky. That’s because it’s closer then.

The geometry requires that the satellite must be sunlit (not in the shadow of the earth), but for us, the sun must be significantly below our horizon. Note: the shadow drawn in my graphic is much longer than what I’ve drawn. For this type of situation where LEO satellites are still sunlit while we are in the dark requires the observer be looking no more than a couple hours after sunset, or the same before sunrise. Otherwise the only satellites still in the sun would be those that are too far above the earth (too far away) to be bright enough to see, without binoculars anyway.

Occasionally a satellite grows considerably brighter for a moment. Why? The sunlight glints off a flat part of it; this is called a “flare”. Iridium satellites are famous for having spectacular flares; they are even named iridium flares. They occur when sunlight reflects off of any of three shiny silver antennae panels on the satellite. Some iridium flares are so bright that they are even visible in a blue sky! You should see one like that at night, or in the navy blue of a twilight sky. (!) Here is a story I wrote years ago that describes a daylight sighting.

The smaller the number or the more negative the magnitude of any light in the sky, the brighter it is. A magnitude -4 flare will match Venus. A magnitude – 8 flare is 40 times brighter than a -4! If you watch a -8 flare for the first time you will be amazed at how bright it gets. A magnitude -8 becomes dazzlingly bright for a couple seconds then it fades. Here is a time exposure I took of one as seen from my front yard here in town. It was a magnitude -8. The exposure time was about 30 seconds but the flare itself did not last very long.

Now do you want to see an iridium flare? Use Heavens-Above.com. I set this Heavens-Above page up for the KWWL building in Waterloo. You can easily change it to your own observing spot. Under “Configuration” click on “select from map”.

Know this. The brightness of a flare can fall off substantially with distance from a “center-line” of brightest visibility, so it’s best to be within a half mile of the middle of the light.

Since the iridium satellites are in polar orbits they travel either north to south or south to north. Several will occur in the next several days around the Waterloo area. The thing that people have the most trouble with is converting the military time to AM/PM and knowing where in the sky to look. In the Heavens-Above table the cardinal direction is given in the Azimuth column and the altitude is given in the Alt column. Remember, 45° is half way to straight up.

Using the KWWL building as a fictitious observing site, I looked at the columns labeled “Distance to flare centre” and “Intensity at flare centre” to determine where the light of several upcoming flares would be that will reach at least a magnitude -7. Thanks to Scribble Maps I easily created this graphic, which shows the approximate center-line of several flares that are coming very soon. I listed the date and time only. You can compare the dates and approximate times I listed on my map centered on KWWL to the data in this Heavens-Above table, as long as the table includes the correct dates.

Questions are welcome. If you see a flare I would certainly like to read about it here!

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Posted under Astronomy

This post was written by on April 29, 2012

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April 29

From NWS
1984
: A late season snowfall occurred across portions of northwestern Iowa where reported amounts included 5.8 inches at Le Mars, 6.0 inches at Pocahontas, Sioux Center, and Storm Lake, 7.0 inches at Emmetsburg, Galva, and Lake Park, and 8.0 inches at Holstein.

1956: A late season winter storm produced heavy snow over northwestern Iowa with an amazing 11.0 inches reported at Lake Park, making this the latest date of the year on which more than 10 inches of snow has fallen anywhere in Iowa. Other snowfall amounts included 8.6 inches at Sheldon, 8.0 inches at Rock Rapids, 7.0 inches at Sibley, 6.0 inches at Emmetsburg, and 5.0 inches at Hawarden and Spencer.

1907: A very warm March was followed by an exceptionally cold and snowy late spring with Des Moines experiencing its coldest April and coldest May on record and statewide snowfalls occurring well into May. This sudden shift was likely caused by the powerful eruption of the volcano Ksudach in eastern Russia in late March of 1907, which threw ash high into the atmosphere partially blocking incoming sunlight for several months. Temperatures plunged during the first week of April and the month ended with a winter storm on the 28th-30th. The storm began late on the 28th with freezing rain and sleet in the north and rain elsewhere, then the precipitation gradually changed over through freezing rain and sleet to snow across southern and eastern Iowa late on the 29th with the snow ending early on the morning of the 30th. The warm weather earlier in the spring had resulted in an early growth of crops and vegetation, maximizing damage from the cold temperatures and ice at the end of April. At Des Moines an amazing 8.0 inches of snow fell in less than 24 hours on the 29th-30th. At Mount Ayr freezing rain produced a sheet of ice a quarter of an inch thick on all surfaces which was then covered with 5.0 inches of snow. At Leon an inch of snow fell with substantial damage to fruit trees under a thick glaze of ice. At Olin 5 or 6 inches of snow fell and snow banks were still observed on the north sides of buildings at sunset on May 3rd. To put into perspective the extreme nature of this event, the storm total snowfall of 8.0 inches at Des Moines is by far the highest on record for that location so late in the spring, with the next-highest amounts being 1.2 inches which fell just a few days later in 1907, and 1.0 inches which fell on April 30th, 1960. In fact, only once has a higher snowfall amount ever been recorded anywhere in the state on a later date, and that was the unbelievable storm of May 28, 1947 (highest amount 10.0 inches at Le Mars).

This Day in National/World Weather History …
 29 April 1909 → A huge tornado outbreak with many powerful storms (including four F4 tornadoes) struck from Illinois to Alabama. One tornado family was on the ground for much of its 125 mile long path from DeSoto County, MS to Decatur County, TN and produced F4 damage. Near Bolivar, TN a man fled to his brother’s house for safety. The man’s own house was untouched but his brother’s home was destroyed, killing the man. Northeast of Scotts Hill, TN a smokehouse was destroyed with the meat later found two miles away.
 29 April 1912 → The Philippines’ hottest temperature was attained at Tuguegarao with 108 degrees.
 29 April 1942 → Three entire families were killed near Oberlin, KS by an F5 tornado. Several inches of top soil were swept away from the farms. The death total was 15 and 25 were injured. The tornado dissipated near Cedar Bluff, KS.
 29 April 1995 → Severe thunderstorms moved across Tarrant County in Texas. Hail up to 3.5 inches in diameter did an enormous amount of damage. 100 aircraft were damaged at DFW airport. Damages in the county totaled $220 million. This was the second major hailstorm to hit the area in a month.
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Posted under Weather History

This post was written by Schnack on April 29, 2012

24 Hour Rain Totals

7 AM Fri-7 AM Sat

Location County Rain
Waterloo Black Hawk 0.49
Dubuque Dubuque 0.35
Cedar Rapids Linn 0.74
Iowa City Johnson 0.73
Ainsworth 7.4 N Washington 0.65
Anamosa 3SSW, IA Jones 0.51
Cedar Falls 1.4 SSE Black Hawk 0.52
CHARLES CITY, IA Floyd 0.48
CLERMONT, IA Fayette 0.34
COGGON, IA Linn 0.35
CONRAD, IA Grundy 0.40
Dubuque #3, IA Dubuque 0.33
Dubuque L&D 11, IA Dubuque 0.26
ELKADER 6SSW, IA Clayton 0.33
FAYETTE, IA Fayette 0.56
GARWIN, IA Tama 0.49
GRUNDY CENTER, IA Grundy 0.35
GUTTENBERG L & D 10, IA Clayton 0.32
HAMPTON, IA Franklin 0.36
IONIA 2W, IA Chickasaw 0.45
IOWA FALLS, IA Hardin 0.49
LADORA, IA Iowa 0.85
Latimer 1.9 NE Franklin 0.27
LOWDEN, IA Cedar 0.73
MANCHESTER NO. 2, IA Delaware 0.67
MAQUOKETA 4 W, IA Jackson 0.55
Marengo 2.6 SSW Iowa 0.82
Marion 1.2 NE Linn 0.44
Monticello, IA Jones 0.52
NASHUA 2SW, IA Floyd 0.54
New Hampton 0.4 SW Chickasaw 0.50
NORTH ENGLISH, IA Iowa 0.50
North Liberty Johnson 0.71
Oelwein 0.8 WNW Fayette 0.41
POPEJOY 1 S, IA Franklin 0.39
Solon 0.3 ESE Johnson 0.43
ST ANSGAR, IA Mitchell 0.36
TOLEDO 3 N, IA Tama 0.44
TRAER, IA Tama 0.36
TRIPOLI, IA Bremer 0.60
VOLGA 1NE, IA Clayton 0.31
WASHINGTON, IA Washington 0.93
WAUCOMA , IA Fayette 0.32
WILLIAMSBURG 3 SE, IA Iowa 0.77
TRIPOLI, IA Bremer 0.08
VINTON, IA Benton 0.17
VOLGA 1NE, IA Clayton 0.07
WASHINGTON, IA Washington 0.20
Waterloo 1.8 SSE Black Hawk 0.23
Waterloo 3.0 NNW Black Hawk 0.09
WAUCOMA , IA Fayette 0.19
Waucoma 3.2 S Fayette 0.18
WAUKON, IA Allamakee 0.07
WILLIAMSBURG 3 SE, IA Iowa 0.06
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Posted under Precipitation Totals

This post was written by Schnack on April 28, 2012

April 28

From NWS
1994
: A late season snow storm struck far northwestern Iowa producing accumulations generally in the 5 to 8 inch range, with snow falling heavily at rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour in some locations. Reported accumulations included 4.0 inches at Orange City and Sheldon, 5.0 inches at Sibley where the high temperature for the day was only 32 F, and 8.0 inches at Rock Rapids.

1974: Several tornadoes touched down in eastern Iowa including an F2 that injured 16 people when it hit a trailer park near West Branch.

1910: A very erratic April continued in Iowa as multiple rounds of snow and severe freezing temperatures were recorded on the 15th-26th, causing widespread significant damage to trees, fruit, and vegetables, then were followed by rapid warming and record breaking heat by the 28th. Inwood recorded a high temperature of 99 F on the 28th which set an all-time Iowa April record that would stand for nearly 70 years. Other reported high temperatures that afternoon included 98 F at Sheldon and Sioux City, 97 F at Odebolt and Onawa, and 96 F at Humboldt, Larrabee, Plover, Rockwell City, and Washta. Amazingly this record heat came only four days after temperatures on the morning of the 24th had fallen to as low as 21 F at Albia and Fort Dodge and 20 F at Storm Lake. Thus the temperature across Iowa rose 79 degrees in just four days.

This Day in National/World Weather History …
 28 April 1928 → A coastal storm produced tremendous late season snows in the central Appalachians, including 35 inches at Bayard, WV, 31 inches at Somerset, PA, and 30 inches at Grantsville, MD. High winds accompanying the heavy wet snow uprooted trees and unroofed a number of homes.
 28 April 2002 → An F4 tornado hit La Plata, MD and traveled a path 6 miles long. The storm killed 3 and injured 90.
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Posted under Weather History

This post was written by Schnack on April 28, 2012

Weather Hot Shots on Fri. Apr. 27

Submit your weather Hot Shot by clicking here.
One photo is shown on the 5 pm newscast and one on the 10 pm newscast.

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Posted under Hot Shots, Photo

This post was written by Schnack on April 27, 2012

Friday Forecast Updated at 4:00 PM

Tonight: Cloudy and windy with rain likely. Low: 37-41. Wind: E 15-25 mph gusts to 45 mph during the evening.

Saturday: Cloudy and breezy with a 70% chance of rain in the morning. The sky will be mostly cloudy in the afternoon.  High: 45-51. Wind: E 10-20 mph.

Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy. Low: 34-40. Wind: E 5-10 mph.

Sunday: Mostly cloudy. High: upper 50s.

Monday: Mostly cloudy with a 20% chance of showers. High: near 60.

Tuesday: Partly cloudy with a 20% chance of showers/storms. High: near 70.

Wednesday: Partly cloudy with a 20% chance of showers/storms. High: mid 70s.

Thursday: Partly cloudy with a 20% chance of showers/storms. High: mid 70s.

Friday: Partly cloudy with a 20% chance of showers/storms. High: mid 70s.

 

This Evening/Tonight: A WIND ADVISORY is in effect until 10 PM. Wind gusts to 45 mph are possible this evening.

The area of low pressure in Kansas will track east into Missouri tonight. Before midnight the showers will be light and scattered. After midnight the rain will become widespread. The wind will be gusty from the east and temperatures will drop into the 30s-40s making for a raw night.

Saturday/Saturday Night: Rain is likely in the morning and will gradually taper off round midday. The map below shows the position of the low Saturday morning.


The map below shows the rain forecast from Friday evening to Saturday evening.


During the afternoon the sky will be mostly cloudy. As the low moves east and weakens the wind will lighten up from 10-20 mph in the morning to 5-15 late in the afternoon. The wind will be light Saturday night with a mostly cloudy sky.

Sunday: High pressure, just north of the Great Lakes, may push just far enough south to keep the weather dry but expect more clouds than sunshine.

Extended Forecast (Mon-Fri): The model guidance is still showing some unsettled weather next week. Timing is an issue right now on when and where.  We will have to take these days one at a time as we get closer. For now I will leave 20% chance of showers/storms for next week. The temperatures next week will be above normal with readings reaching the low and mid 70s most each day.

Long Range Forecast (May 5-11) The Climate Prediction Center has Iowa with normal to above normal temperatures and normal precipitation.

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Posted under Forecast Discussion

This post was written by Schnack on April 27, 2012