2009: An unusual meteorological event called a heat burst struck the Cedar Rapids area during the early morning hours. Heat bursts, somewhat more common in the southern plains of Oklahoma and Texas but much rarer in Iowa, occur when thunderstorms develop in an area where there is a layer of very dry air high up in the storm, then collapse suddenly pulling down and heating the dry air until it hits the surface. This results in a rapid rise in surface temperature and usually very strong and gusty winds. The heat burst that occurred at around 5:30 am on this day caused the temperature in Cedar Rapids to rise from the lower 70s to 84 F in a matter of minutes. Wind gusts estimated at 70 mph blew down trees and signs and knocked out power to several neighborhoods. Further east at Monticello the temperature rose from 71 F to 80 F and sustained wind speeds spiked up to nearly 30 mph.
1885: Severe thunderstorms produced large hail and strong winds at scattered locations across Iowa. Near Davenport an observer wrote that “the hail stones were as big as hens eggs; many were flat, thick pieces of ice.” In Tama County another observer said that “an enormous quantity of hail fell, averaging large in size” and that at Gladstone seven freight cars were blown off the track into a ditch.
|This Day in National/World Weather History …|
Posted under Weather History
This post was written by Schnack on August 3, 2012