Big Iowa Snowstorm: April 29, 1956

It’s been rain and severe weather across the state of Iowa over the last week, but that wasn’t the case in 1956.  Parts of the state were dealing with a snowstorm that dumped heavy snow.  Here is the surface weather map from April 29, 1956.  You can see the low pressure in Missouri, with northwest Iowa being on that northwest side of the storm.


This is the latest date more than 10″ of snow has fallen in the state of Iowa.



Posted under Weather History, Winter Weather

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on April 29, 2016

Latest Rain & Snow Totals

snowfall reports

Town Rainfall Snowfall
Waterloo 0.91 0.4
Dubuque 0.72
Cedar Rapids 0.49
Iowa City 0.41
Clarksville 0.2 NW 0.98
Ainsworth 7.4 N 0.25
Amana 4.7 W 0.59
Anamosa 3SSW, IA 1.10 3.6
Bellevue LD 12, IA 0.98 T
Cedar Falls 1.4 SSE 0.76
Cedar Rapids 3.4 NW 1.00
Center Point 0.6 NNW 0.58
Coralville 1.8 NW 0.84
CRESCO 1NE, IA 1.15 3.0
Decorah 7.9 ENE 0.40
Dubuque #3, IA 0.83
Dubuque L&D 11, IA 0.73
Eldora 1.2 ENE 0.36
Ely 0.5 SE 0.79 0.3
Hopkinton 5.4 WSW 0.56
Kalona 7.3 NNW 0.82
Latimer 1.9 NE 0.22
Marengo 2.6 SSW 0.98 1.3
Marion 1.2 NE 0.8 0.3
Marion 1.7 NNW 0.6
Marquette 0.2 NNE 1.21 5.0
Monona WWTP, IA 1.03 1.0
Monticello, IA 0.56
NASHUA 2SW, IA 0.82 0.3
New Hampton 0.4 SW 1.47 1.0
Nora Springs 2.4 SSE 1.25 0.2
Oelwein 0.8 WNW 1.48 5.1
OSAGE , IA 0.91
Parnell 0.1 SSW 0.88 0.1
Quasqueton 1.8 S 0.85
Robins 0.4 SSE 0.76
STANLEY 4 W, IA 0.41
Swisher 0.4 NNE 0.68 0.5
TOLEDO 3 N, IA 0.84 4.6
TRAER, IA 0.92 T
VOLGA 1NE, IA 0.29
Waterloo 1.0 SW 0.81
Waterloo 1.8 SSE 0.80
Waterloo NWS Snowfall, IA 0.98

Posted under Precipitation Totals

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on March 24, 2016

Possible Snow Tuesday

After a warm weekend there is potential for a storm to bring snow to Iowa. The model guidance has changed with every update from location of snow and amount of snow. At one point one model had 36” of snow for parts of eastern Iowa and the next update it was lowered to 7”. At the same time the other long range model had nothing when the first one mentioned had 36”. So as you can see the model guidance has not been very helpful.

As Meteorologists we like to see consistency in the long range models from update to update. That has not been the case in the last 6 days. As we get closer to next Tuesday the hope is for some similarity. At least by the weekend the short term models will add some insight as to what might happen on Tuesday.

With that said, here is the latest model guidance showing where the best chance of snow to fall. Notice the big difference on location of the snow. These maps are most likely going to change with each update. One of the model updates 4 times a day so expect a lot of changes until we get closer.



The National Weather Service is also looking at the potential for snow and possibly heavy across Iowa Tuesday.


We will continue track the developments through the warm weekend. The weekend weather throws a wrench in this storm as well. The ground is going to be very warm after three days with temperatures near or into the 50s. So for the snow to accumulate it would have to come down pretty fast. The storm also will start out as rain with temperatures near 40. There is a lot to iron out so the best advice is to check back for updates as there will be changes.


Posted under Forecast Discussion

This post was written by Schnack on February 25, 2016

Latest Snow Totals


Friday, November 20 through Saturday, November 21

Location County      Totals
Waterloo Black Hawk 12.7
Dubuque Dubuque 10.2
Cedar Rapids Linn 7.0
Iowa City Johnson 8.9
Amana 4.7 W Iowa 7.0
Anamosa 3SSW, IA Jones 7.5
ANAMOSA 4 ENE Jones 5.0
ATKINS Benton 8.5
Bellevue LD 12, IA Jackson 5.0
CALMAR 1NW Winneshiek 5.0
CALMAR, IA Winneshiek 5.0
Cedar Rapids 1 W Linn 6.0
Cedar Rapids 2 NNE Linn 7.0
Cedar Rapids 2 W Linn 6.5
Cedar Rapids 2 W Linn 6.0
Cedar Rapids 4 NNW Linn 7.0
Central City 6.7 W Linn 5.0
CLUTIER, IA Tama 8.0
COGGON, IA Linn 7.9
COLWELL, IA Floyd 5.5
Coralville 1.8 NW Johnson 6.3
DECORAH Winneshiek 8.5
DECORAH 6ESE Winneshiek 5.5
Decorah 7.9 ENE Winneshiek 5.2
Dubuque #3, IA Dubuque 10.2
Dubuque 1 NW Dubuque 12.0
Dubuque 4 WNW Dubuque 11.0
Dubuque L&D 11, IA Dubuque 9.5
DUMONT 5 SSE Butler 12.0
DURANT Cedar 5.5
EDGEWOOD Clayton 11.0
Edgewood 1 S Delaware 11.0
EDGEWOOD, IA Clayton 11.0
Eldora Hardin 9.0
ELKADER 6SSW Clayton 11.4
Elmira 1 W Johnson 7.0
FAYETTE Fayette 11.3
FAYETTE, IA Fayette 11.3
GARRISON 3 SE, IA Benton 4.5
GRUNDY CENTER 1 E, IA Grundy 7.0
GUTTENBERG 1 W Clayton 12.0
GUTTENBERG L & D 10, IA Clayton 9.0
HARPERS FERRY, IA Allamakee 5.5
Independence, IA Buchanan 9.0
IOWA CITY 2 SSE, IA Johnson 8.5
IOWA CITY 1 WSW, IA Johnson 5.4
Iowa City 2 SSW, IA Johnson 8.9
Iowa City, IA Johnson 9.5
IOWA FALLS 1 ESE, IA Hardin 7.0
IOWA FALLS, IA Hardin 7.0
Kalona 7.3 NNW, IA Johnson 9.0
LADORA 2 SSW, IA Iowa 6.0
LADORA 3 S, IA Iowa 5.0
LOWDEN, IA Cedar 8.5
MAQUOKETA 1 NNW, IA Jackson 6.0
MAQUOKETA 4 W, IA Jackson 5.3
Monona WWTP, IA Clayton 8.7
Monona WWTP, IA Jones 7.5
Mount Vernon, IA Linn 8.5
NASHUA 2SW, IA Floyd 8.5
Nora Springs 2.4 SSE Floyd 10.0
OELWEIN 0.8 WNW Fayette 10.0
OELWEIN 1WNW Fayette 10.0
Quasqueton 1.8 S Buchanan 8.0
RIVERSIDE 3 SE Washington 8.0
Robins 0.4 SSE Linn 6.5
Solon Johnson 8.5
Solon 1 E Johnson 6.4
ST ANSGAR, IA Mitchell 4.2
STANLEY 4 W, IA Buchanan 9.0
TIFFIN 2 SW Johnson 4.0
TOLEDO 3 N, IA Tama 7.0
TRIPOLI, IA Bremer 6.5
Vinton Benton 7.0
VOLGA 1NE Clayton 11.4
VOLGA 1NE, IA Clayton 11.4
W SOLON 2 W Johnson 8.0
WADENA Fayette 10.5
WASHINGTON Washington 5.0
WASHINGTON, IA Washington 4.0
Waterloo 1.8 SSE Black Hawk 9.5
WATERLOO 2 SSE Black Hawk 9.5
Waterloo NWS Snowfall, IA Black Hawk 12.7
WATERVILLE 8S Allamakee 5.5
WELLSBURG 4 NNW Grundy 10.0
WEST UNION 2SSW Fayette 8.0



Posted under Precipitation Totals, Winter Weather

This post was written by Denice Pelster on November 21, 2015

Tracking Strong Wind and Potential for Snow

It will be very windy tonight and Thursday across eastern Iowa.  A strong area of low pressure will continue tracking to the north, leaving behind gusty westerly winds.  Gusts tonight could be as high as 45 mph, with wind gusts as high as 50 mph at times during the day Thursday.  A Wind Advisory is in effect Thursday for parts of the KWWL viewing area.
Wind Advisory

The wind will die down later Thursday evening, and we will be left with relatively quiet weather through Friday morning.

We are tracking our next storm system that will enter the United States this evening.  That storm will bring us our first dose of winter weather Friday and Friday night.  Here is the timing of that area of low pressure.
snow track

The center of the storm will be over eastern Wyoming at 6 AM Friday, and will track through northern Kansas by 6 PM Friday, and by 6 AM Saturday the low pressure will be around eastern Missouri and western Illinois.  The heaviest snow band will be along and north of that track.
The National Weather Service in Des Moines has already issued a Winter Storm Watch for Black Hawk, Bremer, Butler, Grundy and Tama counties for Friday and Friday night.  The La Crosse and Davenport forecast offices will hold off just a little bit longer on issuing a watch, since it is farther out in time.  They will most likely issue one within the next 24 hours.

winter watch
Temperatures will be in the middle and upper 30s as the storm system begins to enter the region Friday afternoon.  Initially, we will have some dry air to overcome.  Once the air becomes saturated, the precipitation could initially begin as a rain snow mix anytime after the noon hour Friday.  As the afternoon goes on, and the air cools, the rain will eventually switch over to all snow, and continue through early Saturday morning.  This means the Friday evening commute could be tricky, so keep that in mind.  With temperature around freezing (32°), this snow will be a “wet” snow.

Even though the snow will come to an end on Saturday morning, our issues won’t be completely over.  The wind will pick up and could blow the fallen snow around, reducing visibility and causing travel issues.

As far as snowfall amounts, early indications point to widespread 1 to 3 inch totals, with a swath of 3 inches or more in eastern Iowa.  This all depends on the exact track of the low pressure, how quickly the onset of the precipitation starts/changes over to snow, how much moisture is available, and the rate at which the snow falls.  Another factor to keep in mind is how quickly soil temperature drops over the next 48 hours, which as of Wednesday were averaging right around 50°.

We are around that time of year where we typically receive our first inch of snowfall.  Here is the climatological average, along with the first inch of snowfall the past three years.

first inch

Stay with KWWL Storm Track 7 for the latest forecast, as we get a better idea on the track of the storm.


Posted under Uncategorized

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on November 18, 2015

Friday Afternoon Update on the Weekend Snow

9:30 PM UPDATE to include the WINTER STORM WATCH.


The sky will be mostly clear tonight.

Jan 30 Vis Sat

Low pressure is forecast to move east across Missouri Sunday bringing snow to Iowa.


Clouds increase early Saturday morning with snow developing late in the afternoon (mainly after 3 pm). Here is forecast where the snow should be at 7 PM Saturday.

Blog Graphic 1

Snow becomes widespread across Iowa during the evening. Snow continues through Sunday morning before tapering off in the afternoon. Heaviest of the snow will fall from 10 PM Saturday through noon Sunday.

Expect hazardous conditions on the road Saturday evening through Sunday night.

Here is the latest snow forecast.
Blog Graphic 5


The gusty northeast wind will increase Saturday night and remain windy through Sunday blowing. This will cause blowing snow and at times reduced visibility.  The strongest wind will be from midnight Saturday through about 8 PM Sunday.

Jan 30 Wind Forecast

Sunday will be much colder with wind chills during the day near zero or slightly below.  Temperatures remain in the teens throughout the day.

Clouds clear late Sunday night giving us sunshine to start Monday. Clouds increase in the afternoon as we track the next chance of snow to be here Tuesday morning into Wednesday morning.


Posted under Update

This post was written by Schnack on January 30, 2015

Chance of Snow Then COLD Air

Forecast Bar


Tonight: Mostly cloudy and windy with a 20% chance of a rain shower. Low: 34-38. Wind: SW to NW 15-30 mph.

Saturday: Partly cloudy and windy. High: 40-45. Wind: NW 15-30 mph.

Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy. High: 28-30. Wind: SW 10-15 mph.

Sunday: Mostly cloudy. High: mid-upper 40s.

Monday: Cloudy and windy (NE 15-25 mph) with a 70% chance of rain/snow. High: mid 30s.

Tuesday: Mostly cloudy and windy (N 10-20 mph). High: near 30.

Wednesday: Partly cloudy. High: upper 20s.

Thursday: Mostly sunny. High: upper 20s.

Friday: Mostly sunny. High: upper 20s.

Weather Extra Bar

The cold front over the Dakotas this afternoon is forecast to cross Iowa tonight. A few isolated light showers are possible, but most places will remain dry. If you get any rain it would be a trace to a couple of hundredths of an inch.
Nov 7 Current Map

After the front crosses, the wind will increase from the northwest with gusts as high as 45 mph. A WIND ADVISORY is in effect tonight into early Saturday morning.

Blog Graphic 2

The chart below shows the wing diminishing after 3 pm Saturday as high pressure moves closer to the state.

Nov 7 Wind Forecast

We are tracking a storm forecast to bring our first measurable snow to parts of the area Monday/Monday Night. As of Friday evening the storm is located south of Alaska. The WPC forecast map for Monday morning has the low over the Kansas/Nebraska state line (see map below).

Nov 7 Mon AM Sfc Map

The amount of moisture available to this storm is about 0.50-0.75” (see map below).

Nov 7 QPF

If the amount is used as all snow, parts of the Midwest will have their first accumulating snow of the season. The best chance of 4 and possible 8 inches of snow is located across southern Minnesota (see map below).

Nov 7 Snow Chance

Lighter snow amounts are possible across northern Iowa. There are many factors that can change this area of snow and amount between now and Monday. So be prepared for some changes in the forecast as the storm moves into the United States. At this point, the storm will be able to be sampled by the network of weather balloons launched by the National Weather Service two times a day. This data would be then put into the computer models and give us a better handle on the forecast.

The farther south you live from the Iowa/Minnesota state line the better chance of this being light rain and little to no accumulating snow…that is as of Friday evening. There will be adjustments to the as the day gets closer. So stay up to date on the latest forecast if you have any travel plans.

No matter what happens on Monday, there is one thing for certain…VERY COLD air is moving south.

Blog Graphic 1

A large area of cold air from Canada will be moving south and arrive in Iowa Monday night and it will stick around for about 1-2 weeks. High temperatures will be in the upper 20s and low temperatures a few degrees above 10. It is going to feel more like January. Here the 8-14 day outlook showing below normal temperatures and below normal precipitation through the 21st.

Nov 7 8 to 14 day outlook



Posted under Forecast Discussion

This post was written by Schnack on November 7, 2014

Tracking Rain/Snow for Tuesday

Forecast Bar

UPDATED at 4:30 PM

Tonight: Mostly cloudy. Low: 33-35. Wind: N 5-10 mph.

Tuesday: Cloudy with an 80% chance of rain/snow. High: 35-42. Wind: N 10-20 mph.

Tuesday Night: Light snow ends. Snow accumulation: trace to 2”. Low: 20-25. Wind: N 15-25 mph.

Wednesday: Mostly cloudy and windy (N 15-25 mph). High: near 30.

Thursday: Partly cloudy. High: mid 40s.

Friday: Partly cloudy. High: upper 40s.

Saturday: Mostly cloudy. High: low 40s.

Sunday: Mostly cloudy with a 20% chance of rain/snow: High: mid 30s.

Monday: Mostly cloudy. High: upper 30s.

Weather Extra Bar

It has been a very nice late winter day. Spring (Vernal Equinox) officially begins March 20. Check out the 4 pm temperatures across Iowa.

Mar 10 4 PM Temps

At noon today, the visible satellite image showed where the snow was on the ground impacting the temperatures (northeast Iowa).

Mar 10 Snow vs no snow

So far this afternoon the rivers have remained in check with no major problems. There have been some significant rises on streams with localized flooding due to the snow melt today. The Iowa River at Marengo has been flooding a bit this afternoon. Click here for the latest flood update.

The sky will become mostly cloudy tonight as low pressure tracks closer to Iowa. A light wintry mix will develop in the morning and continue into the afternoon. It will transition to light snow during evening as temperatures begin to drop and the wind increases from the north. Light snow will taper off Tuesday night.

Mar 10 Tue Rain Snow

Wednesday is going to be much colder with highs in the upper 20s to low 30s and a gusty north wind. Not to worry, temperatures rebound back to the 40s Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

There is a slight chance of a light rain/snow shower Sunday as temperatures drop back to the 30s.

A look back on this day in weather history, a snow record was broken. The most snow from one storm fell from March 10-14, 1951. It is a state record.

Mar 10 Record Snow


Posted under Forecast Discussion

This post was written by Schnack on March 10, 2014

Updated Snow Forecast as of 9:30 PM

The heaviest of band of snow has been across southern Minnesota and crossing the state line into Iowa this evening. Snow reports have ranged from 1-4″…. the heaviest in Minnesota. The most unstable part of the atmosphere is across southern MN where the snow is falling at 1″ per hour. The forecast is for it to come south a bit overnight. The snow extends back into South Dakota.

Mar 4 MW Radar

The southern edge of the heavier snow will come close again to Waterloo and Dubuque (along Highway 20). There is a lot of uncertainty about how much snow makes it as far south as roughly Highway 20. I will keep the narrow band of 1-3″ on the southern edge of heavier band circled above. Here is the latest WSI RPM snow forecast.

Mar 4 RPM

Here is the graphic I will show during the 10 pm news (see below).  There is going to be such a sharp cutoff. I could possibly narrow the 1-3″ snow band a bit more. I am going to leave it this way for the show. Mar 4 Updated Snow Forecast


We will see how this plays out. I will post snow totals here on the blog tomorrow morning.


Posted under Update

This post was written by Schnack on March 4, 2014

More Snow and More Cold

Forecast Bar

UPDATED at 4:30 PM

Tonight: Snow ending by midnight with a mostly cloudy sky overnight. Low: -7 to 1. Wind: W/NW 5-10 mph.

Tuesday: Cloudy with a 90% chance of snow in the afternoon. High: 5-12. Wind: Variable 5-10 mph.

Tuesday Night: Cloudy with a 90% chance of snow. Low: -1 to 8. Wind: NE 10-15 mph.

Wednesday: Cloudy and windy (NE 10-20 mph) with a 70% chance of snow. High: near 10.

Thursday: Mostly cloudy. High: near 5.

Friday: Partly cloudy and windy (S 10-20 mph). High: mid teens.

Saturday: Partly cloudy and windy (SW to NW 15-25 mph). High: near 30.

Sunday: Mostly cloudy and windy (NW 15-25 mph) with a 20% chance of snow. High: near 5.

Monday: Partly cloudy and windy (NW 15-25 mph). High: near 0.

Weather Extra Bar

Light snow continues to push across Iowa this afternoon making roads slick. Please use caution if you are traveling tonight. Click here for the latest road conditions. The snow tapers off by midnight while the sky remains cloudy overnight. Here is the radar at 4:10 pm showing where the snow was falling.

Dec 30 Radar 410

Another round of snow will develop Tuesday afternoon and continue through the night before tapering off early Wednesday afternoon. Here is the current WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for this time period.

Dec 30 Advisory

Most of eastern Iowa will see 2-4” with isolated higher amounts near 5”. Wednesday will be windy with a 10-20 mph blowing the powdery snow around.

Blog Graphic 5

Thursday through Saturday will be dry as temperatures warm to near 30 Saturday. This warm-up will not last long. A couple of cold fronts will push through bringing more Arctic air south with high temperatures Sunday and Monday in the low single digits.


Posted under Forecast Discussion

This post was written by Schnack on December 30, 2013