New Weather Satellite Launches

Saturday, November 19th marked a big day in the meteorological and space world.  A rocket carrying a new weather satellite, called “GOES-R” (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite), launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 5:42 PM (CST).

goes r

This new satellite will be stationed 22,300 miles above Earth’s surface, and help provide improvements in detection and observation of weather here on Earth.  The new satellite will provide advanced imaging across the Western Hemisphere, improved lightning data, as well as monitoring space weather.

Once in operation, the satellite will be called GOES-16.


The new instruments within the satellite will give us more data and imagery faster than ever before (approximately every 30 seconds).  Read more about the GOES-R satellite here.



Posted under Astronomy, NASA, NOAA

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on November 19, 2016

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ICYMI Nov 17- Earth from Mars/ Earthquake Aftermath/ Records/ Lightning

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab released this photo of Earth… seen from Curiosity Rover on the surface of Mars!

Earth from Mars Curiosity Rover Credit NASA JPL

As you may recall, a powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck New Zealand, killing two people.  Scientists say that because of the quake, the seabed lifted nearly two meters (6 feet) in the city of Kaikoura of South Island.  Read more here, and see aerial shots of New Zealand before and after the earthquake.

new zealand

Today might be the last day we see high temperatures like this again for awhile. Cedar Rapids and Iowa City tied the record. Des Moines reached 76 degrees (previous record 75 1941).

Record Highs vs Actual DMA High Today3D



Posted under Astronomy, Earthquake, Lightning, NASA, Records, Temperatures

This post was written by Eileen Loan on November 17, 2016

ICYMI Nov 13 – Earthquakes/Satellite Launch/Supermoon/Sunset

Two different earthquakes struck this morning – one in New Zealand and one in Argentina. The New Zealand quake was the strongest of the two, measuring in as a magnitude 7.8. This initial earthquake resulted in a tsunami.  Read more by clicking here.


Many aftershocks were already felt by late morning.

A few hours later, another quake was felt across the planet. A magnitude 6.2 struck South America.


A new weather satellite is set to launch November 19th at 4:52 PM CST.  A rocket carrying the latest weather satellite from NOAA, GOES-R will fly 22,000 miles above Earth, giving meteorologist a view of what’s going on below.  Read more about the satellite by clicking this link.


You’ve likely heard about the November “Supermoon.”  Well, it is finally here!

Full Moon Graphic

We do have some clouds around tonight, but they are high clouds so we won’t be completely overcast.  It will also be visible Monady night, however we do have clouds in the forecast then as well.  Click here for more information. Below are some viewer pictures.

Todd Moon in New Albin

Todd Moon in New Albin


Photo by: Amber Stueben in Cedar Falls

Photo by: Amber Stueben in Cedar Falls


Photo by: Carol Pfister in West Union

Photo by: Carol Pfister in West Union


Photo by: Marty Dvorak in Bremer

Photo by: Marty Dvorak in Bremer

As mentioned, there are some high clouds in our sky Sunday night, which developed late Sunday afternoon. They made for a fantastic sunset earlier.  Here are several photos from KWWL viewers on Facebook and Twitter:


Mike Graber in Cedar Rapids

Mike Graber in Cedar Rapids


Dianne Borowski, just east of Decorah

Dianne Borowski, just east of Decorah


Wade Clark in Cedar Falls

Wade Clark in Cedar Falls


Corinna Smith in Urbana

Corinna Smith in Urbana


Douglas Davies in Jesup

Douglas Davies in Jesup


amber stueben

Amber Stueven in Cedar Falls

carol johnson postville

Carol Johnson in Postville


Posted under Astronomy, Earthquake, Hot Shots, NASA, NOAA, Photo

This post was written by Rachael Peart on November 13, 2016

November “Supermoon”

The second “supermoon” of the year takes place November 14th.  However, it will be visible Sunday night (the 13th) as well as Monday night.

Full Moon Graphic

According to, a “supermoon” happens when the Moon is at its closest point of approach in its orbit around the Earth.  In 2016, this occurred in October, and will occur again in December.

So, what makes this moon different?  It’ll be the closes and brightest supermoon of 2016, and will also be the closest and brightest in more than 68 years!  The moon will appear 14% large and 30% brighter.  However, you likely won’t notice much difference in size from a regular full moon. The moon won’t be this close until November 25, 2034.

The nickname “Beaver Moon” because this is the time of year hunters would trap beavers ahead of winter.

December’s supermoon will happen on December 14th.


Posted under Astronomy

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on November 12, 2016

ICYMI Nov 7 – No Cold/ Supermoon/ November Sky

Not only have temperatures been above normal around here…take a look at look at North America. Much of the area had above normal temperatures on Monday.


The November 14 full moon will be the closest to Earth in 2016 and the 21st Century. The next time it is this close it will be Nov, 25, 2034

A look at what is in the sky during November.



Posted under Astronomy, NASA, Temperatures

This post was written by Schnack on November 7, 2016

ICYMI Nov 3 – Another Delay/ Widget/ Big Dipper/ Snow Cover

Last night during the 7th game of the World Series there was a short rain delay. There was a delay announced today from NASA when it comes to the new GOES-R Satellite scheduled to launch on Nov 16. The latest update from today says they are working on a problem and the launch has been delayed until further notice.


Here is a cool widget to put on your web page or blog from NASA. Click here for information.

Look north to see the Big Dipper every evening in November.


Here is a look at the snow cover in North America…most of it is in Canada.



Posted under Astronomy, NASA, Winter Weather

This post was written by Schnack on November 3, 2016

ICYMI Nov 2 – National Drought/ISS/Snow

Many across the country are experiencing some level of dry land or drought. A NOAA website shows just how much rain would be needed to delete the drought as well the probability of the drought ending over a certain period of time.

For more information, visit the Current Drought Reduction page.


Today marks 16 years since someone has been aboard the International Space Station. Click on here and take a look at some of the moments.


There were only 10 days last winter when 1″ or more fell in Waterloo/Dubuque.




Posted under Astronomy, Drought, Precipitation Totals, Winter Weather

This post was written by Rachael Peart on November 2, 2016

ICYMI Nov 1 – Halloween Storm of ’91/Halloween Normals/Scary Space/November Preview

Yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of the 1991 Halloween winter storm. Some recorded a dusting while many in northwestern Iowa saw over 10 inches by the time things were said and done on November 2nd.

For more information, visit the Des Moines National Weather Service.


High temperatures today are more like the middle of September than the beginning of November.
DMA High Today3D

The first five days of November this month are expected to be warm, but not as warm as they were last last year. The chart below shows the high temperatures for the first five days of November last year compared to the forecast this year.
Warm November

The night sky can be beautiful here in eastern Iowa. But beyond what we can see, it can be a little creepy. NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration looks at what planets outside of our solar system are like…some are not so pleasant.

You can visit these planets by clicking here.

November is here and normally things start to get really chilly this month. Here’s a look at November by the numbers in Waterloo and Dubuque:

November ALO Almanac

November DBQ Almanac




Posted under Astronomy, Climate, Temperatures

This post was written by Rachael Peart on November 1, 2016

ICYMI Oct 22–October Snow/Warm Temperatures/Orionids

While we were basking in sunshine and temperatures in the upper 60s to near 70°, parts of the northeast saw an October Snow.


That photo was courtesy of NWS Burlington in Vermont.  As much as 3 to 5 inches of snow is expected, especially in higher elevations, in New York, Vermont and New Hampshire.

Closer to home here in Iowa, we had October snow…just 3 years ago.  In fact, one inch accumulated in Waterloo.


We are now toward the end of October, where high temperatures should normally be in the upper 50s to near 60°.  That wasn’t the case today.


There’s a good chance that the warmer than normal (or near normal) temperatures will continue through the end of the month.———————————————————————————————————-

The Orionid Meteor Shower continues, even through the peak was October 21st.  Look in the southeast sky for a few meteors through November 7th.  Click here to learn more.

orionid-radiant (2)


Posted under Astronomy, Miscellaneous, Temperatures, Weather History

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on October 22, 2016

ICYMI Oct 19 – Warmer Days/Meteor Shower/Record Temps

Cooler weather Thursday and Friday does not last long. Warmer weather returns for the weekend and may continue through early November.


A clear sky Thursday night/Friday morning allows us to see Orionid meteor shower. It is forecast to peak late in the evening into early morning hours of Friday. Click here for more details.



High temperatures Monday were warm. They were so far above normal in parts of eastern Iowa we have to go back to early March.





Posted under Astronomy, Long Range Outlook, Temperatures

This post was written by Schnack on October 19, 2016