Weather’s effect on Foliage

It is that time of the year again. Temperatures are cooler. Days are shorter. It is also a little more colorful, as well.

This year, leaves across eastern Iowa peaked a little later than normal.

There are many reasons why this happened. It all boils down to one major factor: the weather. Our weather patterns in September and October influence just how bright the colors of the trees get…and when they reach their peak for viewing.

In a period of drought, leaves may fall before developing any color. Strong winds (from tropical storms, thunderstorms or a potent front) may also leave the trees to the same fate.

Above normal temperatures postpone the fall color and subsequently the leaves falling. Each season’s foliage is different due to the combination of dry and wet days leading up to the time of peak color.

With cooler temperatures, expect more color and then more leaves to rake across the area.

For more information, click here.

To find the latest fall color report, click here.

 

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Posted under Drought, Fall Colors, Photo

This post was written by Rachael Peart on October 23, 2017

Temperatures, Drought Improvement and Elevated Fire Danger

LOW TEMPERATURES

Here is a look at where the weather instruments are located at the Waterloo Airport.

Low temperatures this morning were mainly in the upper 30s to the mid 40s across eastern Iowa and Black Hawk County. The exception was the Waterloo Airport reported a low of 34 degrees.

There are other weather instruments that are available to us in Waterloo and Cedar Falls area. The map below shows those weather stations reported low temperatures between 38-44. These temperatures are more similar to other reports surrounding Black Hawk County. There are certain nights the temperature at the Waterloo airport is much colder than everywhere surrounding it and this morning was one of those times.

DROUGHT MONITOR

The latest Drought Monitor was released this morning and the conditions continue to improve.

The first map below is the Drought Monitor showing a small portion of Iowa now in drought conditions.

The map below shows the Drought Monitor over the amount of rainfall for the month of October. Notice the lowest rain amounts are where we have some dry conditions still.

USE CAUTION

There was a moderate to high grassland fire danger today, and will be again Friday, across parts of northern Iowa. Winds are forecast to be stronger Friday from the south. Winds will increase in speed Friday night and remain windy Saturday. The rain chance doesn’t move into the eastern part of the state until the afternoon and evening. Use extra caution in the fields Friday and Saturday.

The cropland fire danger index is higher and more widespread today and is expected to be that way for Friday  Saturday until rain Saturday. Please use caution in the fields for the next 48 hours.

FALL COLORS

National High and Low Temperature  Thursday, October 19, 2017

99 at El Centro NAS, CA
99 at Ocotillo Wells, CA

11 at Bodie State Park, CA

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Posted under Drought, Fall Colors, Fire, Temperatures

This post was written by Schnack on October 19, 2017

Improvement in Drought Conditions

The recent rainfall has really put a dent in the drought conditions across the state of Iowa.

The latest US Drought Monitor indicated that 71.33% of Iowa is not experiencing any drought conditions.  That’s an improvement from just 58.80% last week.

More rain is in the forecast Saturday into early Sunday.

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Posted under Drought, Precipitation Totals

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on October 19, 2017

Heavy Rain Possible Saturday

CLOUDS…CLOUDS…CLOUDS

After most of the day with a cloudy sky, our western counties saw some sunshine before it set this evening. Here is a look at the sun as it was setting in Cedar Falls. The sky is clear in the western counties of the KWWL viewing area, but most locations are still cloudy. We stay dry tonight under a partly to mostly cloudy sky.

 

DROUGHT & SOME RELIEF

The latest Drought Monitor was released this morning. Due to rain in the last week the conditions are improving. We still need some rain across parts of southern Iowa. The forecast does include southern Iowa with rain and in some locations 2″ are possible. Light rain is forecast Friday afternoon and night. The heavier rain is likely Saturday with thunderstorms. The rain comes to an end Saturday night with sunshine returning Sunday. It will also be much cooler and with a gusty northwest wind at times to 30+ mph.

The map below shows the risk for flash flooding Saturday.

Rain from last Tuesday was not included in Drought Monitor update below. The map is analyzed from rain reports as of 7 AM on Tuesday and then released Thursday morning, every week.

Storms are in the forecast Saturday. There is a slight risk for severe storms from southern Iowa southwest toward Wichita, Kansas. The primary threat would be large hail and high winds during the mid to late afternoon. Any severe storms in eastern Iowa would south and west of Cedar Rapids.

 

 

NO COLD AIR FOR OCTOBER

The latest 8-14 day temperature outlook has Iowa with a likely chance of above normal temperatures from Oct 20-26. That takes us to about the end of the month and no cold air.

 

HURRICANE OPHELIA

Ophelia is the 10th hurricane in the Atlantic season…so far.

 

GRAND PHOTO

The Department of the Interior posted this photo, on Twitter, of Mount Moran in the Grand Teton National Park.


National High and Low Temperature Thursday, October 12, 2017

94 at Needles, CA
94 at Augusta, GA

9 at Lakeview, OR

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Posted under Drought, Fall Colors, Tropics

This post was written by Schnack on October 12, 2017

Rain numbers and more rain ahead

BIG CHANGE

Throughout the month of September we didn’t get much rain at all in eastern Iowa. Many locations only received less than 1″ of rain during the entire month. Here are the September rain totals:

0.79″ Waterloo
1.02″ Dubuque
0.97″ Cedar Rapids
0.49″ Iowa City

The month of October has been completely different and it is only the 10th. We have had triple the amount of rain in 10 days than we did all of last month. Here are the October rain totals through late this afternoon:

3.25″ Waterloo
3.05″ Dubuque
2.47″ Cedar Rapids
1.61″ Iowa City

The rain should help the drought conditions parts of Iowa. Here is the Drought Monitor released last Thursday morning. The next update will be Thursday morning.

 

RAIN TOTALS

The map below shows the rain estimates by the radar Tuesday.


Here is a list of some rain totals through Tuesday evening:

0.69″ Waterloo
1.46″ Dubuque
1.28″ Cedar Rapids
1.11″ Iowa City

_____________

1.82″ Cascade
1.76″ Urbana
1.70″ Swisher
1.66″ Winthrop
1.56″ Monticello
1.40″ Lisbon
1.35″ North Liberty
1.34′ Toledo
1.32″ Hazleton
1.29″ Mt. Vernon
1.28″ Atkins
1.26″ Hiawatha
1.26″ Dyersville
1.23″ Edgewood
1.20″ Lamont
1.20″ Center Point
1.19″ Manchester
1.18″ Farley
1.14″ West Branch
1.11″ Marion
1.09″ Monona
1.00″ Belle Plaine
0.90″ Decorah
0.87″ Postville
0.84″ Aurora
0.83″ Vinton
0.82″ Elkader
0.76″ Reinbeck
0.64″ Waukon
0.64″ Williamsburg
0.62″ Parnell
0.58″ Cedar Falls
0.55″ Denver
0.51″ Guttenberg
0.50″ Lowden
0.47″ Waverly

 

MORE RAIN LIKELY

The rain tapers off late tonight and early Wednesday morning across eastern Iowa. We might have some mist or drizzle Thursday morning with areas of fog. A few light showers are possible Friday afternoon. Saturday appears to be another soggy, breezy and cool day. Here is the potential rain for Saturday. Some locations could exceed 2″ in parts of eastern Iowa.

NEVER FAILS

One of the best places to be in the fall to see fall colors is New England. When I went to college in Vermont it was always so beautiful everywhere you looked this time of year. Take a look at this photo taken in New Hampshire (just east of Vermont).


The above photo was posted on Earthsky.org


National High and Low Temperature Tuesday, October 10, 2017

95 at Bainbridge, FL
95 at Marianna, FL

-2 at Laramie, WY

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Posted under Drought, Fall Colors, Precipitation Totals

This post was written by Schnack on October 10, 2017

Moderate Drought Conditions Expand

The latest US Drought Monitor released this morning indicates the drought has expanded a bit across eastern Iowa.

 

There is some beneficial rain on the way, especially as we get into late Friday afternoon and Friday night.

 

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Posted under Drought, Precipitation Totals

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on October 5, 2017

Drought Conditions Expand in Iowa

With no rainfall in the last week across the majority of Iowa, the drought conditions have worsened.  The latest US Drought Monitor was released Thursday morning, showing that much of the state is experiencing some sort of drought.  Last week, 50.32% of the state was not experiencing at least “Abnormally Dry” conditions, but this week that number is down to 29.33%.

Moderate Drought conditions have also expanded in portions of eastern Iowa.  It’s been a dry past couple of months, compared to what it was the beginning of June.

The good news is that there are several chances for rain in the forecast over the next week.  While they don’t look like heavy rain makers, any rain is good news at this point.

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Posted under Drought, Precipitation Totals

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on September 14, 2017

Iowa Drought Update

Since the beginning of August, it has been abnormally dry across eastern Iowa.  The latest Drought Monitor was released Thursday morning, and it shows that the drought conditions have spread a little farther to the east.

Severe to extreme drought conditions continues across southern portions of Iowa.  Fairfield only recorded 3.51″ of rainfall from June 1 to August 31, making it the driest on record for that location. Unfortunately, we aren’t anticipating any measurable rain in the next week.  Looking ahead, the Climate Prediction Center has a good chance of lower than normal rain through September 20th.

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This post was written by Kyle Kiel on September 7, 2017

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Latest Drought Monitor

The latest US Drought Monitor was released Thursday morning, and it still paints a severe to extreme drought for portions of southern Iowa.

Some good news, 51.85% of the state is not experiencing drought conditions, which is up from just 44.31% last week.

Some bad news, there is not much rain in the forecast over the next week, and even the next two weeks.

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Posted under Drought, Precipitation Totals

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on August 31, 2017

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Needed Rain

The recent rain fell in an area where drought conditions were getting worse by the day. The heavy rain fell in the southwestern half of Iowa. This is the area under a severe and extreme drought conditions. The next updated Drought Monitor will be released Thursday morning. It should probably show some improvement.

Now lets talk about eastern Iowa. We have started seeing the drought conditions move east across the state. Some of the recent rain might help a little. Despite the recent rain in eastern Iowa it is still dry when you look at the numbers for the month of August. Rainfall departures are more than two inches below normal in some locations.

The rain forecast through early next week doesn’t bring much rain to eastern Iowa. See map below.

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This post was written by Schnack on August 22, 2017