Last Day Of Winter Coming Up

Did you get a chance to see the Northern Lights last night? Here are few images to enjoy.

Click here for some other photos from around the world.

Time to say good by to winter and welcome spring with open arms. The transition will occur quietly with no pomp and circumstance.  The official start to
Astronomical Spring is at 5:45 PM CDT. Temperatures Friday will be a little warmer as we approach 60 degrees in some locations and we will have more sunshine.

With winter ending tomorrow here are your snow totals:
Waterloo: 28.7″
Dubuque: 31.1″
Cedar Rapids: 24.1″
Iowa City: 24.8″

It has been a dry month so far. Here are the rain totals so far vs. normal to this date:
Waterloo 0.06″ (normal 1.06″)
Dubuque 0.21″ (normal 1.25″)
Cedar Rapids 0.05″ (normal 1.14″)
Iowa City 0.18″ (normal 1.32″)

Not much rain is in the forecast through Monday evening. There is a chance for a little moisture Sunday evening into early Monday morning. There is a little better chance of some more rain Tuesday and Wednesday as a storm tracks east across Iowa. We are still 6 and 7 days out, and things can change, but this is how it looks right now.

As our crew was on the way to Seattle, to cover the NCAA basketball tournament, they took this photo from the plane flying over the snow covered mountains.
Mar 18 Mtns


Posted under Forecast Discussion

This post was written by Schnack on March 18, 2015

Snow is Likely Wednesday

Low pressure over Montana this afternoon is forecast to track southeast and bring snow to Iowa Wednesday and Wednesday night.



A Winter Storm Warning and Winter Weather Advisory is posted for central and eastern Iowa Wednesday and Wednesday night.


Snow will spread southeast Wednesday morning.

Snow 9 AM

Snow will continue through the day and evening before tapering off after midnight.

Snow 6 PM

The wind looks to be relatively light, with a 5-15 mph wind from the north. It will be cold with highs in the teens Wednesday and single digits Thursday.

Snow accumulations: northeast of a line from Waterloo to Cedar Rapids 1-3” and areas southwest of this line 3-6”.

We will have a few days of dry weather, then another chance of snow Saturday night into Sunday.


Posted under Forecast Discussion

This post was written by Schnack on February 24, 2015

Who Is Ready For Snow?

Forecast Bar

Tonight: Partly cloudy. Low: 12-17. Wind: NW 5 mph.

Friday: Partly cloudy. High: 28-34. Wind: S 5-10 mph.

Friday Night: Increasing clouds. Low: 18-22. Wind: SE 5-10 mph.

Saturday: Cloudy with an 80% chance of snow. High: near 30.

Sunday: Snow ends early AM then partly cloudy, windy (NW 15-30 mph) and cold. High: (teens before sunrise)…most of the day temperatures will be near 5 degrees. Wind chill: 10-20 below zero with blowing snow.

Monday: Partly cloudy with a 10% chance of light snow late PM. High: single digits.

Tuesday: Mostly cloudy and windy (N 15-25 mph) with a 30% chance of light snow AM. High: near 10.

Wednesday: Mostly sunny. High: single digits.

Thursday: Partly cloudy. High: teens.

Weather Extra Bar

Ready or not we are going to have more snow fall this weekend than we did during the entire month of December. That is not going to be hard. Most locations saw less than 1” of snow in December.

Our weather is going to be dry through Friday night. Low pressure over the southwest part of the nation is forecast to track northeast.

Jan 1 500 Mb Map

The low is forecast to track through Missouri Saturday and head toward Michigan by Sunday morning. Northwest of this track will be the heavier snow. This track puts that heavier snow band across eastern Iowa. This heavier band could receive more than 4” of snow (southeast of a line from Waterloo to Prairie du Chien).

Blog Graphic 1

Any deviation in the actual track compared to the forecast track will adjust the position of the heavier snow band. So keep updated on the forecast for any adjustments.

Here is potential liquid in the storm to be used for snow.

Jan 1 QPF

The snow is forecast to develop mid morning Saturday and taper off early Sunday morning, with the heaviest of snow falling Saturday night. The wind will be light through Saturday evening. Around 10 pm Saturday the wind will increase from the northwest as the surface low crosses the Mississippi River. At this point the wind gusts will be near 35 mph causing blowing snow with reduced visibility and making travel hazardous. The wind diminishes Sunday evening, after 6 PM.

Jan 1 Wind

In addition to the wind and snow it is going to be COLD. Sunday high temperatures will occur shortly after midnight and then drop into the single digits as the sun comes up. Temperatures remain in the single digits throughout Sunday. Combine the wind and cold Sunday and you get wind chills in the teens and 20s below zeronext week will be mainly in the single digits and possible low teens. While at night the temperatures will drop below zero.

Blog Graphic 2

There is another chance for light snow as a quick moving low moves across the state Monday night. Too early on snow amounts, but with it being so cold any amount of moisture will bring some accumulation. Once that low moves east the wind again kicks out of the northwest causing blowing snow and dangerous wind chills Tuesday.


Posted under Forecast Discussion, Winter Weather

This post was written by Schnack on January 1, 2015

More Light Snow on the Way

Tonight: Increasing clouds with a 30% chance of light snow late. Low: 17-21. Wind: S 5-10 mph.

Wednesday: Cloudy with a 70% chance of light snow (trace-2” w/isolated 3” amounts west of Waterloo). High: 30-33. Wind: NE 10-15 mph.

Wednesday Night: Mostly cloudy with a few flurries. Low: 10-14. Wind: NW 10-15 mph.

Thanksgiving Day: Partly cloudy and cold. High: near 20.

Friday: Partly cloudy. High: low-mid 30s.

Saturday: Partly cloudy. High: upper 30s.

Sunday: Partly cloudy and cold. High: upper 20s.

Monday: Partly cloudy and cold. High: upper 20s.

Tuesday: Partly cloudy. High: near 40.

Blog Graphic 3 Blog Graphic 1

Clouds increase tonight as a weak area of low pressure tracks southeast across western Iowa. Light snow is possible late tonight (after midnight). Light snow chances continue through the day with light accumulation (trace-2” w/isolated 3” amounts west of Waterloo). Light snow will make the roads slick so use caution when traveling Wednesday. The wind Wednesday will be from the NE at 10-15 mph.

Thanksgiving will be cold, but at least dry.

Friday morning temperatures will start in the teens and remain dry as many head out early to go shopping.


Posted under Forecast Discussion

This post was written by Schnack on November 25, 2014

Snow Likely Saturday

Forecast Bar


Tonight: Increasing clouds and cold. Low: 10-12. Wind: W 5-10

Saturday: Cloudy with a 100% chance of light snow beginning around noon. High: 27-31. Wind: SW 5-10 mph.

Saturday Night: Cloudy with a 100% chance of light snow. Snow ends by sunrise Sunday. Snow totals: 1-3” with isolated 4”. Low: 16-21. Wind: W 5-10 mph

Sunday: Mostly cloudy. High: mid 20s.

Monday: Mostly cloudy and windy (NW 15-25 mph). High: near 20.

Tuesday: Mostly cloudy and windy (NW 15-25 mph). High: near 20.

Wednesday: Partly cloudy. High: upper 20s.

Thursday: Mostly cloudy. High: near 30.

Friday: Mostly cloudy. High: near 30.

Weather Extra Bar

The sky will remain clear this evening with clouds increasing after midnight.

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY is in effect for Saturday afternoon and Saturday night for just about all of eastern Iowa.

Blog Graphic 1


This is all part of a much larger area under a Winter Weather Advisory.



Snow moves into eastern Iowa around midday Saturday. Here is the RPM model showing snow moving east at 1 PM Saturday.

Nov 14 WSI Snow

Light snow continues through Saturday night before ending around sunrise Sunday morning.

Blog Graphic 2

Snow totals across eastern Iowa range from 1-3” with isolated 4” amounts possible.

Blog Graphic 3

Once the snow moves through the next weather concern is the coldest air of the season Monday and Tuesday. On top of that it is going to be windy during this time as well. Tuesday morning wind chills could be in the teens below zero. The map below shows the cold air moving south from Canada.

Nov 14 Mon Cold


Posted under Forecast Discussion

This post was written by Schnack on November 14, 2014

First Snow Area Wide

Clouds will slowly clear tonight with temperatures in some locations dropping into the single digits by morning — and one to two inches of snow is expected on Saturday.

Sunshine returns Friday, but it doesn’t help warm the temperatures up. Afternoon highs only reach the 20s again.

Clouds increase late Friday night.

Light snow develops around midday Saturday, and continues through the afternoon and night before ending around sunrise Sunday.

Snow accumulations area wide will be 1-2″ with an isolated 3″ reports possible.

This would be our first accumulating snow for all of eastern Iowa. The wind will be light with this snow, so blowing snow will not be a concern.



Posted under Forecast Discussion

This post was written by Schnack on November 13, 2014

Snow Still in the Forecast

The KWWL viewing area has it’s first good chance at some widespread snow next week, followed by VERY cold air streaming in.

The winds will stay breezy this afternoon but will slowly die down as the low pressure system tracks away from us.   Sunday will see warmer temps in advance of a big push of arctic air for next week.  Monday, a strong system will track into the region and we will see a rain/snow mix develop with a transition to light snow into Monday night.  It appears the heaviest snow will fall in Minnesota. There is some uncertainty as to where the snow will accumulate and how much.  There are many variables in play as to how much snow we will end up getting…. the ground temperature is still above freezing, so much of the snow at the beginning of the system will melt. The exact track of the system… if the center of the low moves only 30 miles, it will mean a difference of you getting a couple of inches of snow or only a flurry or light dusting.  The main story will be the Arctic airmass that will be sliding into the region for Veterans Day through the rest of the week. Highs will only be around 30 for those days and lows will dip into the teens.

This is what the National Weather Service in Des Moines is thinking in terms of snowfall, but, once again, this may change depending on where the system goes and how fast it is moving.

DMX Graphic Forecast

Stay tuned for later updates.


Posted under Forecast Discussion

This post was written by Schnack on November 8, 2014

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

Lunar Eclipse Conditions

Forecast Bar

UPDATED at 4:30 PM

Tonight: Mostly clear. Low: 38-40. Wind: NW 5-10 mph.

Wednesday: AM: Mostly sunny. PM: Partly cloudy. High: 60-67. Wind: NW 5-10 mph.

Wednesday Night: Mostly cloudy. Low: 40-46. Wind: N 5 mph.

Thursday: Mostly cloudy with a 20% chance of showers. High: upper 50s.

Friday: Partly cloudy. High: upper 50s.

Saturday: Mostly sunny. High: upper 50s

Sunday: Partly cloudy with a 20% chance of showers. High: near 60.

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

Tuesday: Mostly cloudy. High: near 60.

Weather Extra Bar

A couple of interesting things will be seen in the sky before the sun comes up Wednesday morning. First we need the sky clear. Here is the visible satellite image from this afternoon. The clouds over Iowa and to the northwest will dissipate as the sun sets this evening. A clear sky tonight is likely.

Oct 7 Vis Sat

The first thing we will see this evening is the International Space Station (ISS)

Oct 7 ISS

The next thing in the sky to see will be the Total Lunar Eclipse. This is the second of four consecutive lunar eclipses and when that happens it is called a Tetrad.  Look in the western sky as the moon is setting to see the eclipse. Here are the times to view it Wednesday morning.

Oct 7 Eclipse Times

Here is what a total lunar eclipse looks like from the past. The reddish color gives it the name of “Blood Moon”. It is also called the Harvest Moon. The Harvest Moon is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox.

Oct 7 Eclipse Image

Wednesday is going to be a nice fall day. Clouds will increase Wednesday night with a mostly cloudy sky through Thursday. There is a slight chance of a light rain shower or sprinkles Thursday, but the best chance of rain will fall across Missouri.  Here is the possible rain from Tuesday evening through Thursday evening.

Oct 7 QPF


Posted under Astronomy, Forecast Discussion

This post was written by Schnack on October 7, 2014

Heavy Rain Then Windy and Colder

Forecast Bar

UPDATED at 4:30 PM

Tonight: Cloudy with showers/storms likely. Mainly heavy rain, but isolated severe storms (damaging wind) are possible. Low: 64-67. Wind: S 10-20 mph.

Wednesday: Storms will end early in the morning with clouds remaining through the day. Temperatures will slowly fall in the afternoon (upper 60s to low 60s). Wind: NW 15-30 mph.

Wednesday Night: Cloudy, cool and windy. Low: 44-47. Wind: NW 10-20 mph.

Thursday: Cloudy, cool and windy (NW 10-20 mph). High: near 60.

Friday: Mostly cloudy with a 30% chance of showers. High: mid 50s.

Saturday: Partly cloudy. High: near 60.

Sunday: Partly cloudy. High: mid 60s.

Monday: Mostly sunny. High: upper 60s.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny. High: near 70.

Weather Extra Bar

Showers and storms are spreading northeast across Iowa this afternoon.

Sep 9 Radar

There is still a slight risk of severe storms this evening, but the chance is relatively low. The primary threat would be damaging wind. Most storms this afternoon have not been severe. I don’t anticipate many severe storms if any this evening. There is a Tornado Watch in effect for southwest Iowa through this evening. Those storms will be heavy rain producers for eastern Iowa later tonight.

Sep 9 Svr Wx Outlook

The low, currently over western Kansas, will track northeast across Iowa tonight with showers/storms. There is a FLASH FLOOD WATCH in effect tonight across a large portion of the Midwest including most of Iowa.


Rain amounts tonight will range from 1-3” in most locations and isolated higher amounts are possible.

Sep 9 QPF

The storms will end early Wednesday morning as the wind begins to increase from the northwest. Wind gusts will be in excess of 30 mph at times during the afternoon. High temperatures for the day will be in mainly in the upper 60s during the morning and then slowly fall towards the upper 50s by evening.

Clouds will linger through Thursday with a gusty NW wind. High temperatures will feel more like October Thursday through Saturday…mid 50s to low 60s.

The next chance of rain will be Friday with afternoon highs in the mid 50s. Rain amounts are forecast to be light.

Saturday morning is going to be cold. Temperatures are forecast to reach the upper 30s. There is a chance of patchy frost, but that will depend on how fast the clouds clear Friday night and if the wind diminishes fast enough. We will have a better handle on that Friday afternoon.

The weekend is going to be dry with sunshine, light wind and temperatures in the low-mid 60s…cooler than the normal highs in the upper 70s for this time of year.


Posted under Forecast Discussion

This post was written by Schnack on September 9, 2014