Windy Wednesday

You might have woken up this morning to a little bit of a breeze. Winds strengthened early this morning as a system tracks away from the area. Strong winds stick with us through the day. In a previous blog, we discussed the basics of what causes the wind to blow (click here for the Wind FAQ post).

In the two photos below, the thick black lines represent the isobars – lines of equal pressure. Note how many isobars there are over the state of Iowa versus Arkansas or Alabama. More isobars means stronger winds over an area. Isobars in the next two photos are plotted every 2 millibars. Click on a photo to enlarge it.

National analysis of sea level pressure and winds. 9AM CST November 15, 2017


Zoomed analysis of sea level pressure and winds. 9AM CST November 15, 2017

The graphic below shows the isobars in blue as well as the station models across Iowa. A station model plots multiple weather variables in a compact package. Winds on a station model are noted by a single line extending from each small circle. If there is no wind, there will only be a circle.

Each of the station model plots below feature the main line as well as smaller barbs extending from it. The barbs depict different wind speeds in knots (kts). Long barbs represent 10 kts and short barbs represent 5 kts. The direction of the main line shows the direction from which the wind is coming.

Isobars are the blue lines below and are plotted for every millibar.

Iowa analysis of sea level pressure and station models. 9AM CST November 15, 2017 (Iowa Mesonet)

More strong winds move in later this week.


Posted under Forecast Discussion, Windy

This post was written by Rachael Peart on November 15, 2017

Thanksgiving Week Outlook

Thanksgiving is next week and that means the cool season holidays are officially here. Many will be traveling over the next couple weeks. The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) calls for near normal temperatures from November 20-24 (Monday through Friday) for much of the Mississippi River Valley.

CPC Temperature Forecast for November 20-24, 2017

The precipitation outlook favors drier than normal conditions for most of eastern Iowa.

CPC Precipitation Forecast for November 20-24, 2017

Continue to check our weather page as the forecast is fine tuned in the coming days.


Posted under Forecast Discussion, Holiday

This post was written by Rachael Peart on November 15, 2017

Threat for Severe Weather

We could see some active weather later this week in parts of the Midwest. Parts of southeastern Iowa are included in the outlook for potential severe weather Friday and Friday night. Adjustments to this outlook area is possible in the next few days.

As the storm approaches Iowa from the west Friday, the wind will be gusty from the south warmer with highs in the low 50s. Rain is likely in eastern Iowa with the potential for severe storms to our southeast.

Friday Morning Forecast

Saturday Morning Forecast

After the storm moves into the Great Lakes area, Friday night and Saturday, it turns colder around here with a strong northwest wind. Rain Friday night will end as some light snow. Little to no accumulation is expected at this time.

Continue checking back for forecast updates.


Posted under Forecast Discussion

This post was written by Rachael Peart on November 13, 2017

Cold Weekend Nights

The Halloween weekend is looking like a chilly one for eastern Iowa. Friday begins a stretch of below normal temperatures to close the month of October.

Normal highs for late October range from the mid to upper 50s. Friday’s high temperatures only reach the upper 30s to low 40s for most of the area with strong winds. Overnight lows fall into the upper 20s to low 30s.

Saturday remains chilly along with breezy winds, with highs in the 30s and 40s again. Lows Saturday night into Sunday morning most likely tumble into the 20s for all of eastern Iowa.

The deep blue and violet colors indicate cold, arctic air. That air engulfs the country’s midsection Saturday and Sunday.

As the cold fall air tracks into eastern Iowa, expect many locations to see their first frost and/or freeze this weekend.



Posted under Forecast Discussion, Temperatures

This post was written by Rachael Peart on October 25, 2017

Near Record Highs Friday

We are ending the summer on a HOT note, with high temperatures in the 80s and 90s across eastern Iowa over the last few days.  In fact, Cedar Rapids tied the record high for September 21st at 93°, which was last reached on this date in 1920.  The Autumnal Equinox is at 3:02 PM Friday.  However, it’s going to still feel like we are in the middle of summer.  High temperatures will be very close to record for September 22nd.

There seems to be a better chance at tomorrow being the warmest start to Fall ever across eastern Iowa.  Keep in mind, each year the Autumnal Equinox may vary between September 22nd or September 23rd.

However, if you are one of those people ready for fall-like weather, we don’t have to wait too long.  The long-term trends point to cooler temperatures by the middle of next week, and at or below normal temperatures as we head into the first week of October.  This is from the Climate Prediction Center.


Posted under Forecast Discussion, Records, Temperatures

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on September 21, 2017

Dry Conditions Across Iowa

As we’ve reported over the last several weeks, we could use some rain across the state of Iowa, especially the southern portion of the state.  Here’s the latest Drought Monitor that was released Thursday morning (8/31/17).

August was an abnormally dry month, and it appears the first half of September (at least) will be dry as well.  Here is the Climate Prediction Center’s outlook for precipitation, showing a good chance for below average rainfall.

Here’s a look at the average amount of rain that should fall during the month of September for Waterloo, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.


Posted under Forecast Discussion, Precipitation Totals

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on September 3, 2017

Moderate to major flooding on local rivers

Due to the recent heavy rainfall between 2 and 10 inches across northern parts of the KWWL viewing area, local rivers are experiencing quick rises, leading to moderate to major flooding.

The Volga River at Wadena, Volga and Littleport is experiencing major flooding as of Saturday afternoon, forcing evacuations in Volga.  The Turkey River at Elkader and Garber remains at minor to moderate flood stage, and is forecast to continue to rise through Sunday afternoon.

The Wapsipinicon River near Tripoli is experiencing minor flooding (there is no forecast point for the river near Tripoli).  However, downstream in Independence, the river is expected to rise rapidly Saturday night into Sunday.  The same can be said for the Maquoketa River at Manchester.

No flooding is currently forecast on any part of the Cedar River.

Below you can see the hydrographs that are put out by National Weather Service hydrologists.  Please stay up to date with the latest information.  You can always check the latest levels by clicking this link.

Here are the latest forecasts for area rivers as of Saturday 10:00 PM. (Click the images to make them larger)

Volga River at Wadena

Volga River at Volga

Volga River at Littleport

Turkey River at Elkader

Turkey River at Garber

Wapsi River near Tripoli

Wapsi River at Independence


Wapsi River at Anamosa


Maquoketa River at Manchester


Posted under Flooding, Forecast Discussion

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on July 22, 2017

24-Hour Rain Reports

Here are some rain reports from eastern Iowa over the past 24 hours, as of 8AM Wednesday, July 12, 2017:

Waterloo 0.00
Dubuque 1.43
Cedar Rapids 0.00
Iowa City 0.03
Ainsworth 7.4 N 0.02
Amana 4.7 W 0.05
Anamosa 3SSW, IA 0.17
Bellevue LD 12, IA 0.01
Cedar Falls 0.4 WNW Trace
Central City 6.7 W Trace
Charles City 0.01
Decorah 4.9SE Trace
Dorchester 0.56
Dubuque #3, IA 1.51
Dubuque 1.4 WSW 2.61
Dubuque L&D 11, IA 2.62
Dysart 3.1 N 0.02
Eldorado 0.01
Elkader 2.20
Elkader Turkey River 0.81
Ely 0.5 SE 0.02
Fayette 0.03
Fayette-CWOP 0.01
Garber 5.39
Guttenberg Dam 5.57
GUTTENBERG L & D 10, IA 5.57
Iowa City 1.4 W 0.03
Kalona 7.3 NNW 0.02
Littleport 2.22
Marion 1.2 NE Trace
Marquette-Bloody Run Creek 0.78
Monona WWTP 0.37
Monona WWTP, IA 0.37
North Buena Vista 8.25
North Liberty 1.0 ENE 0.86
Osterdock 8.20
Parnell 0.1 SSW 0.21
Postville 0.05
Solon 0.3 ESE 0.13
Volga 0.85
VOLGA 1NE, IA 0.85
Watson 1.53
Waucoma 3.2 S Trace
Wellman 4.0 E 0.22

More showers and storms are expected Wednesday.


Posted under Forecast Discussion

This post was written by Rachael Peart on July 12, 2017

Isolated showers/storms Monday

A spotty shower is possible during the afternoon but the bulk of the rain as tracked out of the area. Highs today remain cooler than normal – in the upper 60s to low 70s. Clouds track out this evening, leaving us with clear skies. Expect another cool night, with lows falling to near 50°.

Sunshine is the name of the game tomorrow, along with warmer temperatures. Everyone sees the 70s for highs Tuesday, with some upper 70s possible to the south. We can thank a southerly wind flow for the warming trend that begins tomorrow.


Posted under Forecast Discussion

This post was written by Rachael Peart on June 26, 2017

Strong Storms Possible Wednesday and Thursday

Welcome to the first full day of summer 2017. The season and the day started very tranquil. However, with a warm front approaching from the southwest through the day, things start to change up. Showers and storms move through the state this morning and possibly again for later in the day. Some of those storms may produce strong winds and large hail.

Winds increase in strength from a southerly direction. Dew points and humidity increase through the day, as well. Highs today reach near 80° closer to the Minnesota line to the mid-80s in our southern towns. A breezy afternoon is on the way.

Overnight lows will not cool much thanks to the increased humidity – only getting into the mid to upper 60s.

Humidity continues into Thursday. With us in the wake of the warm front Thursday and the higher humidity, it will feel like summer.  That does not last very long as a cold front will sweep through eastern Iowa tomorrow. That second front brings more storm possibilities to us…and potentially some strong to severe storms.


Posted under Forecast Discussion, Severe Weather

This post was written by Rachael Peart on June 21, 2017