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 15 – “Hunter’s Supermoon”/Making Marbles/Antares Rocket

The “Hunter’s Moon” – October’s full moon – is happening tonight. The name “Hunter’s Moon” derives from the fact that this is the time of year that hunters being stocking up for the winter ahead. This will also be a supermoon and appear slightly bigger. The moon will reach is closest point to our planet Sunday evening at 7pm CDT (0000 UTC).  Unfortunately for us here in eastern Iowa, clouds and scattered rain will stop of from seeing this event.


For more information, click here.

Interested in seeing how marbles are made? For the childhood favorite, it takes quite a bit of work (and heat!) but the end result is fun for many. Click here for the video.


Orbital ATK will be launching it “Antares Rocket” Sunday evening, August 16th.  The rocket will be delivering 5,100 pounds of supplies, science research, and vehicle hardware to the crew at the International Space Station.  This is the 6th cargo resupply mission Orbital ATK has had with NASA.  The launch, of course, is weather pending.  Click here for more information on the rocket launch.


Click here for more photos of Antares.


Posted under Astronomy, Miscellaneous

This post was written by Rachael Peart on October 15, 2016

ICYMI Oct 14 – “Ides of October” Storm/ Orographic Flow/Great Barrier Reef

While we will have some breezy conditions and may see drizzle, showers and a few thundershowers through the weekend, there is a much larger storm to the northwest. A very large, strong low pressure system is tracking just off the Washington coast.

Washington state loop


The remnants of Typhoon Songda and the National Weather Service is naming it the Ides of October storm. The Pacific Northwest is expecting wind gusts over 50 mph late Saturday. Heavy rain and severe weather is also possible.


Orographic clouds are those formed by air moving over mountains or other larger changes in elevation. We don’t usually see them in Iowa.  Most clouds form as the air moves up the mountain and hits the cooler air.

orographic flow

But sometimes, they keep going up and over the top and spill down the other side. It is pretty impressive as you can see from this video from Jungfrau, Switzerland.


or click here for a timelapse from the Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has started it’s second phase of in water surveys to assess the massive bleaching occurring in the reef. In June, officials observed that 22 per cent of the coral reef had died. The latest can be found here: http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/media-room/coral-bleaching

Flooding continues in North Carolina and humans are not the only ones who need rescuing. A crew is working to save stranded dogs due to the high waters.







Posted under Clouds, Flooding, Miscellaneous

This post was written by Eileen Loan on October 14, 2016

ICYMI Oct 11-SPC/Atom/Nicole/Milky Way/Coldest

Here is a look at severe weather by the numbers, in September, by the Storm Prediction Center.



Everything is made up of atoms, but have you ever seen one?  Apparently, you can now. Check out what scientists at the University of California can show you in this YouTube video:


Nicole has become a hurricane (again) and is heading toward Bermuda.


For the latest track and information, visit the National Hurricane Center’s webpage.


Massive Cloud on Collision Course with the Milky Way


Here is a look at the coldest temps in the past few Octobers at Waterloo. So far this year the coldest temp is 34°.




Posted under Astronomy, Climate, Miscellaneous, Severe Weather, Tropics, Video

This post was written by Schnack on October 11, 2016

ICYMI – Sept 13…Rocky Road/ Magnetic Putty/ Tornado Scar/ Super Typhoon

After several weeks of heavy rainfall, with only a few breaks in between, the latest round of storms may have proved too much for a boulder near Marquette. The Iowa Department of Transportation posted these photos on their Facebook page this morning.  The road was completely closed for an hour or so as crews worked to move the huge rock. As you can see, it was almost as large as the tractor they were using to move it.   The tree took a tree with it to help block the road.

Iowa DOT Highway 76 Marquette September 13 2016 photo 1 Iowa DOT Highway 76 Marquette September 13 2016 photo 2


Meet Magnetic Putty! (Found on The Space Academy Facebook Page).


Russian meteorologists are trapped by Polar Bears!

Polar Bear

Five Russian meteorologists are 2800 miles north of Moscow… closer to Northern Canada than their countries capital.  And… they’ve run out of flares to keep the pack away.  This sounds like a movie plot, but you can read about the true story by clicking here.

Dust Devils from smoke plumes (found on Severe Weather Europe’s Facebook Page)


The photo below is a sunrise from an airplane on August 28, 2016.


Click here for another photo and more details about the two photos.


A close call for this family.

Here are the storm reports from the Storm Prediction Center. Link here.


Click on the image below for the video. 


Posted under Miscellaneous, Photo, Tropics, Video

This post was written by Schnack on September 13, 2016

Sad News

If you love weather and have ever watched the Weather Channel you know who Dave Schwartz is. He has been fighting cancer lately and this morning Dave has passed away. If you every watched Dave on TV you can tell he LOVED everything about weather. I have never had the honor of meeting him, but some people I know who have say he is the nicest guy.

Thoughts and prayers to his family and his Weather Channel family.

RIP Dave


He was always fun to watch.


Posted under Miscellaneous

This post was written by Schnack on July 30, 2016

Lonely Storms

Two storms have developed this evening in Tama and Marshall Counties. The rest of the state is dry and mostly clear.


KWWL 2015 MAX Storm ED3


Posted under Miscellaneous

This post was written by Schnack on July 6, 2016

Dust Devil in Northeast Iowa

One of our KWWL viewers, Morgan LaRue, caught a photo of a dust devil just before 2 o’clock Sunday afternoon near Chickasaw, on the Chickasaw/Bremer County border.  Here is her description of what happened:

amberdust devilYes, it does look ominous, but these tend to occur in open spaces and rarely cause any damage.  Morgan tells us that the dust devil let up as it crossed the roadways, but then picked back up again in another field.

How did this happen?  We’ve had a very warm weekend, with temperatures in the upper 70s to lower 80s.  As we know, darker surfaces absorb more heat, so as the sun shined on the bare soil, the soil heated up quicker than the surrounding environment (just above the surface).  So, the air was forced to rise and swirls of wind picked up the dirt and caused the rotating column of dust you see in the picture above.

These are different from tornadoes, as tornadoes come from a funnel clouds, and are far more violent.  While this particular dust devil caused no damage or injury and many dust devils that occur generally don’t, that hasn’t been the case with others.




Posted under Miscellaneous, Photo

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on April 17, 2016

Daylight Saving Time

It’s time to “spring forward” one hour as we head into the spring and summer months.

Daylight_Saving_Standard_Digital_ClockOfficially, Daylight Saving Time occurs at 2 AM central time on Sunday, March 3rd.  So, before you head to bed you’ll want to set those clocks ahead one hour so you aren’t late to any planned activities Sunday morning.

Daylight Saving Time is also a good time to change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon-monoxide detectors.  If you own an NOAA Weather Radio, it’s recommended you also change the batteries as we will soon be entering the severe weather season.


So how did Daylight Saving Time begin?  It was introduced to the United States in 1918 as a way to save energy during the summer months, by having more daylight in the early evening hours.  It became more uniform in 1966 under the US Uniform Time Act of 1966.  Today, Daylight Saving Time begins on the second Sunday in March at 2 AM, and currently ends (changing the clocks back one hour) on the first Sunday in November at 2 AM.

Prior to 2007, Daylight Saving Time ran a bit shorter by a few weeks.  DST was changed due to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, where Congress extended Daylight Saving Time to help conserve even more energy.  Studies have shown that the extension has helped save energy by fractions of a percent.  Click here for more information.

Side note: The official start of spring is 7 days away.  It begins March 19th at 11:31 PM.

Days Until Spring






Posted under Miscellaneous

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

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ECMWF Has Gotten an Upgrade


Weather forecasting is always improving. There are constant upgrades to model guidance. The most recent upgrade is with the ECMWF model. Click on the image to get all the details.



Posted under Miscellaneous

This post was written by Schnack on March 10, 2016