Posted under NOAA
This post was written by Schnack on January 4, 2017
In the past 7-10 days I have been asked about a major winter storm in the middle of next week. The problem with that is when all of this started it was about 10-14 days before the “storm”. Here is another way a looking at long-range snow forecasts. Any details you read about or share are most likely going to be wrong. My best advise is not to share that kind of information 10-14 days out.
This post was written by Schnack on December 2, 2016
Meteorologist are always looking for was to improve weather forecasting. An instrument called, Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer, or AERI might help. The data it gathers might improve forecast models. Click here to read more information.
Click here to see how fogbows form.
This post was written by Schnack on November 23, 2016
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).
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.
This post was written by Kyle Kiel on November 19, 2016
As of November 14, only 0.2% of US has snow. In the last 14 years it is the lowest percentage on this day.
From NOAA: The map on the left shows average snow cover from 1981 to 2010 for the second week of November. (Data: NCEI) The image on the right shows the current amount of snow cover as of November 14, 2016. (Data: National Ice Center)
Here is a look at above normal average temperatures for a good part of North America today. Take a look at the colder than normal conditions on the other side of the globe. There is some cold air, but just not nearby.
This post was written by Schnack on November 15, 2016
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.
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!
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.
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:
This post was written by Rachael Peart on November 13, 2016
Statement from Susan Buchanan, NWS Spokesperson
|Nov. 1, 2016
On the Record
With a growing population at risk, an economy that is increasingly vulnerable to weather, an aging infrastructure and a changing climate, the National Weather Service is taking steps to evolve into an even more effective agency.
As part of this process, we are considering ways to realign staff and functions to deliver weather forecasts and warnings more effectively. We are not proposing to close local forecast offices. The proposal has all forecasts and warnings continuing to be issued by the local forecast offices to their communities. The products, services, data and information that communities and businesses have come to rely upon will still be provided by the NWS, but with more accuracy and consistency.
This is not an effort to automate forecasts, or issue forecasts from Washington, D.C., or another central location. This initiative will use a national blend of weather models as an initial starting point for forecasts, to achieve national consistency and more accuracy. Our local forecasters will take the initial national forecast and contribute their local knowledge and expertise before issuing forecasts and warnings to the public. We are building a collaborative forecast process that will involve all NWS offices at all levels of the agency.
We are not proposing to reduce our workforce. Everyone who has a job today will still have a job. The ideas and proposals of this initiative were developed with and by our workforce over a two-year period, with union members on the development teams.
Before being implemented, proposed changes will go through a rigorous and transparent test and evaluation phase to ensure they maintain or increase the accuracy of our forecasts and improve the decision support services we provide to a wide range of decision-makers at the local, state and federal levels.
Background for Reporters
We are proposing to continue the transformational shift from merely producing forecasts and warnings to linking those forecasts and warnings to decision-makers who are on the front lines saving lives and property. We call this active linkage Impact-based Decision Support Services, or IDSS. Our forecasters already provide IDSS, but we’ve heard loud and clear from our core partners at the local, state and federal levels and from analysis by the National Academy of Public Administration and the National Research Council that we need to provide better quality, quantity, and consistent IDSS to achieve the goal of building a Weather-Ready Nation – one that is ready, responsive and resilient to extreme weather, water and climate events.
We will ultimately test seven ideas that were generated by our workforce to free up our forecasters’ time and break down barriers that are impeding their ability to meet the nation’s growing need for IDSS. In the coming year, our priority is to test three of these ideas, which are: use of the National Blend of Models to initialize the National Digital Forecast Database, use of autolaunchers to automate sending up weather balloons, and the GS 5-12 career progression, which would ensure aggressive hiring and training processes and give our forecasters increased flexibility to serve our core partners and general public and to provide IDSS required at the local, state and federal levels.
These proposals were developed with and by the NWS workforce via five field teams as we analyzed and refined ideas that came out of an operations and workforce analysis conducted by McKinsey and Company. These teams included representatives from the National Weather Service Employees Organization at every step. As we move forward, we will continue our efforts to evolve the NWS, we will continue the robust internal and external engagement, seeking input and collaboration from our workforce and our partners throughout the country as we develop and test, refine and finally implement changes that will make the NWS Second to None.
Susan Buchanan, acting director of public affairs, National Weather Service
email@example.com, 301-427-9000 (office); 202-834-5235 (cell)
Posted under NOAA
This post was written by Schnack on November 1, 2016
The first weekend of October is behind us, and now that the daylight hours are getting shorter and the nights are getting cooler, we are starting to see some color on the trees.
Within the next few weeks, we will see an increase in vibrant colors across eastern Iowa as the leaves on the trees continue to change color, and eventually fall. Here’s the peak fall foliage across Iowa, courtesy of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
If you have any fall photos you’d like to share with KWWL this season, feel free to send them our way.
Our friends along the eastern seaboard (and weather enthusiasts across the country) are keeping a close eye on Hurricane Matthew, which continues to slowly move through parts of the Caribbean Sea. As of Sunday evening (10/2), Matthew is a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 145 mph. The trend has been for the storm to weaken a bit, then reorganize the eye and strengthen shortly after. This is pretty typical for strong hurricanes. National Hurricane Center forecast is fore Matthew to track slowly to the north, with major affects on Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba and the Bahamas early in the week.
Each day National Weather Service offices across the country send up a “weather balloon”, which has a radiosonde attached the measures various weather parameters at different levels of the atmosphere. These are sent up twice a day; 7 AM and 7 PM; and the information gathered by these balloon launches are then put into the numerous computer forecast models. Several NWS offices near/along the east coast are sending up balloons every few hours to get a grasp on where Matthew will track, and how strong the hurricane will be. Here’s a picture of one of those launches Sunday afternoon, from the National Weather Service office in Key West, Florida.
This post was written by Kyle Kiel on October 2, 2016
Here is a look at the rainfall across Iowa and the Midwest. The highest rain total reported in Iowa was 2.4 miles SSE of Nora Springs with 17.25″ of rain.
The Climate Prediction Center, outlook for October is above normal temperatures and above normal precipitation in NW Iowa.
The latest update on Hurricane Matthew puts as a category 4 storm with winds up to 150 mph. The map below shows that it is forecast to turn north this weekend and weaken to a category 2 hurricane after it moves over Cuba.
Click here for the latest forecast track.
The leaves are starting to change. Here is a look at when the average peak colors are across Iowa. Click here for the latest update on the fall colors.
This post was written by Schnack on September 30, 2016
From the NWS:
...NOAA WEATHER RADIO WXL-94 AT WATERLOO IS OFF THE AIR... The NOAA Weather Radio transmitter WXL-94 at Waterloo Iowa is off the air due to a communications or hardware failure. Technicians have been notified but there is no estimated restore time. Additionally the Waterloo transmitter WXL-94 will be off the air due to scheduled maintenance on this Tuesday, August 30th for approximately 8 hours. This is due to a new transmitter being installed at the site. More information will be sent once the transmitter is back on-air from the current failure. The Waterloo NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts on Channel 7...or a frequency of 162.550 MHz...and services the following counties in Iowa...Black Hawk...Bremer...Buchanan...Butler...Chickasaw... Fayette...Floyd...and Grundy. Neighboring transmitters that service some of these counties include KXI-68 at Saint Ansgar broadcasting on Channel 3 or 162.450 MHz...KXI- 60 at Decorah broadcasting on Channel 6 or 162.525 MHz...WWG-86 at Prairie du Chien broadcasting on Channel 5 or 162.500 MHz...KXI-98 at Marshalltown broadcasting on Channel 5 or 162.500 MHz...and WNG- 666 at Iowa Falls broadcasting on Channel 6 or 162.525 MHz. We apologize for this interruption and will have service restored as soon as possible.
Posted under NOAA
This post was written by Schnack on August 26, 2016