Temperatures, Drought Improvement and Elevated Fire Danger


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.


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.


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.


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


Posted under Drought, Fall Colors, Fire, Temperatures

This post was written by Schnack on October 19, 2017

Wet October so far and cold temperatures ahead


September was so dry and now October has been the opposite. Here are the rain totals and the amount above normal through the 17th of October.
Waterloo: 4.40″ (+3.00″)
Dubuque: 6.04″ (+4.59″)
Cedar Rapids: 3.43″ (+1.95″)
Iowa City: 3.03″ (+1.48″)

The next chance of rain will be Saturday with early indications of rain amounts around 0.50″.  The map below is the forecast for Friday evening through Sunday evening.

A cold front is forecast to push through Iowa Monday with a slight chance of showers. The bigger story is going to be the colder air and a gusty northwest wind Tuesday. High temperatures are going from the low 70s today to the mid 50s next Tuesday.



National High and Low Temperature Tuesday, October 17, 2017

101 at Palm Springs, CA
101 at Ocotillo Wells, CA

13 at Mount Washington, NH


Posted under Fall Colors, Long Range Outlook, Precipitation Totals, Temperatures

This post was written by Schnack on October 17, 2017

Sunshine Monday turns to rain Tuesday


October is known for warm days and cool nights as the days keep getting shorter and shorter. The leaves are changing from green to the beautiful mixture of reds, yellows and oranges. Hopefully no storms with a lot of wind move through the area and knock down the leaves prematurely.  Craig Wenthe sent me this photo of the changing leaves.


We had a wide range of temperatures across Iowa earlier this afternoon. It felt more like winter in northwest Iowa with temperatures in the 30s, a gusty wind, and some rain. At the same time, it was more like summer in southeast Iowa with temperatures in the low 80s.



Wind gusts today were roughly from 15-30 mph from the north. It remains breezy tonight with a north wind. The wind comes from the northeast direction Tuesday. Here are the highest wind gusts from Monday:

31 mph Waterloo
22 mph Dubuque
21 mph Cedar Rapids
17 mph Iowa City


Not too far to our north, cold weather settles in tonight and brings the growing season to an end. Frost Advisories and Freeze Warnings are in effect as temperatures drop into the 20s and low 30s. On average, eastern Iowa would have already had the first frost. The first frost is typically during the end of September and the beginning of October. So far is has not been that cold yet in most locations.



We are tracking a storm, located along the Oklahoma and Kansas state line this evening. It is forecast to track across Missouri and Illinois Tuesday. The result be clouds increasing tonight with a few light showers by sunrise Tuesday. Light showers in the morning become heavier in the afternoon and evening. Clouds, rain and a northeast wind combine to keep temperatures only in the 50s for afternoon highs. The rain will gradually taper off after midnight Tuesday night. Heavier rain amounts are expected to be across our southern counties.



The tropics have been active this year. The tropics are quiet right now. The only storm out there is way out in the Atlantic Ocean. It is Tropical Storm Ophelia. The forecast is to keep Ophelia in the open waters of the Atlantic.



National High and Low Temperature Monday, October 9, 2017
98 at Laredo, TX
1 at Bodie State Park Bridgeport, CA


Posted under Fall Colors, Sports, Temperatures, Tropics, Windy

This post was written by Schnack on October 9, 2017

90°+ in September

There have been 6 days in September with the high temp of 90°+ in Waterloo. The last time that happened was 1978.


Posted under Temperatures

This post was written by Schnack on September 27, 2017

More Hot Temperatures

Happy fall.  Don’t tell that to Mother Nature, though.  We are in store for another hot weekend with temperatures in the upper 80s to near 90°. These will be very close to record territory once again on Saturday.

After this weekend, a slow moving cold front will track through the area Monday and Tuesday, which will provide scattered rain and storms, and behind the front there will be cooler temperatures.  Here’s the Climate Prediction Center’s outlook for September 28th through October 2nd, showing a good chance at near normal to below normal temperatures.

Speaking of fall, you may be curious about the peak of the leaves changing colors.  We got an early start this year in portions of eastern Iowa due to the dry conditions.  But, normally it usually peaks around the middle of October.


Posted under Temperatures

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on September 22, 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

80 Degree Days in September

Here is a look at how many days the high temperature has reached 80+ so far this month. The chart compares the numbers to previous years during the same time.


Posted under Temperatures

This post was written by Schnack on September 13, 2017

August 2017 Weather Review

Well, August can be summed up in two words: cool and dry.

Here is the monthly climate review for Waterloo, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.


Posted under Miscellaneous, Precipitation Totals, Temperatures

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on September 1, 2017

90 Degree Days

Hot and very humid weather is expected through Saturday. Some locations will top 90 degrees a few times this week. I took a look back at how many 90 degrees we have had so far this year and compare that to previous years. At a quick glance, 2012 was hot through the middle of July.

Through July 18th, Waterloo has reached 90 or warmer nine times while Dubuque has only done it two times. Cedar Rapids came close today with a high of 89….so far this year it is eitght days. Today was another day of 90+ for Iowa City with a high of 92. That now takes the number of days of 90 or warmer to 18.





Posted under Climate, Temperatures

This post was written by Schnack on July 18, 2017

June 2017 Weather Review

June started off on a dry note, but we did play catch up by the middle of the month.  Waterloo ended up with above normal rain, while Dubuque, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City ended up with below average rain.  It was also a warmer than average June.



Posted under Miscellaneous, Precipitation Totals, Temperatures, Uncategorized

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on July 1, 2017