A Wide Range in Temperatures

Last night the official low temperature at the Waterloo Airport was 4 below zero. It seemed a bit low so I checked other reporting stations in Waterloo and Cedar Falls to compare. I found most were 5-10 degrees above zero for overnight lows. So that is a 10-15 degree difference just across town. Very interesting. The images below show the locations of the temperatures compared to the airport. There is temperature plot as well as a list of weather conditions before and after the low occurred. The blue highlighted portions is when the low was reported. So if your thermometer this morning was not below zero…you are not alone.

6DMA Low Today3D




Posted under Temperatures

This post was written by Schnack on February 4, 2016

Coldest Temperature in Iowa

Story from the National Weather Service:

February 3, 1996: Extremely cold temperatures that began on January 31st persisted into early February with wind chills as low as -79 F at Mason City on the morning of the 2nd and high temperatures of -20 F recorded at Elkader and Oelwein that afternoon. Temperatures finally bottomed out on the 3rd with all-time record lows occurring across the region, including -47 F at the Osborne Conservation Center southwest of Elkader which tied the all-time Iowa low temperature record set in 1912. All-time records were broken on the morning of the 3rd at about 20 percent of the official observing sites around Iowa including Albia with a low of -31 F, Muscatine and Toledo at -34 F, Belle Plaine and Indianola at -35 F, Fayette at -40 F, and Chariton where the reading of -38 F broke their all-time record which was set just three days earlier on January 31st. Over the four days from January 31st through February 3rd the statewide average temperature was -13.5 F making it the second-coldest four day stretch on record in the state. Des Moines reported an unprecedented 132 consecutive hours below zero from January 30th into February 4th.

Posted under Records, Temperatures

This post was written by Schnack on February 3, 2016

Calculating Wind Chill

By this time, you’ve probably heard enough of the word “wind chill.”  We’ve been under a Wind Chill Warning or Wind Chill Advisory all weekend long, and that continues into the first part of Monday (1/17).

wind chill

This is the current Wind Chill Chart that was put in place by the National Weather Service in 2001.  Wind chill is the temperature at which your body feels when exposed to the cold temperatures and the wind.  There’s actually a scientific formula put in place to calculate this value.

wind chill

The numbers that appear in this formula are known as mathematical “constants” related to heat transfer theory.  The “T” is the air temperature in Fahrenheit, and the “V” is velocity, or wind speed, in miles per hour.

As you can see, the Wind Chill Chart also calculates how quickly exposed skin can get frostbite.

Ending this on a WARMER note, the Climate Prediction Center’s latest outlook for the last week of the month shows a good chance of above average temperatures.



Posted under Temperatures, Winter Weather

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

Warmest December on Record?

No doubt about it….it has been a warm December. As we get closer to the end of the month I thought I would take a look at some of the numbers for Waterloo. The chart below shows the average temperatures, for December, from 1950. On the right side of the chart there is a list of the top 10 warmest Decembers on record.


Here is a break down of the number of degrees above and below normal each day so far this December for Waterloo, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. Notice most days we were 10-20 degrees above normal for the day.


The temperature outlook through the rest of the month is above normal. So the way it looks right now, we won’t have a problem reaching the record.





Posted under Climate, Temperatures

This post was written by Schnack on December 21, 2015

Christmas High Temps

Here is a look at the high temperatures at Waterloo since 1950. The coldest and warmest high temperatures were just 1 year apart (1982 & 1983). The official record high temperature was in 1936 with 58°.

Here are a few other record high temperatures on Dec 25:
Dubuque: 58 in 1936
Cedar Rapids: 58 in 1936
Iowa City: 57 in 1936



Posted under Holiday, Temperatures

This post was written by Schnack on December 17, 2015

Record High Temps Monday

Our stretch of warmer than normal temperatures continued today with record or near record high temperatures early this morning.
Record Highs vs Actual DMA High Today3D

There will be colder weather Thursday through the weekend, but we are back into the 40s for highs next week. The trend for above normal temperatures is likely through at least December 28. The map show an 80% chance of above normal temperatures between December 22-28.


The chance of a white Christmas doesn’t look good. Right now there is a chance for some light snow on Christmas eve. Keep in mind this is way out there, but there has been some hinting at some rain changing to light snow by model guidance. I am sure this will change a few times, but as of right now that would be our only chance of a “White Christmas“.
Historically speaking, here is the probability of having 1″+ of snow on the ground Christmas morning.



Posted under Records, Temperatures

This post was written by Schnack on December 14, 2015

70s in November

Well, it is not November and it should be cold…right? I am sure at some point this month it will be, but not right now. Temperatures at noon are near 70.


The normal high temperature for this time of year is 54. Record high temperatures for today are in the upper 70s.

Waterloo 77
Dubuque 77
Cedar Rapids 77
Iowa City 77

Yes, they are all 77 and all in 1938.

The stats above are interesting, but the chart below also gives some perspective as to reaching 70 degrees or warmer in November. The chart shows the number of times the temperature reached 70 degrees or warmer for each day during the month of November.

I will use today as an example how to read the chart. Waterloo has only seen 70 or warmer 11 times on November 2 and today will be  number 12. The 11 times is about 9% of the time since records have been kept. The forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday is 70 or higher. Notice on the 4th (Wednesday) it has happened only 6 times on that day.



Here is the temperature outlook for the month of November. The Climate Prediction Center puts Iowa in a likely chance of above normal temperatures in November.


Posted under Temperatures

This post was written by Schnack on November 2, 2015

80° in October?!?!

It was almost 80 degrees today in Waterloo. The latest date to reach 80+ is November 8, 1999…it was 80°.
DMA High Today3D

The chart below (click to enlarge) shows the number of days reaching 80 degrees or warmer in the last 10 years at Waterloo. I highlighted the month of October in red.


Out of the last 10 years, 7 of them had a temperature of 80 degrees or warmer reported at least once. Notice the temperature has never reached 80 or higher in November, December, January or February during this time. I looked back as far as records go and there has never been a temperature 80 or higher in December, January or February.


Posted under Temperatures

This post was written by Schnack on October 19, 2015

90 Degree Days


It is not unusual to have some hot and humid days in September. Our recent warm and humid days will continue like this through the weekend.


There is relief in sight.




Posted under Temperatures

This post was written by Schnack on September 2, 2015

Record Cool High Temperature

A record cool high temperature of 65° was set today in Moline, IL. Previous record was 68° in 2009


Posted under Records, Temperatures

This post was written by Schnack on July 8, 2015