A Look Back at November

We had quite the November of weather across eastern Iowa.  Here’s a look back at the stats from Waterloo, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.

ALO Monthly Review 2016

November 2016 is tied for the 2nd warmest November on record for Waterloo.

ALO Top Warmest Nov


DBQ Monthly Review 2016

November 2016 is tied for the 6th warmest November on record for Dubuque.

DBQ Top Warmest Nov

It’s also been a very warm month in Cedar Rapids & Iowa City:

CR Monthly Review 2016

IC Monthly Review 2016


Posted under Precipitation Totals, Temperatures, Weather History

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on December 1, 2016

Snowiest Day in Waterloo

On Nov. 30, 1934, 14.0″ of snow fell making it the snowiest day ever in Waterloo. Here is the weather map from that day.


Posted under Weather History, Winter Weather

This post was written by Schnack on November 30, 2016

Thanksgiving Weather Extremes

Happy Thanksgiving from the KWWL Storm Track 7 Weather Team.

As you know, we can see a variety of weather on Thanksgiving.  Here are a look at the warmest, coolest, wettest and snowiest Thanksgivings in Waterloo, Dubuque and Cedar Rapids.  (Note:  There have been multiple observation stations in Iowa City, which is why there is not an accurate history).

Thanksgiving History


Posted under Weather History

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on November 24, 2016

Edmund Fitzgerald Final Hours

The Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Lake Superior on Nov. 10, 1975.
Graphic 2 Graphic 3 Graphic 4 Graphic 5


Posted under Weather History

This post was written by Schnack on November 10, 2016

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

Hurricane Matthew Facts

As we all know, Hurricane Matthew is heading from the Bahamas to the east coast of Florida, packing winds of 140 mph.  This is a Category 4 hurricane that previously made landfall in Cuba and Haiti, causing loss of life and property.

Here are some facts and figures about the Atlantic hurricane season, pertaining to Matthew.  All of this information comes from Dr. Philip Klotzbach, a meteorologist at Colorado State University.  You can follow him by clicking on this link.

Matthew Fact 3

Only 3 hurricanes since 1950 have impacted the Bahamas with stronger winds that Matthew‘s current winds (10/6 2:30 PM) of 140 mph: Andrew, Floyd & Frances

The Atlantic has generated its most ACE on record for the last 7 days (from Sept. 30 – Oct. 6), surpassing old record set in 1893. Matthew

7 hurricanes have made FL landfall with winds >= 140 mph: FL Keys, Great Miami, Okeechobee, Labor Day, Donna, Andrew & Charley.

The Bahamas have now had Cat 4 hurricane landfalls in 2 consecutive Octobers (Joaquin & ). 0 Oct. Bahamas Cat. 4 hits from 1867-2014

14 Cat. 4-5 hurricanes hit the U.S. from 1926-1969 (44 years), while only 3 Cat. 4-5 hurricanes have hit the U.S. since (46 years)

has now been a major hurricane for 6 days – the most by an Atlantic hurricane forming after Sept. 25 in over 50 years (Flora-1963)

The most recent Category 4 hurricane to make landfall along the east coast of Florida was Hurricane King (1950). Andrew was Cat. 5

Hurricane has reintensified to a Category 4 – the closest a Cat. 4 has been to the east coast of Florida since Floyd (1999).

is the first on record to make landfall as a major hurricane in Haiti, Cuba and the Bahamas.

2 major hurricanes have hit the Bahamas the past 2 yrs (Joaquin & ). 2 most recent prior Bahamian major hurricanes were Ike & Irene.

6 hurricanes on record have made FL landfall at <940 mb MSLP: Labor Day, Andrew, FL Keys, Okeechobee, Great Miami & Donna.

(As of 10/6/2016): It has now been exactly 4000 days since the last major made U.S. landfall (Wilma-2005).

0 Cat. 4-5 hurricane landfalls on record (since 1851) have made landfall from approximately West Palm Beach north to GA/FL border.

3 Category 4-5 hurricanes have made United States landfall since 1970: Hugo-1989, Andrew-1992 and Charley-2004.

The only major hurricane on record to make October landfall along the east coast of Florida was Hurricane King (1950).

Hurricane has now been a major hurricane longer in October than any other Atlantic hurricane in over 50 years (Flora-1963).

Hurricane is the 14th Atlantic hurricane since 1950 to be a major hurricane for at least 120 consecutive hours.

No Atlantic tropical cyclone starting w/ the letter ‘M’ has made U.S. landfall as a hurricane. is 18th Atlantic TC to start w/ ‘M’

The most recent major to make landfall in Georgia was a Category 4 in 1898 – over 150 fatalities resulted.

Hurricane has produced more ACE in the first 5 days of October than all Atlantic TCs in Sept. of 2014 & Sept. of 2015 combined.

The 2016 Atlantic hurricane season has now produced the most major hurricane days in a single Atlantic season since 2010.

Hugo (1989) was the last major hurricane to make landfall in SC. It made landfall as a Cat. 4 hurricane with max winds of 140 mph.

The most recent major to make landfall in North Carolina was Fran (1996)

2016 has already generated the most Accumulated Cyclone Energy in the Atlantic in October since 2005.

The 5 most recent major to hit the Bahamas are: Frances & Jeanne (2004), Ike (2008), Irene (2011) and Joaquin (2015).

The last hurricane to make landfall in South Carolina was Gaston (2004).

Hurricane Jeanne (2004) was the last major hurricane to make landfall along the east coast of Florida.

The last hurricane to make landfall along the east coast of Florida was Katrina (2005) as a Cat. 1.

Hurricane has been a Cat. 4-5 in the Caribbean longer than all other Atlantic hurricanes from 2008-2016 combined.

Hurricane is now the longest-lived major hurricane of the 2016 Northern Hemisphere TC season (surpassing Lionrock in NW Pacific).

The 5 most recent major hurricanes to hit the Bahamas are: Frances & Jeanne (2004), Ike (2008), Irene (2011) and Joaquin (2015).



Posted under Tropics, Weather History

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on October 6, 2016

ICYMI Sep 8…Sunset/Rocket/Hurricane/Leaves/Rain

Here is a look at the rainfall in September through the 8th.

A nice Iowa sunset on Thursday. Here are few photos capturing the moment.


Click here to view the launch from Thursday.


On this day in 1900 a powerful hurricane made landfall in Texas. Back then, they have no way of knowing what was going to happen.  Because of that more than 8,000 people lost their lives.

WOW look at the map below from the Minnesota DNR
The leaves are starting to change color.


Posted under Astronomy, Fall Colors, NASA, Photo, Precipitation Totals, Tropics, Weather History

This post was written by Schnack on September 8, 2016

Hurricane Andrew Anniversary

On August 24, 1992, Hurricane Andrew made U.S. landfall for the first time in south Florida. Just two days before, it strengthened quickly into a hurricane after it nearly fell apart in the central Atlantic Ocean. By the time Andrew made it to Florida, it was a Category 4 storm with sustained winds over 130 mph. Andrew tracked through the very southern tip of Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico. It moved northwest into south central Louisiana as a Category 3 storm on August 26. Andrew then began to track northeast toward the mid-Atlantic as it began to weaken.


Ten days earlier, Andrew developed off of the western coast of Africa on August 14. It strengthened into a tropical depression on August 16 and earned the name Andrew once it became a tropical storm on August 17. For a few hours on August 23, Andrew sustained Category 5 status just prior to making landfall.


Over its lifetime, Andrew caused $26.5 billion dollars in damage  – the majority in Florida – and 23 deaths. A deadly tornado in southern Louisiana was another result of the storm. Andrew is the fourth strongest hurricane (by pressure) to make landfall in the United States.2

The storm name “Andrew” has been retired by the World Meteorological Organization.


Posted under Weather History

This post was written by Rachael Peart on August 23, 2016

Iowa State Fair Weather History

The Iowa State Fair is underway in Des Moines.  A few things have changed during the fair’s history – the location and the time of year. Official weather records have been taken in two different locations in Des Moines (near the U.S. Courthouse before 1940 and then at the airport since then).  The fair has been also been held in other parts of the state – some in eastern Iowa – before 1880.

It now spans for two weeks in mid August. Previously to 1900, the fair was held in September. As an open air event, it is quite vulnerable to weather. Over eight inches of rain fell on the 1977 State Fair, making it the wettest in history. Nearly half of that total fell on August 26th of that year. Last year’s fair is the 10th wettest with 3.08″ (2.48″ on August 18th, 2015).

State Fair History

In 1983, seven days recorded top 10 warmest temperatures. Not surprisingly, state fairs held in September were some of the coolest on record. Most recently, 2004 landed in the 7th spot for coolest fair with an average temperature of 65.3°.

Temperatures have stayed pretty steady over the past century since the fair has been held in August. Official climatology reports from 1878 have all been from Des Moines. There were no fairs held in 1898 or during World War II.


Posted under Weather History

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

Excessive Heat Watch and 100° Heat

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat watch for most of the area. Heat indices (the combination of the air temperature and the dew point) are expected to exceed 100°, and could be as high as 110°. The watch begins for some western counties on Wednesday and the rest of the area on Thursday. The entire watch will end on Saturday.

Excessive Heat Watch MW


Actual air temperatures will top out in the mid 90s, which isn’t too far off from what we’ve seen in the past couple of years. However, the National Weather Service hasn’t issued an excessive heat watch since July 2011.


Though it will feel like 100+° during the afternoon on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, air temperatures have not been that warm since 2013. The chart below shows the last time the temperature was 100° or warmer:

City Date Temperature
Waterloo 7/25/12 104°
Dubuque 8/30/13 100°
Cedar Rapids 7/25/12 101°
Iowa City 9/8/13 105°

Cooler air (with highs in the 80s) is expected to track in on Sunday.


Posted under Uncategorized, Weather History

This post was written by Rachael Peart on July 19, 2016