Mild Days Ahead, Before Winter Returns

December 16, 2017

Enjoy the mild temperatures while they last, because change is on the way as we head into the winter season.  (FYI: Meteorological winter begins Dec. 1, while astronomical winter [solstice] begins Dec. 21 at 10:28 AM this year).

Temperatures will be in the upper 30s to mid 40s across eastern Iowa through Wednesday.  It’s late Wednesday into Thursday that we see a strong trough dig into the southwestern United States. An area of low pressure develops at the base of the trough, and will begin to track northeast.

At this point in time (Saturday evening), there’s still a spread in guidance as to where the low pressure will track, which will be crucial in forecast how much rain/snow/mixture we receive, and the amounts. The Weather Prediction Center has out probabilities of seeing a quarter of an inch of snow/sleet (melted).  The greatest chance for that is across northern Iowa (click the image to make larger).

 

It will also determine how warm temperatures will get before colder air moves in behind.  We are a bit more confident in the cold air behind the system.  How cold?  That’s where confidence is lowered again.  It will all depend on the track of the storm and how much (if any) snow is on the ground.  Stay tuned for further updates.

In fact, the Climate Prediction Center has much of the center of the nation with a good chance of having below average temperatures through the end of the year.

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Posted under Climate, Temperatures, Winter Weather

This post was written by Kyle Kiel
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December 2016 vs 2017 (so far)

December 16, 2017

We are about halfway through the month of December. Maybe you remember the end of last year, maybe you don’t. There has been a significant difference in the temperatures across eastern Iowa between December 2016 and December 2017 (thus far).

Compare temperatures from the Big Four below by dragging the circle in the center to switch between 2016 and 2017:

Waterloo

 

Dubuque

 

Cedar Rapids

 

Iowa City

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Posted under Temperatures

This post was written by Rachael Peart
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Dry Conditions Across Eastern Iowa

December 14, 2017

We’ve had quite a stretch of dry weather across eastern Iowa.  October and November were generally dry months, and now that we are about halfway through December, we’ve only had a few hundredths of an inch of precipitation.  Parts of the KWWL viewing area are in the Abnormally Dry to Moderate Drought category.

The Weather Prediction Center’s 7 day precipitation forecast does not paint much moisture for Iowa.  However, we are watching the potential for rain and/or snow late next week.  It’s still too early in the forecast for details.

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Posted under Drought, Forecast Discussion

This post was written by Kyle Kiel
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Windy Wednesday

December 13, 2017

No doubt about it, Wednesday was quite the windy day across Iowa.  There were several reports of 45 to 55 mph wind gusts, with a few locations across the state reaching more than 60 mph!  The culprit? A fast moving Alberta clipper system.  These storm gain strength on the lee-side of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, Canada, and generally travels at a quick pace to the southeast.  Coming from Canada, these don’t generally carry a lot of moisture, but there are times they can produce a few inches of snow.

The position of the low was in the Great Lakes region Wednesday evening.

Here are some local top wind gusts.

And here are some from across the station.  This information comes from the National Weather Service offices in Des Moines, Davenport, and La Cross, WI.

 

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This post was written by Kyle Kiel
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Probability of a White Christmas

December 12, 2017

The question on many people’s mind these days, “Are we going to have a white Christmas.”  Well, we can tell you that some of the computer model guidance goes out to Christmas, and the data is all over the place, so it is too early to have a definite ‘yes’ or ‘no.’  The best we can do right now, is show the historical probability of a white Christmas for Iowa.  This information is coming from the NOAA and NCEI (National Center for Environmental Information).  This is data pulled from 1981-2010.

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Posted under Climate, Holiday, Stats, Winter Weather

Snow Reports Monday

December 12, 2017

Eastern Iowa saw our first significant snowfall on Monday.

Snow totals mainly fell in a range from a trace to half an inch. There were, however, some that saw up to two inches of fresh snow Monday. The greatest snow amounts fell close to the Mississippi River.

Others may have seen snow falling but it melted once it reached the ground.

Waterloo Trace
Dubuque 1.3
Cedar Rapids 0.0
Iowa City 0.0
Bellevue LD 12, IA 2.0
Center Point 0.6 NNW Trace
Central City 6.7 W Trace
Central City, IA Trace
CHARLES CITY, IA 0.1
COGGON, IA 0.1
CRESCO 1NE, IA 0.2
Decorah 4.9SE 0.9
Decorah 7.9 ENE 2.0
Dubuque 1.4 WSW 1.3
Dubuque 2 WNW 0.7
Dubuque 2 WSW 2.0
ELKADER 6SSW, IA 0.7
Ely 0.5 SE Trace
FAYETTE, IA 0.1
FULTON, IA Trace
Gilbertville 1.0 NW Trace
GUTTENBERG L & D 10, IA 1.0
IONIA 2W, IA Trace
IOWA FALLS, IA Trace
LOWDEN, IA 0.2
MANCHESTER NO. 2, IA 0.2
MAQUOKETA 4 W, IA 0.2
Monona WWTP, IA 1.2
NASHUA 2SW, IA 0.1
New Hampton 0.4 SW Trace
Oelwein 0.8 WNW Trace
OSAGE , IA Trace
Quasqueton 1.8 S Trace
Solon 0.3 ESE Trace
STRAWBERRY POINT, IA 0.4
Vinton 1 SE 0.2
VOLGA 1NE, IA 0.5
Waterloo 1.8 SSE Trace
Waucoma 3.2 S Trace

 

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Posted under Precipitation Totals, Winter Weather

This post was written by Rachael Peart
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Eastern Iowa Snow Monday

December 11, 2017

Many in eastern Iowa saw snow beginning late Monday morning.

Decorah late Monday morning

Near the Dubuque County Fair Grounds (Virginia Castillo)

Guttenberg snow Monday afternoon (Rod McLane)

The snow continued into the afternoon and mostly cleared the area before sunset Monday.

Cedar Falls (Kyle Kiel)

Graupel in Jesup (Carol Wilson)

Durango (Michele Bussan)

Lime Springs (Mike Danahue)

Totals ranged from a dusting to 1.0 inch for most. Snow totals of 1.0 inch in Dorchester and 2.0 inches in Dubuque county were also reported.

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Posted under Photo, Winter Weather

This post was written by Rachael Peart
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Looking Back: First Measurable Snowfall of Season in Last Decade

December 9, 2017

Dubuque received its first measurable snowfall of the season at the Dubuque Regional Airport last night (0.10″).  “Measurable” snow refers to any amount of snow that is above a tenth of an inch.  Most of us have seen a couple rounds of light snow that only amounted to a trace.  This tenth of an inch is the latest Dubuque has had its first measurable snow in the last 10 years.

Waterloo has not had a measurable snowfall this season.  As you can see in the graphic below, today (December 9th) is the latest the city has gone without its first measurable snow, and that will continue.  (Only a trace overnight, and flurries this morning)

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Posted under Precipitation Totals, Weather History

This post was written by Kyle Kiel
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South Texas Snow Reports

December 8, 2017

 

Here is a wider view so show you where the snow fell in the southern part of the nation.

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Posted under Winter Weather

This post was written by Schnack
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Light Snow and Windy Tonight

December 8, 2017

Light snow is forecast to move southeast across parts of eastern Iowa tonight. The timing of the snow would be after 7 or 8 pm to 3-4 am. Some locations could see around 1.0″ of snow. The wind increases tonight from the northwest at 15-25 mph. So where snow did accumulate it will be blowing around. Use caution if you travel tonight. Some roads might be slick due to the snow.

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Posted under Forecast Discussion, Winter Weather

This post was written by Schnack
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