Coldest April on Record

April 2018 goes into the record books as the coldest on record at Waterloo. As of yesterday, the average monthly temperature at Waterloo was 37.1° . Today’s numbers will push them up a bit. Here are the 10 coldest April’s in Waterloo.

Dubuque was also the coldest on record. The chart below is for Dubuque.

Cedar Rapids is no stranger to this record cold April either. Here are the number for Cedar Rapids.

Much of the Iowa and areas to the north had temperatures below normal in April.

This map below is broken up by climate districts. All of the districts with the number 126 in them represents the coldest April in those locations. One represents the hottest and 126 is the coldest.


Posted under Climate, Temperatures

This post was written by Schnack on April 30, 2018

A Windy Start to the Week

The wind was strong all day from the south pushing high temperatures into the low-mid 80s. This is the first day in the 80s this year and the first since October last year. The wind gusts were strong in eastern Iowa, but they were even stronger in the western part of the state. The map below shows the peak wind gusts from Monday.


Posted under Windy

This post was written by Schnack on April 30, 2018

Minor Flooding Possible on Mississippi River

April has been a relatively dry month for eastern Iowa, even with the snowfall we had at the beginning of the month.  Flooding is probably not on many of your minds.

However, recent snow melt from several rounds of heavy snow up in Minnesota has been melting, and spilling in to rivers and streams, including the Mississippi River.  All of that flows downstream, and will cause the Mississippi to rise in northeast Iowa over the next week.  Flood Warnings are out for Guttenberg, down to the Quad Cities.


While the river won’t get too high above the Flood Stage, it will slowly fall below later in the week.  It all depends on the rainfall to come Tuesday through Thursday.  The current flood forecasts only take into account precipitation in the next 24 hours, and we aren’t expecting any rain.

1-2″ of rain are possible over the next week, with locally higher amounts.


Posted under Flooding

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on April 29, 2018

In the Top 10

There was a very dry atmosphere across eastern Iowa today. Where there is a very dry atmosphere, the temperature range for the day is typically large. The morning is chilly and the afternoon is warm. Cedar Rapids had a large swing in temperatures from a morning low of 33 degrees to an afternoon high of 77 degrees. The temperature warmed up 44 degrees during the day. A 44 degree temperature difference, at Cedar Rapids, puts it in a tie for 5th for largest temperature difference for one day in April.

Here is a look at the vertical profile of the atmosphere from the National Weather Service in the Quad Cities this evening. As mentioned above, when the temperature and dew point are far away from each other, the atmosphere is dry. This chart shows a lot of dry air over eastern Iowa. The red line represents the temperature and the green line is the dew point. The bottom of the chart is the ground.



Posted under Education

This post was written by Schnack on April 27, 2018

Fire seen from GOES16

There was a brush fire near Prairieburg earlier this afternoon. The GOES image shows the hot spot from the fire. The pink area in the green outline is where the fire was. Click here to get more information about the fire.

The image below shows two other fires flare up shortly after the image above.

Here is another look at the three fires using a different channel of the satellite. The image is also zoomed in with counties outline to get a better idea of the fire locations.

The map below shows another hot spot (brush fire) SW of Fairfax. The black area in the red outline is the fire. Notice the gusty northwest wind from eastern Iowa Airport in the red circle. The numbers plotted on the map at the airport represent the temperature (74) and dew point (35). The dew point is very low and that tells us the air is very dry. Elevated fire danger has been a concern all day with wind gusts of 40-45 mph and a lot of dry grass still.

In addition to the satellite the dual pol radar


Posted under Fire, GOES

This post was written by Schnack on April 27, 2018

Seasonal Snowfall

Snow may be the last thing on your mind with the warmer weather during this last full week of April. Temperatures have topped out in the 60s and 70s since last weekend.

Winter may have had its final encore for this season in eastern Iowa.

Let us take a look back. This season we have seen:

  • 45.6″ in Waterloo
  • 38.2″ in Dubuque
  • 41.6″ in Cedar Rapids
  • 26.7″ in Iowa City

Waterloo, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City will all go down as above normal snowfall years (for the 2017-2018 season). Both Waterloo and Cedar Rapids had 10″ more snow than average. Dubuque will be the only member of the Big Four to end the season below normal.

More above (and some below) normal snowfall years occurred here in eastern Iowa over the past five seasons.


  • 2016-2017: 26.2″
  • 2015-2016: 46.0″
  • 2014-2015: 29.2″
  • 2013-2014: 58.0″


  • 2016-2017: 27.2″
  • 2015-2016: 34.8″
  • 2014-2015: 33.7″
  • 2013-2014: 63.3″

Cedar Rapids

  • 2016-2017: 17.4″
  • 2015-2016: 15.1″
  • 2014-2015: 24.1″
  • 2013-2014: 42.9″

Iowa City

  • 2016-2017: 11.7″
  • 2015-2016: 12.2″
  • 2014-2015: 24.8″
  • 2013-2014: 36.1″

Thank you for all of your reports and photos during the snow season. Now we look forward to your rain reports as temperatures continue to climb moving toward summer.


Posted under Climate, Precipitation Totals, Winter Weather

This post was written by Rachael Peart on April 24, 2018

Working Together

This morning I was in Cedar Rapids at the Linn County Emergency Management Agency. The National Weather Service Quad Cities, Emergency Management Agency and local media got together, as well as local Police and Fire Departments, to work on severe weather planning for special events…mainly outdoor. The workshop was to help event planners, around Linn County, make good decisions on events when it comes to severe weather. The representatives from the communities attending were able to take away a good start to a severe weather plan.  We also went through a severe weather scenario and how each community would deal with the weather at the venue. Everyone should have a plan…even you at home. Do you have a severe weather plan in place for your work or home? Plan ahead while it is sunny out.



Linn County Emergency Management Agency

National Weather Service Quad Cities


Posted under Severe Weather

This post was written by Schnack on April 23, 2018

Chance of “Seasons”

The chart below is high and low temperatures reported in #Dubuque so far this month. Most of the month has been colder than normal.

The rest of the month is likely to be above normal.


Posted under Climate, Long Range Outlook

This post was written by Schnack on April 23, 2018

Slow Start to Severe Weather Season

The colder than normal temperatures so far this spring have not only been affecting Iowa, but much of the lower 48.  Since January 1st (as of April 21st) there have been a preliminary count of 225 tornadoes in the United States.   That may seem like a lot, but according to NOAA, the 10 year average between 2005 and 2015, through April 21st, is around 371 tornadoes.

Here in Iowa, there have been 232 tornadoes in the month of April, from 1980 through 2017.  That’s about 6 tornadoes per year, on average.  Iowa has had no tornadoes this month, and none for 2018, so far.

That means we have something in common with Oklahoma.  They have also had NO tornadoes for the month of April, AND for the entire year.  There has never been a year, since 1950, where Oklahoma has had ZERO tornadoes from January to April.  This year may change that, as the chances for severe weather for the rest of the month are pretty low.  The latest first start to the tornado season was back in April 26, 1962 (according to the Tulsa National Weather Service).  The only two years without tornadoes in April, in the state of Oklahoma, was 1987 and 1988.  Click here to view the number of tornadoes, per month, since 1950 from NWS Norman.


Posted under Severe Weather, Winter Weather

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on April 22, 2018

Soil Temperature

We all know our weather has been colder than normal this month as well as most of last month. So obviously our 4″ soil temperature is below normal as well. The chart shows the soil temperature has actually been below normal in Cedar Rapids since February. The forecast is for warmer temperatures with highs in the 50s and 60s and lows in the 30s and 40s.

The 8-14 day temperature outlook keeps temperatures near or slightly above normal through early May.


Posted under Agriculture

This post was written by Schnack on April 20, 2018