Weather’s effect on Foliage

It is that time of the year again. Temperatures are cooler. Days are shorter. It is also a little more colorful, as well.

This year, leaves across eastern Iowa peaked a little later than normal.

There are many reasons why this happened. It all boils down to one major factor: the weather. Our weather patterns in September and October influence just how bright the colors of the trees get…and when they reach their peak for viewing.

In a period of drought, leaves may fall before developing any color. Strong winds (from tropical storms, thunderstorms or a potent front) may also leave the trees to the same fate.

Above normal temperatures postpone the fall color and subsequently the leaves falling. Each season’s foliage is different due to the combination of dry and wet days leading up to the time of peak color.

With cooler temperatures, expect more color and then more leaves to rake across the area.

For more information, click here.

To find the latest fall color report, click here.



Posted under Drought, Fall Colors, Photo

This post was written by Rachael Peart on October 23, 2017

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

Warm Weather…For Now

It was another warm fall day with high temperatures in the 70s. Normal highs this time of year are near 60.  We have a few more days with high temperatures in the 70s and then it turns cooler next week.

Here is a list of how many days Waterloo had a high temperature of 70 degrees or warmer from Oct 1-17 in the last 10 years.



We will be ahead of a cold front Friday and Saturday. A gusty south wind pushes high temperatures in the 70s again. The front if forecast to cross the state Saturday and bring with it a chance of showers/storms. The storm chances ends Saturday night once the front moves east of Iowa. Rain amounts forecast are 0.50″ to 1.00″. Amounts near 1″ will be with any storms, if they develop.  The map below shows the forecast position of the cold front Saturday morning.


The weather is quiet in tropics and nothing is forecast to develop in a couple of days.




National High and Low Temperature Wednesday, October 18, 2017

102 at Ocotillo Wells, CA

14 at Bodie State Park, CA
14 at Lake George, CO


Posted under Fall Colors, Photo, Tropics

This post was written by Schnack on October 18, 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

Fall and Sunset Photos

Several KWWL viewers sent us pictures of fall and/or the sunset from this weekend.  If you ever have a photo to share, feel free to do so on our KWWL or KWWL Storm Track 7 Facebook pages, or email us at

Jared Steven – Lansing


April Martin – Hazleton


Betsy Stahl – Lansing


Brandon Walker – Hudson


Darwin Johnson – near Postville


Dawn Blaser-Rise — Dubuque


Jessica Kruth


Jessica Ricchio – Oelwein Lake


Pat Graetz Erickson – Galena, IL


Debra and Rick Heins -Postville and Tri-City Golf Course in Luana


Sheila Rae- Decorah


Sheila Rae – Waukon


Stephanie Kleiner – McGregor


David Quiram – Parnell


Posted under Fall Colors, Photo

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on October 15, 2017

Heavy Rain Possible Saturday


After most of the day with a cloudy sky, our western counties saw some sunshine before it set this evening. Here is a look at the sun as it was setting in Cedar Falls. The sky is clear in the western counties of the KWWL viewing area, but most locations are still cloudy. We stay dry tonight under a partly to mostly cloudy sky.



The latest Drought Monitor was released this morning. Due to rain in the last week the conditions are improving. We still need some rain across parts of southern Iowa. The forecast does include southern Iowa with rain and in some locations 2″ are possible. Light rain is forecast Friday afternoon and night. The heavier rain is likely Saturday with thunderstorms. The rain comes to an end Saturday night with sunshine returning Sunday. It will also be much cooler and with a gusty northwest wind at times to 30+ mph.

The map below shows the risk for flash flooding Saturday.

Rain from last Tuesday was not included in Drought Monitor update below. The map is analyzed from rain reports as of 7 AM on Tuesday and then released Thursday morning, every week.

Storms are in the forecast Saturday. There is a slight risk for severe storms from southern Iowa southwest toward Wichita, Kansas. The primary threat would be large hail and high winds during the mid to late afternoon. Any severe storms in eastern Iowa would south and west of Cedar Rapids.




The latest 8-14 day temperature outlook has Iowa with a likely chance of above normal temperatures from Oct 20-26. That takes us to about the end of the month and no cold air.



Ophelia is the 10th hurricane in the Atlantic season…so far.



The Department of the Interior posted this photo, on Twitter, of Mount Moran in the Grand Teton National Park.

National High and Low Temperature Thursday, October 12, 2017

94 at Needles, CA
94 at Augusta, GA

9 at Lakeview, OR


Posted under Drought, Fall Colors, Tropics

This post was written by Schnack on October 12, 2017

Rain numbers and more rain ahead


Throughout the month of September we didn’t get much rain at all in eastern Iowa. Many locations only received less than 1″ of rain during the entire month. Here are the September rain totals:

0.79″ Waterloo
1.02″ Dubuque
0.97″ Cedar Rapids
0.49″ Iowa City

The month of October has been completely different and it is only the 10th. We have had triple the amount of rain in 10 days than we did all of last month. Here are the October rain totals through late this afternoon:

3.25″ Waterloo
3.05″ Dubuque
2.47″ Cedar Rapids
1.61″ Iowa City

The rain should help the drought conditions parts of Iowa. Here is the Drought Monitor released last Thursday morning. The next update will be Thursday morning.



The map below shows the rain estimates by the radar Tuesday.

Here is a list of some rain totals through Tuesday evening:

0.69″ Waterloo
1.46″ Dubuque
1.28″ Cedar Rapids
1.11″ Iowa City


1.82″ Cascade
1.76″ Urbana
1.70″ Swisher
1.66″ Winthrop
1.56″ Monticello
1.40″ Lisbon
1.35″ North Liberty
1.34′ Toledo
1.32″ Hazleton
1.29″ Mt. Vernon
1.28″ Atkins
1.26″ Hiawatha
1.26″ Dyersville
1.23″ Edgewood
1.20″ Lamont
1.20″ Center Point
1.19″ Manchester
1.18″ Farley
1.14″ West Branch
1.11″ Marion
1.09″ Monona
1.00″ Belle Plaine
0.90″ Decorah
0.87″ Postville
0.84″ Aurora
0.83″ Vinton
0.82″ Elkader
0.76″ Reinbeck
0.64″ Waukon
0.64″ Williamsburg
0.62″ Parnell
0.58″ Cedar Falls
0.55″ Denver
0.51″ Guttenberg
0.50″ Lowden
0.47″ Waverly



The rain tapers off late tonight and early Wednesday morning across eastern Iowa. We might have some mist or drizzle Thursday morning with areas of fog. A few light showers are possible Friday afternoon. Saturday appears to be another soggy, breezy and cool day. Here is the potential rain for Saturday. Some locations could exceed 2″ in parts of eastern Iowa.


One of the best places to be in the fall to see fall colors is New England. When I went to college in Vermont it was always so beautiful everywhere you looked this time of year. Take a look at this photo taken in New Hampshire (just east of Vermont).

The above photo was posted on

National High and Low Temperature Tuesday, October 10, 2017

95 at Bainbridge, FL
95 at Marianna, FL

-2 at Laramie, WY


Posted under Drought, Fall Colors, Precipitation Totals

This post was written by Schnack on October 10, 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

ICYMI Nov 6… Italy Tornado/Earthquake/Fall Color

A tornado touched down near Rome Italy on Sunday, killing two people and injuring dozens more.  The tornado touched down near the city of Ladispoli, just north of Rome.  There was also major flooding reported in other parts of the country, including in Florence.  Read more here.


A magnitude 5.0 earthquake occurred in central Oklahoma near the city of Cushing Sunday evening at 7:44 PM.  The earthquake was initially reported as a 5.3, before the USGS downgraded to a 5.0.  The Cushing Police Department has reported “quite a bit of damage” following the quake, however there has been no reports of any injuries as of Sunday evening.

KWWL 2015 MAX Storm ED

As we get later and later in the fall season, we are seeing less and less trees with leaves across Iowa.  Here are a couple photos sent in by viewers this weekend.  If you even have a photo you’d like to share, you can post them on our KWWL Storm Track 7 Facebook and Twitter pages, or e-mail as at

Viewer Photo Basica 3

Viewer Photo Basic 3



Posted under Earthquake, Fall Colors, Miscellaneous, Photo, Severe Weather

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

ICYMI Oct 10- Matthew/Fall Colors

It is that time of year when the leaves are changing quickly and becoming peak colors. The image below shows the area changing colors blending together to make a rust like color.



The map below shows the path Hurricane Matthew took across the Caribbean and along the coast of the US.

Not only did Matthew bring strong wind, it brought heavy rain to a wide area. The historic flooding rain extended far inland from the coast.


Here is a look at all of the tropical cyclones in the Atlantic so far this season.



There has never been a hurricane to make landfall, in October, along the east coast of Florida north of Miami.


Posted under Fall Colors, Precipitation Totals, Tropics

This post was written by Schnack on October 10, 2016