The Fire Continues to Burn

The fire, north of Los Angeles, continues to burn with very little containment. Here is a look at the smoke viewed from the International Space Station. Notice how close it is to the city of Los Angeles.

The smoke is forecast to move over the Pacific and then north along the coast of California and Oregon.


Posted under Fire

This post was written by Schnack on December 7, 2017

Southern California Fire

There is a large fire in southern California, just north of Los Angeles. The satellite shows the smoke produced by the fire being pushed west by the Santa Ana Winds.


Posted under Fire

This post was written by Schnack on December 6, 2017

Still Smoking in California

The satellite image shows the smoke from wildfires still burning in northern California this afternoon.

Click here to see the loop.


Posted under Fire

This post was written by Schnack on November 1, 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


There is a lot of smoke from several wildfires across parts of the US and Canada.

The first image shows a few fires across Idaho and western Montana.

More widespread fires are in southwest Canada.

The winds in the upper levels of the atmosphere are moving from west to east so the smoke extends east of the actual fire.


Posted under Fire

This post was written by Schnack on July 31, 2017

Elevated Fire Danger Monday

Enjoy the sunshine you see today because there won’t be too much for the rest of the week. A cold front from the west will increase our clouds today.  We’ll stay dry Monday with mild temperatures. Highs: 69-75. Mostly cloudy skies over night keep us slightly warmer than the past couple of nights. Lows: 48-51.

Rain begins tomorrow after noon. As the front tracks through, isolated storms are possible. Severe weather risk for the first half of the week is slim to none. Rain chances continue into Wednesday morning. Midweek will be cool behind the front. Highs Wednesday and Thursday only reach the mid-50s – 15-20° below highs today. The better of the two days comes Thursday with dry conditions expected.


Posted under Fire, Forecast Discussion, Windy

This post was written by Rachael Peart on April 24, 2017

Burning Discouraged Tuesday

A WIND ADVISORY is in effect until 6pm this evening for Winneshiek, Allamakee, Chickasaw, Fayette, and Clayton counties. Winds could gust up to 50 mph today, which could cause some minor damages.

A RED FLAG WARNING is in effect until 6pm this evening for those counties along and south of highway 20. Wind gusts up to 45 mph are possible and coupling strong winds with low moisture content in the air increases the risk for any fires to spread quickly. Avoid outdoor burning today.

For the most part, things stay quiet today. Strong west winds continue today and Wednesday, as well. Temperatures will be slightly cooler (but still above normal) in the low to mid 50s. Mostly sunny skies both today and tomorrow make for a pair of beautiful looking, but windy, days. Highs Wednesday will be even cooler than today – warming into the mid-40s to low 50s.

Winds calm but clouds increase by Thursday. We are tracking several chances for wintry weather this weekend.


Posted under Fire, Forecast Discussion, Windy

This post was written by Rachael Peart on March 7, 2017

Elevated Fire Danger Tuesday

Strong winds Tuesday with dry grass increases the risk for fire danger.


Posted under Fire

This post was written by Rachael Peart on March 6, 2017

Avoid Outdoor Burning


Posted under Fire

This post was written by Schnack on February 17, 2017

Smoke from Canada and Minnesota Wildfires

As you woke up early Saturday morning, many of you probably saw reduced visibility and smelled smoke.  This was due to smoke moving downstream from the Fort McMurray wildfire, and a wildfire in northern Minnesota.  Below are a few pictures around 7 AM from Storm Track 7 Live Weather Network and a viewer.

cf smoke decorah smoke

Waterloo (KWWL viewer, Patty Beiner)

Waterloo (KWWL viewer, Patty Beiner)

Below is an impressive satellite view from NASA (via MODIS Today).  You can easily see the difference between the clouds and smoke.

smoke from canada

The thicker smoke will track to the south, but it may still be a bit hazy with smoke flowing aloft as we head into Sunday.


Posted under Fire

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on May 7, 2016