Halfway through (Meteorological) Summer

The third week of July marks the halfway point of meteorological summer. Meteorological summer is comprised of the three warmest months of the year, on average – June, July and August – in the Northern Hemisphere. This week also means that we’ve passed the warmest day of the year (on average, according to NOAA) for most of the state.

As far as the overall weather pattern, it has not been overly active in eastern Iowa this far. Most days recorded little to no rain in the big four:



Cedar Rapids:

Iowa City:

There were a few of heavy rain dates during the month of June. In fact, Waterloo set three rainfall records in June on the 9th, 18th and 30th. Cedar Rapids set a new rainfall record on the 21st of June by more than 0.5″.

A few heat waves plagued eastern Iowa since June 1st. If it wasn’t a technical heat wave, it felt like one when considering the humidity levels. Average high and low temperatures will start to go down by later this week. It looks like cooler than average air is on the way as we begin to round out the month of July.

CPC temperature outlook July 24-28, 2018


Posted under Climate, NOAA

This post was written by Rachael Peart on July 18, 2018

EF-1 Tornado in Winthrop Saturday Evening


Brief tornado occurred Saturday evening in Buchanan
County Iowa.

Winthrop TORNADO...

RATING:                 EF-1
FATALITIES:             0
INJURIES:               0

START DATE:             June 09 2018  
START TIME:             9:36 PM CDT 
START LOCATION:         6.0 SE Winthrop / Buchanan / Iowa 
START LAT/LON:          42.4419 / -91.6231

END DATE:               June 09 2018 
END TIME:               9:37 PM CDT 
END LOCATION:           6.0 SE Winthrop / Buchanan / Iowa 
END LAT/LON:            42.4430 / -91.6219  

An EF-1 tornado touched down southeast of Winthrop, IA. A house
was damaged. Garage door failed and roof came off in the wind. 
Some tree damage was also noted in the area. 


EF0...WEAK......65 TO 85 MPH
EF1...WEAK......86 TO 110 MPH
EF2...STRONG....111 TO 135 MPH
EF3...STRONG....136 TO 165 MPH
EF4...VIOLENT...166 TO 200 MPH
EF5...VIOLENT...>200 MPH

Posted under NOAA, Severe Weather

This post was written by Schnack on June 11, 2018

June Outlook

May has been a warm month across the area. The rain amounts vary widely.

Town: May total (departure from normal)
Waterloo 3.02″ (-1.51″)
Dubuque 5.45″ (+1.26″)
Cedar Rapids 4.55″ (+0.40″)
Iowa City 3.77″ (-0.44″)
Decorah 8.23″ (NA)

The map below shows the amount of rain departure from normal for May.

It looks like our temperatures are likely more above normal through a good part of the month. There is nothing that indicates either above or below normal precipitation for June.


Posted under Long Range Outlook, NOAA

This post was written by Schnack on May 31, 2018

National Highs and Lows

Most nights I post the national high and low temperature. Here is a look at where all of the highs are lows were through April.

Here is the breakdown per month where they national highs and lows were.


Posted under NOAA

This post was written by Schnack on May 14, 2018

Thursday: Family Preparedness

Today’s topic is FAMILY PREPAREDNESS. Nobody knows when a disaster will happen to you. Don’t have the …it won’t happen to me…attitude. If you are prepared the disaster will be easier to handle. You need to have a plan for you and your family. It is best to make a plan now and know what to do when severe approaches and what to do after the storm. HAVE A PLAN. These four steps can help you.

Step 1: Answer these questions…

1) How are we going to receive watches and warnings? (Check back to the Tuesday topic to help you with that information.)

2) Where will I take shelter?

3) Evacuation route?

4) What is the communication plan?

Step 2: What are the needs for each member of your house? Don’t forget your pets needs.

Step 3: Write out the plan on paper. This link will help you.

Step 4: Practice…go through the motions on what you will do and here you will go. Practice the plan.

This link has more details on the above steps.


Click on the image below to get a printable list of items you should have before a disaster occurs.

The three videos below are what you should do before, during and after a tornado in your area.



Posted under Education, NOAA, Severe Weather, Video

This post was written by Schnack on March 29, 2018

Increased Warning Times

We are always striving to inform you about severe weather before it hits your location. Right now the lead time for tornado warnings is about 13 minutes. Researchers are working on trying to increase time while decrease the false alarms. Check out the video below from the National Severe Storms Laboratory.


Posted under NOAA, Severe Weather

This post was written by Schnack on March 28, 2018

Outlook for Spring 2018


Posted under Long Range Outlook, NOAA

This post was written by Schnack on March 15, 2018

GOES-S Set to launch this week

The second in a series of upgraded satellites is set to launch this week. The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (or GOES-S) has a launch date of March 1, 2018.

GOES-S will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Once in orbit, it will be known as GOES-17 / GOES West. Click the image below for animation

It will work with GOES East (also known as GOES-16 and formally known as GOES-R) to provide satellite and other weather information for the United States. This will be especially useful to keep an eye on the different types of weather the western portions of the country experience. We will be able to see storms in the eastern Pacific Ocean better that could cause catastrophic damage in higher quality.

For more information on GOES-S and the satellite series, click here and click here.
Follow NASA’s blog on the GOES satellites by clicking here.


Posted under GOES, NASA, NOAA

This post was written by Rachael Peart on February 28, 2018

GOES-16 Satellite to Move into Place

It has been just over a year since the GOES-R satellite launched near the end of last year. On November 19, 2016, the satellite took off from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

After many tests and running in a preliminary and non-operational mode, things are about to change for what is now known as GOES-16.

Beginning on November 30, 2017, most of the tools used to collect data on the satellite will temporarily cease to collect or send out data. This will be done so that the entire system can move into its operational location. This date also marks exactly one year since GOES-R became GOES-16.

GOES-16 will move to 75° west longitude and take over the GOES-East position. The current satellite in the east position, GOES-13, will be moved into “orbital storage”. GOES-14 is currently in storage and both of these satellites will be available for use if needed. GOES-13 will be used to collect data while GOES-16 is down.

GOES-16 will be able to see and thus collect data for the entire United States once it is in its new position. Normal operation for GOES-16 (soon to be known GOES-East) is anticipated to return December 20, 2017.

For more information on the move, click here.

For more on the launch of GOES-16 from 2016, click here.


Posted under GOES-16, GOES16, NASA, NOAA

This post was written by Rachael Peart on November 20, 2017

Third Time’s The Charm for JPSS-1

The new polar orbiting satellite, JPSS-1, successfully launched Saturday morning.

After two previous attempts, the satellite took off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 3:47 am CST.

To view the liftoff video, click here.

For more information on JPSS-1, click here.


Posted under NASA, NOAA

This post was written by Rachael Peart on November 18, 2017