Mild Days Ahead, Before Winter Returns

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.


Posted under Climate, Temperatures, Winter Weather

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on December 16, 2017

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December 2016 vs 2017 (so far)

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:





Cedar Rapids


Iowa City


Posted under Temperatures

This post was written by Rachael Peart on December 16, 2017

Very Cold Start

Thursday morning is going to be very cold with low temperatures in the teens and a wind from the NW around 10-20 mph. Here is a look at where the wind chills are forecast to be at 8 AM.

The temperature outlook keeps temperatures below normal through December 20.



Posted under Long Range Outlook, Temperatures

This post was written by Schnack on December 6, 2017

A Big Change

It felt more like the beginning of October than the beginning of December. Here is a look at the high temperatures from today.

A cold front pushed through eastern Iowa this evening. A few showers and storms were along the front. The chart below shows how warm the temperatures were Sunday night and Monday and today before the cold front moved through. Once it did the temperatures fell fast.


Posted under Temperatures

This post was written by Schnack on December 4, 2017

Cooler Than Last Year

Despite the recent warm weather, November this year has been colder than November last year.


Posted under Temperatures

This post was written by Schnack on November 27, 2017

Not Too Often

High temperatures are forecast to reach 60° or warmer Friday. The chart below shows the number of times each day has had high temperature of 60 degrees or higher. The outlined area shows just a couple times during this time of the month.


Posted under Climate, Temperatures

This post was written by Schnack on November 23, 2017

It has been a while

Here are the high temperatures from Friday. The last time we had high temperatures this cold it was on March 15, 2017

On March 15 we had snow on the ground across much of the state. The chart below shows the snow cover on that day.
Waterloo had 6″ of snow on the ground while Dubuque had 3″.


Posted under Temperatures, Winter Weather

This post was written by Schnack on November 10, 2017

Cold Start to November

Wednesday morning was one of the coldest since mid/late March 2017.

Temperatures fell into the teens and low 20s Wednesday morning, with southerly winds making it feel even colder. Normal early November lows are in the low 30s.

So far, it has been a chilly first week of November compared to 2016:

This time last year, average temperatures were in the 50s. This year, average temperatures are only in the mid 30s to low 40s. Highs in the upper 40s are possible this weekend.


Posted under Temperatures

This post was written by Rachael Peart on November 8, 2017

2017 Forecast to be in Top Three Warmest Years on Record

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) predicts that 2017 will rank in the warmest years on record. This year may rank second or third.

Temperature average Jan-Oct 2017

2017 was not an El Nino year. Therefore, the WMO anticipates it will be the warmest year without the impact of El Nino on record.

2017 is represented by the far right grey line

We’ve seen multiple devastating hurricanes and other weather events during 2017. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria all reached major hurricane strength. NOAA forecast an above average hurricane season earlier this year.

NOAA’s 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season Prediction (May 2017)

It seemed as if there was a point when there was a new hurricane or tropical system in the Atlantic. That’s because 2017 has seen six major hurricanes, 10 hurricanes and 17 named storms (as of November 7, 2017).

2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season Data (does not include information on “Rina”)

This year also featured devastating droughts, floods and fires. 2016 holds the title of warmest year on record.

For the full report from WMO outlining their findings, click here.


Posted under Heat, Temperatures, Tropics

This post was written by Rachael Peart on November 8, 2017

Cool Pattern Continues

If you thought it’s been a chilly start to the month, you’re right. Temperatures have fallen below normal nearly every day since late October. Normal highs for early November typically land in the low 50s but Waterloo and Dubuque haven’t seen a high of at least 50° since October 26.


Cedar Rapids and Iowa City have warmed to the low 50s a few times this month so far. Still, many days fell short of normal highs.


It looks as if this cool pattern continues for a few more days.

The climate prediction center forecasts that mid-November favors above normal temperatures for Iowa.


However, normal highs for mid-November run near the mid 40s for eastern Iowa.


Posted under Temperatures

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