RAIN AND A FALL CHILL....

It's not going to be much but rain is coming to start the new week. As they say something is better than nothing... A cold front will move through the Midwest Monday and lead to a few showers and storms. The front stalls out to the southeast of Iowa and there will be some additional showers and storms on Tuesday: Right now no severe weather is expected with these two events and not much heavy rain either. Here's a look at the rainfall totals through Tuesday night: Small drop in a big, empty bucket... but better than nothin'! Most of the week will be seasonal and comfortable with temperatures in the 70s and 80s, but a few warm days will get tossed in. Here's a look at the next ten days in Ced

IN DESPERATE NEED OF RAIN...

August has been bleak for rain across much of the Upper Midwest. On one hand the lack of rain has been beneficial for areas cleaning up after the August 10th derecho. On the other hand there are many areas that are in need of the rain (and those areas cleaning up from the derecho and dry areas do overlap, too). Iowa is experiencing the worst of both... the worst of the drought and worst of the derecho damage. Here's a list of rainfall totals for August to show why the dry and drought conditions have been worsening across the Midwest: Moline: 0.14" Cedar Rapids: 0.42" Burlington: 0.3" Davenport: 0.73" Carroll: 1.29" Peoria: 0.59" Galesburg: 0.62" And unfortunately the prospects for decent rai

BIG SIGNS OF FALL IN THE CRYSTAL BALL...

A welcome cold front will bring the recent siege of summer weather to an end over the coming weekend. It was quite a run though with 6 consecutive 90 degree days in much of my area. Cedar Rapids has not been below 92 for a high since last Sunday. That's quite a reversal from the start of the month when we began with 5 highs in the 70s. Typically you would expect to see just the opposite in August with the cooler weather back loaded. These are the daily temperature departures for August. That last week was a burner with highs averaging about 12 degrees above normal The front bringing the relief did spark some thunderstorms along with a watch and several warnings. Garrison, Iowa hard hit by th

FRISKY STORMS A FRIDAY AFTERNOON OPTION...

Before we get to Friday's storm potential, the new drought monitor is out and the trend for drought expansion continues to be noted around the central Midwest. Here's the corn belt as a whole. Leading the way again is WC Iowa where extreme drought prevails. Roughly 40 percent of the Midwest is at the very least drier than normal. This is the amount of change that's taken place across the region over the past week. All the areas in yellow advanced a drought class, not surprising with the hot and relatively dry weather.in those areas. Iowa is the epicenter of the dry conditions this summer. As of August 25th, 96 percent of the state is experiencing drier than normal soil levels. Over one-third

EXTREME WEATHER FOR MUCH OF THE NATION...

A couple weeks ago parts of eastern Iowa experienced what it's like to be in a category 4 hurricane first hand. Wednesday night another monster is on the loose and by the time many of you read this, it will have caused catastrophic damage where it comes ashore in SW Louisiana and extreme NE Texas. I present Laura to you with sustained winds of 150 mph, gusts much higher. That is a very healthy ominous looking hurricane with a symmetrical eye wall with a diameter of 25-30 miles wide...what's known as the stadium effect. The wind will wreak its own havoc but near the coast the storm surge will reach extreme levels that could break records. In spots it could reach 20 feet with 5-7 foot waves on

STEVE'S "WILD" WORLD OF WEATHER...

When I'm wondering about weather folklore and historical events this is the man I go to. With more than 50 years of statistical and observational research, he's the dude! When it comes to lunar cycles, woolly bear caterpillars, insects, bugs, and animals, he tracks them, records them, and establishes ties to weather patterns. He's a knowledgeable and interesting man. His name is Steve Gottschalk by way of Lowden, Iowa. I'm grateful to him for lending his unique perspective to the site. Steve's "wild" world of weather can be found regularly right here on TSwails.com. Take it away Steve! AN HISTORIC WINDSTORM: MY OWN EXPERIENCE WITH THE 2020 DERECHO... Of all the storms that I have witnessed i

SO FORTH AND SO ON...

Statistically, the hottest time of the year in the central Midwest is mid-July so it goes to figure that's the most likely time to experience an extended heat wave. This year we're bucking that trend with a late season heat burst that's brought the warmest high of the summer to some areas along with the most prolonged period of warmth. Here's summer temperatures in Cedar Rapids. I've highlighted 90 degree highs in yellow. Remarkably, up until Monday we had not had consecutive 90 degree days. The max of 94 two days ago is the hottest reading of the summer. Were not done yet, the pattern looks ripe for 3 more toasty days in the 90s. The EURO depicts this for highs through Saturday. Looks like

A LITTLE SUMMER SIZZLE...

The jet stream winds have been roaring in out of the west the past few days. That's brought heat and smoke from wild fires that plagued the west last week into the Midwest this week. You can see the smoke in the GOES hi-res satellite imagery below. What you can't see is the heat. The high (in storm ridden Cedar Rapids) hit 94 degrees Monday. That's the hottest temperature of the summer and joins only 4 other days this year where the high reached 90 or above. Upper level winds will be conducive for more of the same in coming days. This is the projected 500mb jet mid-week. You can also see what's expected to be a formidable hurricane in the Gulf. Highs the next 3 days are projected to be in th

HEAT WAVE IN PROGRESS...

The heat is back on. Luckily many have power back after the derecho and hopefully those who don't get it soon because you'll want the A/C cranked. Here's a look at the temperatures Sunday afternoon: The heat continues through the start of the new week with a big area of high pressure in the upper levels: SO Monday gets even hotter and it will get more humid, too: Tuesday... even hotter: Heat index Tuesday: And with all of that heat will come little to no relief. The storm track will be sitting just to our north and there will be little to no rain over the next several days. Here's the precipitation totals through Saturday: The lack of rain will beneficial for derecho clean up but rough for d

LONG ROAD AHEAD...

There is a long road ahead across the Midwest. Many in Iowa and Illinois still reeling from the derecho of August 10th. The roads themselves are literally lined with trees. Lined with debris. Stacked several feet high. The brunt of it in Cedar Rapids where wind speeds of 110 to 140 mph occurred that day for roughly an hour. Likely the strongest derecho in Iowa and among the strongest in the U.S. The National Weather Service tells me the duration of the winds is also unheard of... usually the strong winds only lasts 10 to 20 minutes in a derecho. So it's going to take a while. And luckily there has been little to no rain since the derecho to allow for recovery. There were some showers and sto

IOWA STRONG: CAN YOU HELP US?

One of the worst storms in Iowa history has caused unbelievable damage to many parts of the state. The recovery process is underway, but for many the road to recovery to recovery will be long and hard. As an Iowan, the storm brings me great heartache and a desire to make a difference. Here is my idea of how we can all help.

DOG DAY REVIVAL...

Make no mistake about it, our recent run of cool temperatures has just about run its course. Here's the August temperature departures to date. I like that party!! But, get a load of what's ahead in the extended. These are the 5 day temperature departures for Aug 23-28th. Many places are 8-10 degrees above normal. It looks like a dog day revival. This resembles the result you would expect with the MJO taking a slow ride through phase 1. Below you can see the August temperature and precipitation analogs for phase 1 in the month of August. Here's the projected swing through phase 1 the next 7-8 days. (follow the dotted green lines). The EURO and GFS are actually in pretty good agreement with th

ALL-TIME HIGHEST WIND GUST IN THE STATE OF IOWA...

The vicious derecho that pounded much of my area has been under scrutiny by the meteorologists at the National Weather Service. After doing damage surveys and observing structural evidence they now estimate the winds in Cedar Rapids reached 140 mph...with gusts near 100 for nearly one hour! The 126 mph gust recorded on a home weather station in Atkins, Iowa (just west of Cedar Rapids) is the highest official wind speed (outside of a tornado) ever measured in the state. Putting 140 mph winds into a categorical perspective, they equate to a Category 4 hurricane! Or, a violent EF3 tornado. This destroyed apartment complex in SW Cedar Rapids was a key piece of evidence used to come up with the 1

STEVE'S "WILD" WORLD OF WEATHER...

When I'm wondering about weather folklore and historical events this is the man I go to. With more than 50 years of statistical and observational research, he's the dude! When it comes to lunar cycles, woolly bear caterpillars, insects, bugs, and animals, he tracks them, records them, and establishes ties to weather patterns. He's a knowledgeable and interesting man. His name is Steve Gottschalk by way of Lowden, Iowa. I'm grateful to him for lending his unique perspective to the site. Steve's "wild" world of weather can be found regularly right here on TSwails.com. Take it away Steve! RECORD EARLY FREEZE: On August 13-14, 1964 an area of high pressure settled in over the state. As a result

TAINTED BEAUTY...

Tuesday was a perfect day in Cedar Rapids, Iowa under sparkling sunny skies.The high reached 79 degrees after a morning low of 53. Dew points were in the low 50s. It doesn't get any better than that. Unfortunately the scene in Cedar Rapids and surrounding areas (my old home as of 3 months ago), is still one of destruction and heartbreak more than a week after a powerful Derecho dismembered it. Electricity is still out in places 9 days after the storm. The National Guard continues to assist with the recovery. With no power, spoiled food, and condemned houses and apartments, people are living in tents and shelters. WINDS OF UP TO 130 MPH, GUSTS OVER 100 FOR NEARLY AND HOUR Rebecca Kopelman (RK

THEY CALL IT DEATH VALLEY FOR A REASON...

They call it Death Valley for a reason. Sunday, the high temperature reached 130 degrees. If verified (Which it likely will be) that is the hottest temperature measured on earth since July of 1913. Below you can see that the humidity was 7 percent. That may not seem like much but with a 130 degree temperature that is sizzling. I would have expected it to be more on the order of 3 percent or less. The 130 degree record temperature was taken at Furnace Creek. The hand signed observation below was also taken at that location in 1913 well over 100 years ago. Another unique aspect of Furnace Creek is the fact the elevation within a desert is 193 feet below sea level enhancing Death Valley's abi

QUIET WEATHER FOR CONTINUED CLEAN UP...

There are still a lot of people without power. There is extensive building, home, tree, power line, crop damage in Iowa. There is a lot of cleanup that needs to happen in the Midwest. Especially in Iowa. Luckily there will be plenty of quiet weather for clean up. There is a chance for a few showers late Sunday night into early Monday morning: The showers will be along a little boundary that will bring in drier and cooler air. Temperatures will be lower Monday, but still warm: Humidity will be lower, especially by the afternoon: In fact, humidity stays on the low side for much of the week (what looks like through Friday). Thank goodness... dew points in the 50s and low 60s will be comfortable

IOWA IS A MESS....

Some of you are here. Some of you may be nearby. Some of you may be reading this out of the state. I am here. In Cedar Rapids. The second largest city in the state had damage to most (if not all) of it's homes. Had power knocked out to the entire city. There are still over 100,000 people without power (as of me writing this at 9 pm on Saturday). Corn fields flattened. There are still power lines in the road. There are still trees on homes. There are people living in tents, in campers, in their cars. Iowa needs help. These are some of the images from around the area... Photo by Ron Allen: There are tons of other communities too that were rocked by this storm, packing winds of 90 to 115 mph. F

A PEACEFUL PATTERN AFTER A DREADFUL WEEK...

The work week certainly ended better than it started with seasonal August weather ruling Friday's skies.This satellite image does show a bit of a change as our next weather maker enters central Iowa. Showers and storms that have festered overnight to the northwest will fight to hold together as they reach my area by daybreak. The front that's triggered the precipitation is expected to fizzle as a rain maker as the overall forcing and dynamics weaken as it crosses my area early Saturday. Thus, any remaining showers will be light as they drift out of the region by Saturday afternoon. The EURO shows this for total rainfall. After that, rain chances look meager at best through the majority if ne

ALL IN ON DRY WEATHER...

Despite one of the most impactful storms in Iowa's weather history earlier this week, much of the state remains in dry to even extreme drought conditions. The latest drought monitor out Thursday shows a large part of western Iowa in moderate to extreme drought. Much of the remainder of the state and a bit of NW Illinois is rated abnormally dry. Below you can see the hard hit areas west of Des Moines where rains have been scarce all summer long. 80 percent of Iowa is considered to be at least abnormally dry with roughly 25 percent in severe to extreme drought. These are the rain departures since the beginning of summer (June 1). As dry as its been in western Iowa, just to the south in Missour

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