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Back in mid to late August if you would have told me Cedar Rapids would rack up 5 straight days in the 90s September 20-25th, I would have said that's a bunch of baloney! Especially when you consider that from July 21 through September 14th we hadn't had a single day of 90 degree heat. Throw in the fact that by September 20th the days have been getting shorter for 3 months and the sun is substantially weaker, I rest my case against prolonged late season warmth.

Well, I'm glad I didn't bet on that one. Dead wrong! Remarkably, not only did we get the 5 consecutive 90 degree days, we set 2 record highs and came within 1 degree of tying records the other 3 days. We also had our hottest temperature of the entire year at 93. Nobody is more shocked about that than me.

Here's another fun statistic, the only other time I could find 5 straight 90 degree days in September here in Cedar Rapids was 1978. When I see that year I get very intrigued because I like to look at summer and fall analogs to get a leg up on what our winter might be. Now if any of you remember the winter of 1978-1979 you know that it was legendary here in eastern Iowa and the central Midwest. Snowfall was heavy with 45-75" common. So much so the winter still ranks as the 3rd snowiest in Moline and 6th snowiest in Cedar Rapids and Dubuque.

It was a landmark winter in Chicago with a record snowfall of (89.7 inches). It was also Chicago's second coldest winter with an average temperature of (18.4 degrees). Here's several pictures from Chicago taken in January 1979.

As I mentioned it was also a brutal winter for cold, especially in January. It remains the coldest winter on record in many places including Dubuque and the Quad Cities

I know the winter of 1935-36 was a beauty but I wasn't around for that. For my money, without a doubt the toughest winter I ever experienced was 1978-79. The constant snows followed by wind driven arctic intrusions even had me wishing for spring and that's saying something.

Now to be clear, I'm not calling for a winter like 1978-79. However, I have seen trends going back to mid-summer that lead me to believe this winter will be different than the last 3. Here's the EURO ensemble weeklies showing total snowfall be now and November 10th. I'd be very pleased to witness this much snow falling this far south by November 10th!

We'll see where things stand in 2-3 weeks. Roll weather...TS

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