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NEW COPIES OF DERECHO 911, IOWA'S INLAND HURRICANE ARE AVAILABLE. Around Christmas we sold the last of the 1500 copies of our book on this historic thunderstorm, the most damaging in U.S. history. Due to continued demand we ordered a limited number of 250 for those of you interested in having the most authoritative account of this extreme event. Books are selling fast so don't miss this opportunity to own the weather story of a generation. You can get yours at

I ordered one of your Derecho books about the storm in Cedar Rapids, IA back in December. I love it! I had also bought one that the Cedar Rapids Gazette sold. Your book by far is so much better, you have a lot more pictures and it just tells more of the story. Thank you for putting a wonderful keepsake together! Do you have any left? If so can you tell me how to get at least one more.

Thank you so much! Penny Brecke


The week started off bitterly cold and in some cases snowy and that's the way it's likely to end for much of the central Midwest.

One freaky little event that snuck up on everybody Monday afternoon was a mesoscale band of strong lift that set up in a 30 mile corridor from I-80 to HWY 30. Within that region an intense band of snow developed that produced up to 5.5" of powder near Camanche, Iowa. Lowden, De Witt, and Sterling racked up 4.0" as did spots between Iowa City and Cedar Rapids such as Solon. Snow ratios must have been 30:1 as liquid equivalent was under .10" as a general rule. Most unusual was the fact all models (aside from the HRRR which is run on an hourly basis) were unable to pick up on the localized event. Some of the snow that's shown further south was lighter and generated by another smaller disturbance Sunday night and early Monday that was better advertised.

Following the disturbance skies quickly cleared allowing for rapid cooling and harsh wind chills to settle in. Where the clearing occurred early in my Iowa counties the potential is there for lows to reach 15-20 below in some of the typically colder spots near and north of I-80. For those of you out and about early Tuesday be prepared for frigid temperatures and harsh wind chills. In fact, the area north of HWY 34 will be under a wind chill advisory until 10:00am. Further north a wind chill warning has been posted for dangerous wind chills that will approach 40 below in my Iowa counties near and north of I-80.

If the hi-res HRRR is correct these are the projected temperatures you can expect at 7:00am Tuesday morning. There's an area of 20-25 below indicated from Cedar Rapids north and west! Operational models such as the GFS an EURO are 5-8 degrees warmer. How much clearing and mixing (wind) takes place will tell the tale of this debate but I'm pretty sure the colder end of the stick is more likely the right one. As I write this the 2:00am reading in Cedar Rapids is 15 below and the wind chill minus 34!

Wind chills at 7:00am are on the order of 30-40 below from roughly I-80 north.

With some ridging and high pressure overhead Tuesday is expected to be a snow free day filled with cold temperatures. Highs may may be hard pressed to get above zero in the north and not much better than 5 above in the far south.

Wednesday through Saturday occasional snow chances return and cold temperatures continue. The snow producing disturbances expected are tied to weak forcing that squeezes out the limited moisture available. None of these are associated with the typical surface low most storms are are driven by. In fact, the Midwest will be under a dome of high pressure. However, this so called "dirty" ridge can still support episodes of light snow and flurries. Much like the one that occurred Monday, these small scale events are very hard to time and place. So for now, I'm just doing the broad brush approach throwing out the idea some part of the area could see snow any of these four days. The GFS even keeps the threat going into Sunday. The EURO does not, ending it Saturday as it brings in a fresh shot of Arctic air and essentially bleeds the limited moisture to death. We'll need to iron that issue out in coming days.

Meantime, Here's what the major models indicate for snow Wednesday through Saturday. This will be very fluffy and light with little moisture content but it can stack up due to the airy and large size of the snow crystals involved. I stress this is just raw model output and these are in not forecasts, just guidance that will help us construct them. Here you go.



The Canadian GEM

As for temperatures, the next 10 days will be mighty fresh. Here is the EURO meteorgram which shows 8 consecutive days with below zero lows in Cedar Rapids. We do come out of the deep freeze a bit towards the last week of February but readings will still be plenty cold averaging a good 10 degrees below normal. Until we get rid of this deep snow cover we are destined to struggle with any meaningful warm-ups. Ah, the joys of winter!

Stay warm my friends and as always, roll weather...TS


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