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BYE BYE DOG DAYS...arf

Well, we finally got into some meaty summer weather this past week. 90 degree highs and juicy humidity levels brought us the conditions the dog days of July are known for. In the Quad Cities, highs hit 90 or above for the first time in July Tuesday the 25th and remained there the rest of the week. In general temperatures weren't overly impressive by our standards with readings never higher than 95. Records are all well above 100 so we were a long way from anything unusual.

However, humidity did make us sweat with heat index values of 100-108 common. Here's the reported values around 3:00pm Friday afternoon.

So while temperatures may not have been that brutal, I can make a strong case that heat index values were out of line with typical summer values. In Cedar Rapids where the HX hit 108 Friday, a level of that caliber is reached in only 45 percent of all summers. A 110 HX reading is found in just 11 percent of all summers. That 110 degree threshold was reached in Waterloo and Moline.

Unless something really changes as we go into August (and I don't see it), this will be another year without the thermometer reaching 100 in the majority of my area. The exception will be Keokuk in the far south where they did manage to reach 100 Friday. The rest of my area has gone 10 years without attaining the century mark and some spots as long as 11.

One thing we did manage to do Friday was build up extreme instability which led to some robust thunderstorms. At 4:00 Friday, the SPC mesoscale analysis showed the most unstable CAPE values at 8,000 j/kg in WC Iowa. That is insanely high indicating tremendous potential energy.

The microburst composite reached 11 which is far above the 6 which is considered significant.

The derecho composite was in the 8-10 range across Iowa, again a healthy parameter.


Even the violent tornado composite reached 7 in NE Iowa. There were a couple of weak tornadoes, one near Iowa Falls and the other around Andrew but both were weak and short lived. A number of tornado warnings were issued and much of the region went under a severe thunderstorm watch.

I captured this image of a wall cloud over the Mississippi in Dubuque Friday evening from my deck. A tornado warning was eventually issued for the cell as it moved southeast.

All of the listed severe weather parameters above are strong indicators of severe weather potential but you need to have the forcing necessary to break the CAP, tap the energy, and release the updrafts. That came in the form of a cold front which is now departing the region.


You can see the storms lining up on the front around 6:00pm Friday evening.

Here they are approaching the Mississippi after producing winds of 90 mph in Hiawatha, located on the north side of Cedar Rapids. Lowden, Iowa had a 71 mph gust.

The moisture laden air also produced torrential downpours in spots with some areas just southeast of Dubuque picking up 2-4" totals. The Dubuque airport south of the city reported 2.50" of rain and a 60 mph wind gust.


Now that the front has departed it's back to quiet weather as the heat wave retreats to the south and west. Highs Saturday will be back into the mid 80s in many spots with low to mid 80s Sunday. Humidity will still be noticeable Saturday but does begin to decline, especially in the north. By Sunday dew points are are down around 60 and with comfortable temperatures, some outstanding summer weather is on the way. Enjoy your weekend and roll weather...TS

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