top of page
thumbnail_1 ts baner, future in your hands.png




Hi everyone, as you know, is a no-pay site; existing on voluntary subscriptions or personal donations. If you find value in the site, I'm asking kindly that you make the donation you feel is worthy. I'm suggesting $20.00, roughly a nickel a day. Less than 5% of my readers donate, so your gift is not only appreciated, it helps immensely. Your contribution, whatever you can swing, supports the content, infrastructure, and operational costs. Thanks for anything you can do.


I've been doing weather professionally for nearly 50 years and I have to say, I've seen some of the craziest weather of my life the past 8 weeks, none more impressive than what's occurred the past 24-36 hours. We all witnessed exceptional events, not the least of which was the all-time warmest winter temperatures ever recorded. The 79 in Moline Tuesday flips me out. 16 hours later, the temperature stood at 14 degrees with a wind chill of 4 below. So while it was 65 degrees colder, it "felt" 83 degrees colder with a 50 mph wind. That literally blurs my vision.

The Iowa Mesonet put together a graphic that measures the top 10 (feels like) temperature drops. In Cedar Rapids over a 17-hour period, the feel like readings went from 71 to 17 below, a drop of 88 degrees. Shazam! That handily beat January 18, of 1996, previously number 1 which had a drop of 83 degrees.

If you consider single day temperature changes (just one calendar day), Tuesday's plunge of 53 degrees in Moline from 79 late afternoon to 26 at midnight, was the 5th greatest on record. Cedar Rapids, (also on the graphic below), went from 72 to 16. That 56 degree drop ranks as the 3rd largest single day temperature change.

By the way, Dubuque, with highs of 72 degrees Monday and Tuesday, broke the previous daily records of 62 established in 1896, by 10 degrees apiece! That's a thrashing that's flat out scary. I could go on and on.

That said, it does get even more impressive, especially around Annawan, Illinois, 35 miles ESE of the Quad Cities. Not only did they get the record warmth with highs in the upper 70s, they were placed under a tornado watch and grazed by an actual tornado Tuesday evening that passed just NW. That in itself is a remarkable February feat. But, it gets better. About 8 hours later, it's in the 20s and snowing, enough to cover the ground. On this hi-res satellite image, you can see the snow band on the ground in relation to Annawan and the tornado.

In this image taken Wednesday, (part of the Henry County NWS storm survey), you can still see some snow left on the ground at the bottom of the image.

For perspective, this was only the third time in February since 1950 there has been a tornado in the Davenport NWS service area. The other times were February 28, 2017 (4 twisters) and early this year on February 8, 2024 (with one). It's totally unprecedented to have 2 days with tornadoes in February of the same year!

The NWS survey crew rated the tornado just NW of Annawan as a high end EF1 storm with winds of 110 mph. The path length was just short of 3 miles with a width of 425 yards. It was on the ground 8 minutes and crossed over I-80 and HWY 6.

You can also see numerous large hail reports just SE of the Quad Cities.

This picture sent by Melissa Beard shows ping pong ball size hail from near Atkinson, Illinois. That will do some damage. Other reports of hail that size were noted around Geneseo, most likely from the same supercell.

The hail cores in purple and white show up nicely in this radar image taken around 5:30pm. Tuesday.

Anyway, you folks around Atkinson and Annawan win the award for most insane weather in a 24-hour period. 4 seasons worth of weather in roughly 16 hours! That is something to tell your grandchildren about. I tip my hat. Despite all this mayhem, the event was well forecast with timely warnings. Imagine what it would have been like 100 years ago. Total shock and awe. Actually, I'm still shocked and awed that something like this happened, and I saw it all coming. Dorothy, we're not in the Midwest anymore!


Thursday winds switch back to the south and after a frisky start, the cold beats a hasty retreat and by day's end readings are back in the range of 45-50 with sunshine. Friday may see a few more clouds due to a weak disturbance passing to the southeast. Temperatures look similar (perhaps a couple degrees warmer), than Thursday.

That leads us onto the weekend and by all accounts it's going to be a warm one with the potential for record highs, especially Sunday. With the PNA (Pacific North America Oscillation) and EPO (eastern Pacific Oscillation) remaining in positive phases, that highly favors a west coast tough/east coast ridge 500mb pattern, which shows up nicely Saturday night.

The pronounced SW flow will send another surge of springlike warmth into the Midwest. Highs Saturday should reach 65-70. Sunday, with stronger warm advection sending 850 temperature into the mid-teens, readings should soar with deep mixing and stiff SW winds again expected. The air is also relatively dry, so I expect temperatures to over-perform and exceed guidance. I could certainly see an 80 degree high in the south if trends continue. As it is, the GFS shows widespread low to mid 70s.

Despite the passage of another cold front Sunday night or early Monday, models don't indicate a great deal of forcing and once again rainfall amounts appear to be minimal. One hope may be that the front stalls just east of the area and a wave forms along it early next week. That might provide a better environment for more organized rain at that time. I'm not holding my breath though. Until next time, roll weather...TS

PLEASE With my recent health issues, I very much need to reach my fund-raising goals, but we are getting closer. To keep things as they are, I'm in humble need of your donation to the site more than ever. If you use it and find value in it, please consider a contribution. Thanks to you who have already helped the cause!


bottom of page