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Every once in a while, we enter a weather pattern where we just go on a terror. The long wave trough gets locked in the right position and storms find us. No matter how big or small, we can't get out of their way, and before you know it, the rain numbers add up. Since mid-March, we've been on a roll, and the rain totals the past 60 days prove me out. Almost every reporting station in my area has measured 9–11 inches of rain during that period. That's about 2–4 inches above what's typical.

The great thing is, we needed the rain along with the rest of the Midwest. Take a look at the drought monitor, March 5 of this year. 77 percent of the region was either abnormally dry, or in moderate, severe, or extreme drought. That's not the way you want to go into the growing season.

Thanks to the rains of the past couple of months, that number has dropped from 77 percent to 12.95 percent in the latest drought index issued Thursday. That's a remarkable turn around and with more rain coming Friday and Sunday, the next outlook should see even more improvement. More on that later.

Meantime, the rain is becoming too much of a good thing. Many of the major Mississippi River tributaries in eastern Iowa including the Iowa, Cedar, and Wapsi have flood warnings or watches in effect.

With additional rains of 1-2 inches (or more) expected the next 3 days, additional rises are possible. Here's what the EURO and GFS shows for total rainfall through Memorial Day night.



I'll have more on the heavy rain threat and the holiday weekend below. Meantime, get your friends and family together and enjoy the summer specials at my AIRBNB outside Galena.


I have a great vacation deal going on at my AIRBNB in Galena. I'm offering 3 nights for the price of two to get the word out of what the church has to offer. We've also lowered our rates to beat the competition. Weekdays are an especially good value. Give Carolyn a call or text at 563-676-3320 to get the best deal for you and your group. Our renovated church is a 5 star, super host on AIRBNB.

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I mentioned in my last post the DOW (Doppler on wheels), measured winds in the Greenfield tornado of at least 250 mph Tuesday at 144 feet above the surface. That would put it in the top tier of radar measured tornadoes!

Due to those measured speeds and damage I have observed, I mentioned Wednesday that I expected this storm would end up with a higher, more elite classification. Sure enough, the continuing surveys, have now found damage consistent with winds of 175 to 185 mph. That makes it a healthy EF4 tornado with a 44-mile track. Structural engineers continue to evaluate damage and there is the possibility even higher winds could be uncovered. If 200 mph speeds are found, that would elevate the storm to EF5 status. The last storm of that magnitude in Iowa was the Parkersburg tornado, May 25, 2008, with winds of 205.

While it won't be anything close to the scope of Tuesday's event, our next system Friday does bring with it the strong storms. The system will send an initial wave of showers and storms late morning or early afternoon that will produce storms as it blows through. Later in the afternoon and evening the primary forcing arrives and that is when additional strong to severe storms are possible. The primary concerns would be gusty winds and some hail.. SPC shows this for the risk area.

Despite plenty of clouds and some rain at times, enough pokes of sun are expected Friday to get highs into the range of 75 north to 80 south, with dew points in the low to mid 60s.

Saturday appears to be the best day of the holiday weekend with sunny dry weather and highs in the mid 70s.

Sunday, another fast moving disturbance brings a fresh round of showers and storms. Hopefully, the rain ends by early afternoon, allowing some dry hours late in the day and evening. Highs in the low to mid 70s are indicated with minimal severe weather.

Monday (Memorial Day), we look to be between storms and that implies a dry day with partly sunny skies. Highs again look fairly seasonal, in the 70-75 degree range.

Just to break the holiday period down one last time, Friday and Sunday have high rain chances, with Saturday and Monday dry. Temperatures throughout should be in the low to mid 70s, maybe a few spots near 80 in the SE Friday. Make it a good one, and remember those who have served and sacrificed to make this country what it is. Roll weather...TS


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