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When I'm wondering about weather folklore and historical events this is the man I go to. With more than 50 years of statistical and observational research, he's the dude! When it comes to lunar cycles, woolly bear caterpillars, insects, bugs, and animals, he tracks them, records them, and establishes ties to weather patterns. He's a knowledgeable and interesting man. His name is Steve Gottschalk by way of Lowden, Iowa. I'm grateful to him for lending his unique perspective to the site. Steve's "wild" world of weather can be found regularly right here on Take it away Steve!

BLOG #52

A Record Smokey Month

I have been keeping track of the number of smokey days since 1988. July has undoubtedly been our smokiest month ever. I recorded 24 days with smoke during the month, a new record for July. The previous mark was 8 days in 2015. It was also a record for any month, the previous being 14 days in September of last year. It was also already a record for the total number of smokey days during any season. The previous record was last year's total of 18 days.

This phenomenon is getting to be an annual occurrence as we have had 5 straight years with smokey days. It has occurred on 7 of the past 8 years since 2014. We undoubtedly will see more of these days before the season is over.

July Was A Sultry Month

It was a very sultry month. I recorded a total of 14 days in which the dew point was 70 degrees or higher. On 4 of those days it was 75 degrees or higher. My highest dew point was 80 degrees on the afternoon of the 28th. I recorded heat indices of 100 degrees or higher on 8 days with the highest reading being 108 on the 24th and the 28th.

For the summer season, thus far, Lowden has had 24 days with 90 degrees or higher. Normal is 19 days for the entire season. We will probably see several more days.

Forecasting The Weather With Your Coffee?

I'm not a coffee drinker myself but for those of you who are, you may want to try this out and see if it works. According to the weather folklore:

When bubbles are rising on the surface of the coffee and they hold together, good weather is coming, if the bubbles break up, weather you don't want is coming.

When the bubbles of coffee collect in the center of the cup, expect fair weather. When they adhere to the cup, forming a ring, expect rain. If the bubbles separate without assuming any fixed position, expect changeable weather.

The Horse Weed and Snowfall

Once again the Horse Weed around here is already a foot taller than the corn and is still growing. This would seem to indicate that there will be above normal snowfall again this winter.

What The August Weather was Like 135 Years Ago

Here is an excerpt from my old weather journal:

Aug.5, 1886 - the drought continues and the crops are looking poorly.

Aug. 12th - the most severe drought known - an estimated 1" of rain has fallen here during the last 86 days.

Aug. 14 thru 27th - 2 weeks of hot and sultry weather with temperatures between 95 and 103 in the shade everyday.

Aug. 28th - this evening saw thunderstorms, the wind changed, the coolness returned and the dust disappeared.

Aug. 30th - frost this morning, no damage done.

Aug. 31st - a more severe frost but still no real damage.

A Noteworthy August Hailstorm

On August 4th, 1995, a severe thunderstorm dropped very large hail across a path from S.E. Clay, S.W. Palo Alto, N.E. Buena Vista and Pocahontas counties. Golf ball to baseball sized hail fell near Webb and Ayrshire. At Rush Lake, pea size hail covered the ground to a depth to one foot. The hail grew larger as the storm moved to the southeast with 4.5" diameter stones falling at Laurens. The storms then began to weaken as they moved on but were still producing golf ball sized hail at Havelock and Pocahontas.

That's all for edition number 52. On the wild side of weather I'm Steve Gottschalk.


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