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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!

That's What I Call Humid

The 9th - 11th were plenty hot and humid! I recorded a high of 91 on the 9th with a 75 dew point making it feel like 100. The following day, (the 10th) was unbearable with a high of 95, a dew point of 82 making it feel like 118. You could literally cut the air with a knife. The 11th was a little more tolerable with a high of 91, a dew point of 78 and the heat index hit 106. It was my second 80 degree dew point of the summer. I have had dew points of 72 or higher on 6 days so far this month.

Our String Of Smokey Days Has Ended

After 31 consecutive days with smoke filled skies we got a break with clear, blue skies on the 13th after a cold front swept through. The total number of smokey days for the season now stands at 36. The 12 days this month is a new record for August. The previous record was 7 days back in 2018.

Weather Folklore And Dry Weather

There is an old saying - "All signs fail in dry weather". Even the more reliable signs and weather sayings that I have tested over the years that are 80% or more accurate, fail during periods of dryness. My lunar forecasts often fail during a drought like we are currently experiencing.

Weather Is Getting Drier Again

My area escaped the dry conditions during most of June and part of July but the rainfall deficiencies are staring to add up now. For all of the heat and humidity we have had so far this month, I have only recorded 0.07" of rain through the 18th. This is my 4th driest start to the month and my 2nd driest since 1964. Since June 1st, Lowden is down 4.35" of rain. The creeks are really low and the Wapsipinicon River is showing a lot of sand bars. In places you can cross with just getting your ankles wet.

Destructive August Tornadoes

On Aug. 12, 1974, at 3:10 p.m., an F4 tornado up to 400 yards wide touched down in Delaware County cutting a path of destruction 7 miles long. The storm moved east than SE. across the south part of Ryan hitting 44 homes, a church, a school and 2 businesses. Twenty of the homes, the church and the school were all destroyed. The last damage was reported at a farm SE. of Ryan. There were 12 injuries and $15,000,000 in damages.

Terry himself did a special report on the storm which you can watch by clicking here.

At 6:15 p.m. on the same day, an F4 tornado, 100 yards wide cut a path of destruction 2 miles long in Iowa County. The storm moved SE. near Ladora destroying outbuildings on 6 farms. Two of the farm homes were destroyed, one being swept completely away. There were 2 injuries from the storm.

On Aug. 28, 1979, at 5:25 p.m., an F4 tornado, 500 yards wide, carved a path of death and destruction 45 miles long through Mills, Fremont and Page counties. The storm moved SE from 7 miles south of Glenwood to Tabor, then 4 miles south of Shenandoah then on to Blanchard. Twenty-one rural homes and many outbuildings were destroyed.

A man was killed in semi trailer truck when it was carried for 150 yards. A woman was killed in the destruction of her home. Only the step leading to the door remained on the home site. Another 14 persons were injured in the storm.

A Big Temperature Change

What a change in the weather in just 6 days! From a high of 95 on the 10th with a heat index of 118 to a low of 47 on the 16th, a feel like difference of 71 degrees. The low of 47 was just 4 degrees short of the record.

Well, that's all for this edition. On the wild side of weather I'm Steve Gottschalk.


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