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STEVE'S WILD WORLD OF WEATHER...


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. Only one person takes climatology to a level like this. His name is Steve Gottschalk by way of Lowden, Iowa. He's a knowledgeable and interesting man. 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 TSwails.com. Take it away Steve!


September 100 Years Ago

September of 1922 was a very warm with the states average temperature being 3.7 above normal. It was especially warm from the 1st-8th with most stations near 100 degree on the 6th. The maximum temperature was 103 degrees at Belle Plaine and Mason City on that day. The weather turned much cooler on the 10th with light frost in the N.W. sections and the 11th saw light frost in the lowlands in all sections. The coldest temperature was 31 degrees at Washta on the 11th. There was no real material damage done.


The rainfall across the state averaged 1.32" below normal. The greatest monthly total was 4.34" at Iowa Falls and the least was 0.31" at Inwood and Milford. The greatest 24 hour total was 3.05" at LeMars on the 18th. A local wind squall in the north portion of Cerro Gordo county blew down a number of telephone poles, frail buildings and trees on the 18th.

A Hot Beginning In The September Of 1978

The first third of the month was extremely warm back in 1978. My records for Lowden show that I had 8 of the first 11th days with readings in the 90's. The average daily high temperature for the 2-11th was 92.2 degrees with 7 straight days with 90's from the 5-11th. I had a total of 9 for the month with the maximum temperature being 97.

Clinton had an average daily maximum temperature of 94.8 degrees for the 6-11th. Maximum was 98.

Maquoketa had an average daily maximum temperature of 92.7 degrees for the 6-11th. Maximum was 95.

Vinton had an average daily maximum temperature of 93.0 degrees for the 6-11th. Maximum was 96.

September Of 2018 Was Wet

The month of September of 2018 saw excessive rainfall. The month got off to a wet start with 4.04" of rain falling at Lowden on the 1st (the N.W.S.'s recording rain gauge on the south end of town had 4.92"). Some of heavier totals were 3.52" at Clinton and 3.26" at Belle Plaine . The rainfall totals for the month were quite impressive with 14.70" at New Hampton, 11.65" at Vinton, 11.02" at Coggon, 10.12" at Central City, 10.03" at Dubuque -Lock & Dam and 8.42" at Cedar Rapids.

Some Old Forecasting Rules Of Thumb

The month that starts out with fair weather will end with fowl.

In forecasting weather, the critical moments of the day are sunrise and sunset.

On most occasions the weather is very sure to declare itself by or before 11 o'clock in the morning.

The first frost will occur six months after the first thunder in spring.

My Almanac For The Week of September 1-7th

We usually see about 0.81" of rain during the first week of the month with the extremes being from 0.0" to 6.95" for my weather station. There is usually 2 days with measurable rainfall during the 7 day period but it can be anywhere from 0 days to 6 days. There is a 17% chance of seeing 1" or more of rain on any one of those days. The highest probability of seeing rain is on the 6th and the lowest is on the 5th. We lose about 20 minutes of daylight during the week. The weather forecast is based on lunar phases.


Sept. 1st - Fair on the first of September, fair for the entire month. The weather for the day warm and breezy.

Sept. 2nd - the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 in the Florida Keys took 400 lives.

Sept. 3rd - The Monarch butterflies start to migrate. The weather for the day, warm.

Sept. 4th - September rain is much liked by the farmers.

Sept. 5th - When small clouds join and thicken expect rain. The weather for the day warm and breezy.

Sept. 6th - On this day, severe thunderstorms hit central Iowa with 85 mph winds at Ames and 2" diameter hail caused crop losses in the millions of dollars from n.w. to central sections of the state.

Sept. 7th - Saturn hovers to the left of the moon. The weather for the day, warm and maybe some rain.

A Destructive September Hailstorm

On Sept.3, 1917 a destructive hailstorm struck portions of Keokuk County damaging buildings and destroying crops in a swath 2 to 4 miles wide from south of What Cheer to around Talleyrand. Complete crop destruction was reported. An observer wrote that the hailstones were so large that they went through wire window screens and in some cases broke the siding on houses. Very few window panes in the storm's path remained unbroken. One stone measured 6" in circumference.


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


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