Terry's Blog

September 23, 2020

The first day of fall left nothing to be desired across the central Midwest. Sunshine and mild temperatures ruled, picture perfect as the saying goes. While we still have some more of this on our plate, starting next week the the weather menu gets less tasty. Here's what Tuesday's beautiful day looked like from the perspective of the GOES 16 satellite.

The coming pattern change (as typically i...

September 22, 2020

We all were taught at a tender age that the Earth makes a complete revolution around the sun once every 365 days, following an orbit that is elliptical in shape. This means that the distance between the Earth and Sun, which is 93 million miles on average, varies throughout the year. During the first week in January, the Earth is about 1.6 million miles closer to the sun. This is referred to as the...

September 19, 2020

The Midwest weather pattern was dominated by high pressure and fresh fall air Friday afternoon. Under a mix of sun and clouds highs struggled to get past the mid 60s in many areas. Dubuque only reached a high of 62. These were late day readings.

The majority of my region was running 10-12 degrees below normal at that time. 

Below you can see the big 1031mb high that will be parked over the region Fr...

September 18, 2020

A couple weeks ago many of you were pleading for rain. And for good reason, a long dry August had really burned things up. Well, you know the saying, be careful what you wish for. The rains came in a big way. Here's what we've had so far this September. A swath in EC Iowa and WC Illinois showing 6-10 inches!

That puts September amounts in my area 3 to 4 times above what's normal.

By the way the...

September 17, 2020

All things considered the weather around the central Midwest was pretty choice Wednesday as highs in many areas were back in the 80s. The month though has been a roller coaster with a high in Cedar Rapids of 91 the 6th followed by a 52 the 9th. Season change!

After a dry first week the 6th through the 12th was a wet period with some later reports (beyond the graphic) showing as much as 9 inches of...

September 16, 2020

Before we get into the weather, I'm going to let you in on a special project I've been working on. I'm writing a brand new book on the August 10th Derecho which historically, could very well be the worst storm in Iowa Weather history. One of the key elements in telling the story will be pictures. I need good ones from all around Iowa. Not only can you help me, you can get your name, image, and com...

September 15, 2020

With 7 tropical systems in the Atlantic being monitored, and only 3 names left reserved for the Atlantic Hurricane season, we are likely going to run out of predefined storm names to use. The remaining unused storm names are Teddy, Vicky and Wilfred. Once those names have been assigned to a storm, the NHC will make additional names taken from the Greek alphabet. IE Alpha, Beta, etc.

The only time t...

September 12, 2020

I wouldn't call it biblical but after a two month stretch of dry weather, the last week certainly has earned an honorable mention after producing some heavenly rainfall totals.Widespread 3-6" totals have been observed across much of my area. Localized spots have had as much as 7-8 inches. These are the 7 day rainfall estimates. These only go through Thursday morning so significantly more has falle...

September 11, 2020

Just Looking at the 500mb jet stream pattern you would be hard pressed to think that some parts of eastern Iowa have had over 6 inches of rain the past few days (some estimates as high as 8"). There's ridging over much of the eastern U.S. with the majority of the upper air energy contained within a closed low centered over Colorado. At face value, not that exciting in my area..

However, the satelli...

September 10, 2020

Wednesday's hi-resolution GOES satellite really tells the tale of the days weather. Look at that canopy of think clouds from Ontario back into Iowa trailing into Texas. If you were under that chances are good you saw some rain or at least drizzle and unseasonably cool temperatures. Not a nice day.

A few places in Iowa didn't even get out of the 40s (47 was the high Estherville). It was only 52 in C...

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© 2019 Terry Swails