Sunday, December 30, 2007

Foggy & Getting Colder!

The last several days across the state have been quite gray and dreary looking for the most part. Despite some snowfall over portions of the state, it has been foggy or there has been blowing snow that has never allowed visibilities to go much more than a couple of miles. This fog got very dense last night across much of northwest and north-central Iowa, prompting the NWS offices to issue a dense fog advisory as visibilities were down to near zero! This fog continue through the night across the area, with so much moisture in place allowing snowfall to occur that stuck to everything. Trees are coated with this thick wet snow, along with everything possible seems to have a coating. This fog is likely to continue through the day over some areas of the state, with more snowfall moving in by nightfall.

This light snow may occur across portions of the state, not much accumulation expected anywhere. Western to central Iowa seeing a half-inch to near inch and eastern Iowa also seeing around an inch of snow during the day on Monday. After this quick clipper system moves through, pulling the cold front with it we can expect temperatures to drop into some very chilly ranges. Highs Monday in the near 20 to near 30 range from northwest to southeast, lows from near zero to mid teens. By Tuesday, highs will struggle to get out of the single digits in northwest Iowa with the rest of the state not doing much better only getting into the teens. Tuesday night will start the year off on a very cold note, wind chill values for the morning will be well into the negative teens and twenties over the state. Actual temperature values for when you wake up on Wednesday will range from near zero in the southeast to near -10 in the northwest!

Luckily these temperature won't last long, as the trough responsible for these will move off to the east during mid-week. By Thursday and Friday you can see highs rising into the mid 20s to mid 30s and then even higher into the lower 40s for the southwest. Currently there isn't much mention of precip after the early week system and blast of cold air. Enjoy the cold start to the year, but remember it only gets warmer! Have a happy new year!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Snow Advisory: Dec. 28

A Snow Advisory has been issued for roughly the southeastern half of the state, areas east of a Nebraska City, NE to Prairie Du Chien, WI. Areas just to the west of this line may still see snowfall, but generally around an inch or less of snow accumulation is expected. Those counties that are within the snow advisory are expected to see 2-6 inches of snowfall, with the heaviest amounts in southeast and east-central Iowa.

Latest models have actually indicated less snowfall with this system than previous ones, at least looking at last nights model run. The off-hour model runs that come out during the late night hours also seem to have pulled back on total accumulations. However this doesn't seem to be enough to deter the NWS offices from pulling back some of their forecasted totals. Latest discussion indicates mainly 1-5 inches within their advisory area, which is still going with the latest forecast and advisory text.

Road conditions are likely to be effected by this system, in fact a majority of the state have at least wet conditions due to frost and snow. Areas of southern and eastern Iowa are likely to see mostly covered roads through the Noon hour until the snow can begin to taper off and the plows can truly plow the roads. Take some time when traveling this morning and even this afternoon as some slick areas may still exist.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Winter Storm: Dec. 27-28

Yet another low pressure system is going to make its' way across the plains states, leading to another shot at heavy snowfall over portions of the state of Iowa. Snow should begin to enter the state late this afternoon and throughout the night, lasting into the daytime hours tomorrow for much of eastern Iowa along with some flurries left over for southern Iowa. Areas of the state have been put under a Winter Storm Watch that will likely be upgraded to at least a Snow Advisory later this afternoon. Areas currently not under the watch may still be upgraded to some sort of advisory as the path of this system may go slightly north than the Des Moines forecast office has indicated with their watch area. Models are in line fairly well with the track and amounts from this system, the area of more than 1 inch of snow should be east of a line from Nebraska City, NE through to Rochester, MN. Areas west of that line are likely to only see snow flurries with accumulations less than an inch.

Amounts east of that line area likely to range from 1" to upwards of 5" with some half-foot amounts possible in some of the heavier bands of snow. The Davenport NWS has put wording in their forecast that isolated 5-8" amounts are not out of the question. Models currently paint the heaviest snowfall amounts between 5" and 7", this mainly in areas of southeastern and eastern Iowa. For the latest information on the expected amounts check out the 'weather story' feature on the DMX and DVN NWS pages that are linked below:

Des Moines NWS Weather Story
Davenport NWS Weather Story

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Snow Advisory

There has been slight chances of snow in the forecast for Christmas for the past couple of days, but it now looks like areas of at least northwest Iowa will be receiving plenty of Christmas Snow. This area of the state missed out on the snowfall from the previous system that dumped over a half foot of snow in southern and eastern Iowa. Light to moderate snow showers have continued to spread southeast into northwest Iowa this afternoon. Enough moisture has pooled up to prompt the NWS out of Sioux Falls to issue a Snow Advisory for their northwest Iowa counties. The band of snowfall should continue to work southeast through the evening and into the early nighttime hours, a total of 2-4 inches of accumulation are likely in the areas under the snow advisory. This advisory essentially includes counties west of highway 4 and north of highway 20...

Areas that are near this snow advisory will still likely see snowfall accumulations this afternoon and tonight, however total amounts should generally be 1-2 inches. This snowfall may also continue to work into the rest of the state overnight and into tomorrow. Current forecasts only put ~1 inch of accumulation over the rest of the state, although I would not be surprised to see some isolated higher amounts. Some areas of the state may also escape this system with little or no accumulation, but a generally light snowfall should occur over a majority of the state.

Hope everybody enjoys their christmas snowfall, happy holidays!!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Winter Storm: Dec. 22-23

The winter storm that was expected to begin as early as last night has held off its' punch until this afternoon as heavy snows are beginning in southern Iowa. Last night saw a few stray snow showers make their way through the state, with little accumulation for most areas. The bands of snow around the low pressure system have entered the state early this afternoon and as of the latest radar updates some heavy snow has came into south-central Iowa extending to the Iowa City area.

The Winter Storm Warnings and Snow & Blowing Snow Advisories that were issued last night have been extended until the morning hours tomorrow as this snow has been slow to make its' way north. Travel conditions are becoming unfavorable over some areas of the state as shown by the road conditions link. Some areas within this heavy snow and winds are producing white out conditions as shown by the webcams across the state.

Current snow totals are going to range from 4-8 inches along the heaviest bands of snow that are likely from south-central Iowa into northeast Iowa. Areas both east and west of that line can see 1-3 inches of snow this evening and overnight, while areas of northwest and a majority of the western third of the state won't see much of any accumulation. For the latest updates be sure to check out the NWS pages as well as the road conditions maps across the state. This storm isn't effecting me much at all in northwest Iowa, thus I've been busy with other projects. A recap of the storm may be posted tomorrow or at a later date as it looks to be a pretty good near blizzard storm.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Winter Storm: Dec. 21-22

Portions of the state are going to be in for a nice winter storm that will effect a lot of their weekend travel. The storm system that has been talked about since the beginning of the week has finally came into focus, providing a forecast that puts portions of the eastern third of the state under a half foot of snow! Other areas of the state are going to see general amounts of snow in the 1-3 inch range.

A low pressure system is likely to develop along the IA/MO borders late tonight and continue to strengthen as it moves northeastward towards the Great Lakes area. This low will setup a strong pressure gradient and thus some fairly gusty winds over much of the state tomorrow. This wind will be accompanied by moderate to heavy snow over central and eastern Iowa, light to moderate snow over western Iowa. All portions of the state may see some hazardous driving conditions when under the snow showers as wind gusts are likely to blow the snow around quite easily during and after its' fallen. Eastern Iowa will see the heaviest snow bands as it remains within the lows' deformation zone, allowing for slow moving bands of heavy snow. Total accumulations in the 4-8 inch range are going to be possible, with some locally higher amounts not out of the question in eastern Iowa.

Central Iowa will likely be within a 2-5 inch range of snowfall and western Iowa within a 1-3 inch range of snowfall with areas along the Missouri seeing under an inch in some locations. Where snow does occur expect some slow travel as mentioned the winds will provide some blowing and drifting snow to occur. Currently only winter storm watches have been issued for portions of central/eastern Iowa, expect those to be upgraded later this afternoon. The latest weather story from Des Moines gives a rough estimate of snowfall forecasted:

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Weekend Winter Storm Potential

Latest model runs continue to put this system up in limbo, but a little more consistency in some models are leading to a slightly better idea than yesterday. Current thoughts conclude that this system may be much quicker in moving across the plains as the low develops over the plains and slides into the Great Lakes. This low is still expected to become quite strong over the Great Lakes, but with its' speed moving across the plains it likely won't have such of an impact as previously thought.

Snowfall across Iowa is still likely, with some mixed precip still possible over southern and eastern Iowa as well. Snowfall amounts and overall precip amounts aren't likely to be too excessive, general forecast puts 1-3 inches across much of the state in snowfall amounts. This is a quick and general belief in what the current models seem to be displaying and what NWS offices seem to be going with. A more precise and likely more accurate of snow amounts along with the chances of any mixed precip will be known in later updates. Still should keep an eye on the storm, but it does look like the severity of the storm will not as crippling as previous forecasts may have indicated.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Potent System for Weekend

As mentioned in the previous post, this weekend holds some potential for a significant winter storm to go over the plains states. This system has been featured in the models for a while, but the exact location of this system has still been in limbo even in current forecasts. Nonetheless, the latest consensus is to bring a low pressure system out of the Rockies just south of Colorado and into the plains by Friday night. This low pressure system continues to the northeast moving near the MO/IA border by Saturday morning and then up towards the Great Lakes by Sunday. This low pressure system is accompanied by a very strong trough which will allow the low to strengthen considerably as it moves over the plains on Saturday into Sunday. Stronger low will likely mean a better chance for significant precip amounts not only along the fronts south/east of it but especially areas that are just north of the front where the deformation zone is setup. One thing this strong low will definitely bring with it is stronger winds, latest forecast discussion from Des Moines has pointed out that on the backside of the low may create blizzard conditions over Iowa.

This track just to the south of northern Iowa is likely to bring some of the heavier snow amounts to the area. Although any change with the track will of course bring a change to where the heaviest snow amounts fall. Areas that receive this heavy snow are likely to not only get the snowfall, but winds to go with it as a strong pressure gradient is likely to setup west of the low. Luckily this low is conjoined with the strong trough in the upper levels, meaning it won't stick around for long. Current timing of this system looks to effect Iowa mainly on Saturday, of course dependent on the amount of snow and wind behind it means it could continue to have some problems with transportation on Sunday while things get cleared off.

Other areas of the state may not only see the snow, but some mixed precip types are going to be possible along and just to the south of the low. A strong low means strong temperature gradients are likely to be present, meaning that some fairly warm temperatures are likely just to the east and south of the low. Freezing rain, sleet and even rain are all going to be possible along the plains states as this system is going to bring up that warm air to various areas along its' path.

Not going to get into the issue of how much snow and the exacts on locationing of this storm as it is still just too far out in the forecast. Would of course recommend a very close eye on this system as the weekend is likely one of the busiest of the year with Christmas coming next Tuesday. Will continue to have updates, hopefully daily, as to what the latest forecasts indicate with this system.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A Nice Week... Website Changes

First off, a quick note on some website issues. My gallery pages as you may have noticed are not operational at the moment and I'm currently in the process of unveiling an entire new website and design. I hope to have the new gallery operational by the new year, along with the remainder of the website. Keep checking back here for the latest details and the word on the official unveiling of the new website.

Now to the weather for the week, the last full week of work for most people as Christmas is nearing ever closer. A mainly dry week in store for the state, although a small system may get portions of the state Wednesday night into Thursday. The main focus for a winter storm is currently looking at this weekend, as another potent low may effect the state. Some areas of eastern Iowa are seeing flurries today, Thursday over central & eastern Iowa may also see some flurries or drizzle; neither of these events should be much.

Temperatures throughout the week will be fairly mild, mid 20s to lower 30s on Monday with warm-up continue through Thursday with highs mainly in the upper 20s to mid 30s across the state. Lows in the single digits to lower teens tonight, but a quick change into the mid teens to lower 30s should take place by Monday night. Lows should remain in the mid teens in the north to the mid 20s in the south throughout the week before this weekends storm starts to effect the state.

More information on this weekends storm will be available in later updates...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

More Snow!

The whole state doesn't have to worry about it, but portions of southern and eastern Iowa will definitely be on the lookout for some significant accumulations. A winter weather advisory is in effect for areas south of a Nebraska City to Des Moines to Dubuque, 2-5 inches of snowfall is likely in those areas. Areas just north of that line may see light snow with some accumulations of less than 2 inches. Some portions of south-central Iowa may see even higher amounts than the rest of the state, areas including Lamoni and the surrounding counties may see snowfall of up to 7 inches! These areas have been upgraded to a Heavy Snow Warning until mid-afternoon today, as snowfall rates may be several inches per hour.

The remainder of the state that won't have this snow to deal with will see a nice day, with the sun shining for most of northern Iowa. Temperatures across the state will range from the lower to mid 20s today. Lows tonight will range from the single digits to the mid teens over eastern Iowa where some cloud cover will still be present.

For the latest information on the advisories and warnings, including the texts see the Winter Weather Page from Des Moines NWS.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Semester Nearly Over!

I'm currently in my 5th semester of studies at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. That is until about 5 hours from now when I will be finishing up my final exam in Surface Hydrology & Surficial Processes. Once that is complete I will be completed with all of my work this semester and can start thinking ahead on my 6th semester here at Iowa State... For those of you who don't know more about me, I am a Meteorology major and a Geology minor; my Geology minor is emphasized on the hydrological aspects of things. This semesters classes included Statistics, Atmospheric Physics, Synoptic Meteorology, History of the Earth (Geology) & the Surface Hydrology/Surficial Processes course. All of them will of course get a passing grade from the work I've done, in fact going through my grades it looks like this may be my best semester since my 1st one down here in Ames. I thank that upon finishing up my work in Calculus and Physics!

Anyway, just thought I'd give a small update on some of the ongoings as to why I've been so busy lately. I'll have another post about school maybe once I receive my final grades this semester or before next semester begins with a little preview of what I'll be handling then.

Oh, as for the weather, didn't think I'd leave that out, did ya? It looks to be a fairly nice end of the week into the weekend, with temperatures in the mid 20s to mid 30s across the state for highs, lows ranging a little wider from the teens to a few single digits possibly. Only snow in the forecast may come Friday night into Saturday, this won't be much of anything accumulation-wise as flurries are really the only mention in the forecasts. Look forward to a nice weekend, get out and enjoy all of the snow that is around; also a great time with the sun out to melt any of that ice that you still have left on the driveway or other areas!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Winter Storm: Dec. 10-11 -- Storm Updates

9:00 PM - The freezing rain and sleet has ended for much of the state, at least the majority of accumulations have already occurred. Light freezing drizzle and/or snow may still occur over the next several hours as the moisture continues to be rung out of the atmosphere. Areas of southern and eastern Iowa are still without power and may be so for a couple of days; although much of the effect should be limited to cleaning up tree branches and scooping/scraping the sidewalks and driveway. Here is the latest update from Des Moines on what the state saw for accumulations:

Noon - The precipitation is beginning to move on, much of the western half of the state will likely only see flurries or light drizzle if anything for the remainder of the afternoon. Areas of eastern Iowa are still in the path of the surging moisture however and can expect to see the freezing rain, sleet or snow continue into this evening.

The latest map from the Des Moines NWS can give you an idea of how this storm turned out, a very sharp gradient from freezing rain to snow/sleet as Ames was acquiring mainly snow this morning while just to the south in Ankeny they were adding freezing rain on top of what they already had. This map was last updated over an hour ago, some of the details aren't great, as Ames does have over an inch of snow as well as the tenth of freezing rain that fell overnight. Once this storm has completely came to an end a complete wrap up of the storm will be posted... However, eastern Iowa still on the lookout for continued freezing rain accumulation while the western half finally begins to dry out.

6:15 AM - Freezing rain has continued throughout the night over portions of southern Iowa that are under the Ice Storm Warning. Other portions of the state have seen scattered showers capable of freezing rain, sleet or snow in some cases. Currently radar indicating that another patch of moderate showers is moving into southwestern Iowa and will continue to expand and move northeastward. Latest RUC model forecast for the short term today indicates light to moderate showers are expected over much of the state, with the potential still for some fairly heavy bursts in embedded storms...

Latest short term forecast from Des Moines touches on the fact that we should expect precip to expand and overtake much of the southern half to two-thirds of the state within the next 2 hours. Additional freezing rain likely south of I80, upwards of a half-inch of ice accumulation; while north of I80 can expect mainly sleet/snow to fall with accumulations of 1-3 inches.

Reports are beginning to come in this morning as people wake up and take a look at what they have received overnight. NWS Office in Johnston reports .2 inches of ice, Centerville & Ottumwa both report .5" of ice and a report from Bedford indicates that power outages have occurred in some portions of the state. Additional reports from the Des Moines Airport indicate that nearly .4" of ice has fallen there, Atlantic reports of a quarter inch of ice. The only snow report thus far comes out of Sioux City where they have received just under 2 inches of snow overnight. Expect reports to really pour in this morning, you can read the latest ones by viewing the 'local storm reports' links to the right. Next update likely to come during the early afternoon hours, after I've finished with my two finals tests for today!

10:30 PM - Likely the only update for tonight, freezing rain has surged northward this evening and is already as far north as a Harlan to Winterset to Albia line in southern Iowa. Freezing rain is likely to accumulate rapidly as moisture is plentiful and showers are likely to have decent rain rates. Some reports from southeast NE and southwest IA where the freezing rain began only an hour to an hour and a half ago indicate that accumulations are already nearing a quarter of an inch. Expect freezing rain to continue to push north and east into much of the southern half of the state by the early morning hours. By sunrise tomorrow could expect to see much of the state receiving some precip, with snow mainly north of a Omaha to Dubuque line; south of that line a mix of precipitation could be seen. Once south of a Nebraska City to Davenport line it is likely that you may be seeing freezing rain throughout the night and well into tomorrow...

Total accumulations with this storm do not look to be overdone at this time, previous storms have lacked some conditions to give them their full potential. Currently it looks as if this storm may truly produce upwards of an inch of ice for portions of the state and other states including KS/MO and IL into tomorrow evening. Areas of Oklahoma have already received extreme amounts of ice and put over a half a million people without power. Estimate will likely have that number over a million by sunrise and we could be into multiple millions of people without power by this time tomorrow evening.

I do have radar updating on my homepage, radar colors will stay in regular reflectivities as the mixed precip is likely to show up better with it rather than the winter reflectivity colors you may have saw last time. For the latest in the warnings/advisories that the NWS has issued please check out the links to the right of the posts. Also keep in mind the road conditions over the state, that link is also posted to the right. Next update likely to come very early tomorrow morning, subsequent updates not likely until afternoon tomorrow.

Winter Storm: Dec. 10-11 -- Update #2

Afternoon Update: Models from this morning went slightly warmer, or at least the WRF went warmer to become more in line with the GFS as far as snowfall production went. Looked over several of the atmospheric profiles this afternoon with several other meteorology students here at Iowa State and the consensus seems to be that this is a challenging forecast on precip type. Any slight changes in the temperatures anywhere below 700mb is likely to results in different precip types. The forecast from this morning still seems to be going fairly well, the location and timing of the system still seems to be good. One likely change will be to include the snow & sleet accumulations together; read snow/sleet accumulations of 2-6 inches combined. The center area will also likely see anywhere from a tenth of quarter of an inch of ice as well before the sleet/snow begin Tuesday morning. Of course as you reach further north/west to the line expect only 2 inches of sleet/snow with little ice accumulation. The south/eastern portion of the state still seems likely to have dramatic ice accumulations, with some forecasts indicating over an inch of ice accumulations. Therefore storyline of significant winter storm still going, areas of Oklahoma already saw some significant ice before it turned to rain this morning. Expect the remainder of the plains to get into the action by tomorrow morning...

Morning Forecast: Upgrades from the winter storm watch are continuing this morning, areas of southeastern Iowa are now in a Ice Storm Warning, other areas of southern Iowa are in a Winter Storm Warning and just to the north and east of that will likely be a Winter Weather Advisory. Cities under the Ice Storm Warning include Lamoni, Ottumwa, Davenport, Burlington and Keokuk. Those cities are expected to receive a half inch to over an inch of damaging ice accumulation, beginning tonight and lasting into Tuesday before a change to a sleet/snow mix may occur late Tuesday afternoon. The Winter Storm Warning includes Omaha, Atlantic, Des Moines, Ames, Marshalltown, Cedar Rapids & Iowa City. Areas within this stretch of the storm are expected to incur some freezing rain and/or sleet tonight before a change over to snow occurs Tuesday morning. These areas could receive up to a third of an inch of freezing rain, or one-half to an inch of sleet accumulations during the overnight. By Tuesday, the snow could accumulate from around an inch to upwards of 5 inches! The Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for portions of the state further north, more counties are expected to be included later this morning. These areas may receive some light ice/sleet accumulations before seeing all snow by Tuesday; total snow accumulations still likely into the 2-5 inch range.

For the latest map on the advisories/warnings, check out the Des Moines Winter Storm Page. A rough map of my current forecast is below:

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Winter Storm: Dec. 10-11

Another winter storm is taking aim at the central plains and unfortunately this storm is going to be one that once again is bringing a mixture of precipitation types to the state. A Winter Storm Watch has been issued for areas of Iowa mainly south of I80, to keep up on the warnings check out the link that was provided previously as well as the map on the Des Moines Winter Storm Page. The possibilities with this storm includes a mixture of freezing rain, sleet and snow; with up to a half inch or more of ice accumulation along with up to an inch of sleet and a couple inches of snow. Many possibilities still exist as the exact location of the storm as well as precip type, much like the last storms to hit the state. This event should begin Monday night and last through the day on Tuesday, with the bulk of mixed precip actually occurring Monday night. An update on the forecast as well as the watches/warnings will likely be made tomorrow in between my study sessions for finals!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Winter Storm: Dec. 8-9

Winter Storm Recap: Mixture of snow with some freezing drizzle over southern Iowa occurred on Saturday and into early Sunday for portions of eastern Iowa. Snow amounts were heaviest over northwest Iowa and gradually got lighter the further south you went. Looking over the reports on CoCoRaHS from Iowa, the highest report of snowfall came from my house! 5.5 inches of new snow fell on the ground, on top of ~3 inches that was already on the ground making for a nice 8.5 to 9 inch snowpack now on the ground in northwest Iowa. Iowa co-op observers go along with this location of heaviest snow, Sanborn observer reporting 6 inches of new snow. Here are a few maps of the reports:


6:30 PM Update: Snow has been falling over much of the state this morning and afternoon, some hazardous conditions are being noted on the roadways where snow has covered the roads and in some cases a mix of freezing rain or sleet has also occurred. North of highway 30 and west of a Waterloo to Mason City line is still under a Snow Advisory as 3-5 inches of snow are likely to fall by the end of the storm tonight. South of highway 30 throughout the state is a Winter Weather Advisory, areas may see freezing drizzle, sleet as well as the snow. Thus total snow accumulations are only expected to be 1-3 inches. The extreme southeast corner of the state actually has a Freezing Rain Advisory, where a tenth to a quarter of an inch of ice may accumulate.

For the latest reports on snowfall from throughout the state, please click on the local storm report links to the right of the post.


Haven't had a lot of time and thus won't be able to do the complete forecast for this event like I had hoped for. Nonetheless, want to let people know about the upcoming winter storm that will likely effect much of the state, areas of western Iowa have already been put under winter weather advisories, snow advisories and even heavy snow warnings around the Sioux City area where up to 8 inches of snow may fall through Sunday. For the latest watches/warnings that have been issued visit the Des Moines NWS Severe Weather page and click on respective county or any other option. Possible updates later on tomorrow evening may be possible...

It is finals week next week down here at Iowa State, thus updates may cease for a while as I prepare for those. Wish me luck!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Winter Storm: Dec 6 -- Storm Updates

8:30 PM Update - Snowfall has ceased over areas of western and central Iowa, with only the eastern third of the state still under a Snow Advisory as moderate to heavy snows may occur through midnight. Once into the early morning hours the snow should taper off to only a light snow before stopping completely before the sunrises.

Accumulation totals over the state are highest in the southwest where a few 5 inch totals and even a 6 inch total just east of Tekamah, click to view the Omaha NWS Snowfall Map. Northwest Iowa was less, as the Snow Advisory was even canceled for some portions of the area. Mainly 1-3 inches, although a few 4"+ amounts in Cherokee, Storm Lake and Sioux City; click to view the Sioux Falls NWS Map. Across central Iowa, 2-5 inches of snow fell for a majority of the state with the heaviest surrounding the Des Moines area. A list of the Des Moines NWS reports can be found here. The areas of eastern Iowa aren't completely done with their snowfall, thus no final reports or images are available currently. It is expected that 2-4 inches, isolated 5 inch amounts may occur with a few of the stronger snow bursts.

2:00 PM Update - Snowfall was light in Ames throughout the morning, however latest radar imagery and the view from outside indicate that moderate to heavy snowfall is occurring and going to continue through mid-afternoon over central Iowa. This band of snowfall is working out of eastern NE and western IA where report have nearly 5 inches of snow on the ground in Omaha and 2.5 inches in Sioux City. This snowfall may create some travel problems before the snow stops and crews can completely clear it, take extra precautions when driving.

Mainly an inch has fallen over central Iowa where the snows are finally beginning to fall heavier, eastern Iowa has yet to see more than light snow out of the system. You can view the latest winter weather radar image on my homepage see where the heavier snows are, represented by the brighter blue colors. White reflectivities in this instance indicate mainly light snow, keep in mind this is the Des Moines radar image currently and thus those of you who are in the corner of the state or extreme eastern Iowa may not see reflectivities over them as the radar cannot reach that far.

Iowa Chaser Winter Weather Radar Image
Radar Loop -- Javascript or Flash Player

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Winter Storm: Dec 6

A winter storm is taking aim at Iowa once again as the active pattern of systems continues... This system is luckily bringing with it only snow, no chances of any other wintery precip types. The snow should begin in western Iowa during the early morning hours and traveling across the state throughout the afternoon hours, ending in the west by mid-afternoon and finally leaving the state just after Midnight. Snowfall amounts should range within the advisory criteria, 2-5 inches throughout the state. Winds should be fairly brisk, in the 15-25 mph range and thus allowing for some blowing snow especially in open areas. Expect some traveling problems if you are out during the morning or afternoon hours, or evening in the east as snow blows across the road and moderate snowfall rates reduce visibilities under a mile. Overall a general winter storm with not much in the way of excess snowfall, but one of the first all snow events that some areas are going to see and thus take it slow the first time around to get used to the conditions...

For the latest Snow Advisory information via the NWS, please check out this link!

Once this storm passes through we will look ahead for this weekend as our next storm arrives. Models have fluctuated with the type of precip, lately they have progressed to an all snow event and this seems to be the going forecast. However, it has also trended towards a weaker solution of only light to moderate accumulations of snowfall. This system will still be watched, however at this time it seems to have lost some of its' potential. More updates on the weekend system in later updates...

Thursday's Potential Snowstorm & A Recap of Yesterday's 'Clipper' Snowfalls

Beginning Thursday morning we should have our next storm system moving into the state, the NWS has begun to issue their Snow Advisories for this storm. To read the latest text for these advisories, please check out the NWS Snow Advisories. This storm is expected to be fairly quick, beginning in western Iowa by the early morning hours on Thursday, but should be out of the state by Midnight that night. Lingering flurries or scattered snow showers may be possible later than that, however nothing significant expected. Updated forecast and status on advisories, etc. will be posted tonight...

Yesterday's quick moving system put down some decent amounts of snow across northeast Iowa, allowed scattered snow showers and rain showers, along with a mix of all precip in between snow & rain across portion of the state. No significant reports of accidents or power outages in Iowa, just north into MN or WI there were however reports of several accidents on I90 and other areas near the Twin Cities. Co-op reports from around the state put the snow northeast of a line from Webster City to Davenport. Highest amounts as noted were in the far northeast corner of the state where several 5 and 6 inch reports came in from observers. This puts snowfall depths in that part of the state nearing double digits, with Waukee actually in double digits with 10 inches of snow on the ground. The current swatch of snowfall actually on the ground comes from near Sioux City, to Carrol and through Boone continuing to the east to Davenport; a majority of locations north of that line currently have snow on the ground.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Some Quick Snow

A quick system is going to work over the state this evening and through the overnight, mainly effecting northeast Iowa. This kind of system is usually called a clipper due to the quick moving nature, often these systems originate in Canada and are called an Alberta Clipper. This case however is not an Alberta Clipper per say, a weak low pressure system is actually going to be located over Iowa and into the Midwest/Ohio Valley. To the north of this low where there is enough energy and cold air to ring out the moisture that is there and give areas some quick snowfall.

Tonights' system may bring some light precip for much of the state, however a bulk of its' energy will be to the north and east of the state. However, northeast Iowa may see some decent snow amounts during the overnight hours. A quick 2-6 inches of snow may be seen over that section of the state, while the rest of the state will likely stay under an inch of accumulation. Areas in the southern half of the state may see a mix of snow/sleet and rain if some precip can occur in those areas. No significant accumulation is expected, however it does not take much of a mix bag of precip to make conditions hazardous. Nonetheless, this system should move through and be gone by tomorrow morning...

For the latest statement by the NWS, read the latest Snow Advisory that is effect from this afternoon through tonight for areas of northeast Iowa.

Temperatures today ranging from the upper 20s in extreme northeast Iowa to the mid 40s in southwest Iowa where there is no snow on the ground. Lows tonight in the teens to upper 20s from north to south. By Thursday we will see our next winter system make its' way over the state, bringing the entire state to a chance of good snow accumulations. This system will be followed by several waves of energy that may bring more winter weather over the state throughout the weekend. More details on the Thursday storm and others following will be posted in tomorrow's update...

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Dec. 1 Winter Storm Recap

Light to moderate snow still making it' way across the state this morning in one last band behind this system which is currently over the Great Lakes and areas south. This storm is going to continue to give winter storm conditions over the northern Great Lakes and into the northeast over the next 48 hours. The storm however has moved past Iowa and other areas of the plains, leaving behind snow, ice and a mixture of everything winter in it' path. North of the IA/MN border and near the IA/SD border and west, mainly snow was received with little in the way of other precip forms. Portions of eastern NE got hit hard with ice/sleet mixtures, others began with ice but melted off before the storm was over due to rain. Iowa was a mixed bag of precip form, snow in the northern half mixed with glazes of ice; a quarter of an inch or more of ice throughout much of the southern half of the state. Some areas receiving over a half of an inch of ice and portion of southwestern Iowa mainly receiving rain.

Travel conditions were strained in the morning hours as mainly ice fell with drivers apparently not noticing the worsening conditions. By early afternoon many portion of the state were out of the 'Travel Not Advised' conditions, all except for east-central Iowa where large amounts of ice were falling. These areas were the main reports of power outages as well, although there were some scattered throughout the state; east-central Iowa was hit the hardest with nearly ~15,000 houses without power for at least some time. One western Illinois town is still without power this morning due to several downed lines; a community shelter was opened up there for people.

As for forecast verification, main problem was not total precip amounts but instead the coverage of those areas. The major pockets of ice were kept into a small coverage area for the most part, instead of being widespread as models were indicating. Also the presence of ice pellets and sleet were much higher than what my forecast indicated, here in Ames a majority of the morning was sleet compared to the expected freezing rain. Snowfall amounts were generally smaller than expected, areas in the northern third of the state received generally 1-3 inches although the northeast corner saw 3-6 inches amounts. Generally however the QPF amounts were above an inch, which is what forecasts were calling for. Main problem with this winter storm was the precip type, which generally is going to be extremely hard when you have this type of system.

Hope readers enjoyed the updates yesterday, the blog was at near-record numbers for visits and page views. We were competing with days in the month of June during TWISTEX, which is quite impressive for a winter storm making a run at severe weather and chasing. Hope many of you continue to come back to read the latest forecasts for the state of Iowa and when that next winter storm is likely to occur. Please, leave comments if you wish! Thanks

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Winter Storm: Dec. 1-2 -- Live Updates

5:45 PM Update: Small band of showers working through central Iowa currently, another small area in northwest Iowa and the strongest band of showers in southwestern Iowa. These patches of precip will put down a wide variety, ranging from mostly rain in the south to freezing rain in the north. Expect other patches of precip to develop throughout the overnight as the low pressure begins to make its' way into the state; there should however not be any significant amounts. General under a tenth of an inch of rain or freezing rain and an inch or so of snow/sleet at most. Some areas of the state due have problems with driving conditions and there are scattered areas without power; current estimates are ~15,000 people without power across the state, a majority of them in eastern Iowa.

Road conditions are mainly wet for the southern third of the state, partially covered in the central, mostly covered in the northwest. Completely covered in north-central and northeast Iowa, with travel still not advised for areas of east-central Iowa including Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and the Quad Cities. Storm has hampered some areas, but definitely not as widespread as forecasted and the hardest hit areas were luckily not as bad as the worst case scenario. Possibly one more update late tonight, otherwise may work on a recap of the storm tomorrow that will be posted.

3:30 PM Update - Light freezing rain still falling in Ames, has really slowed down for the past hour or so and it looks like it will remain light if at all for the remainder of the evening/night. East of I-35 is the only portion of the state that is currently showing reflectivities on radar, small area of precip on the wrap around for the low in northeast NE. That may track over parts of northwest Iowa and give them an extra shot at frozen precip. Warm air is still slowly pushing into the state, may be able to melt off some of the ice on the roadways, especially in southern half of Iowa. East-central Iowa is the only portion of the state that has 'travel not advised' posted; this will likely continue for eastern Iowa through the evening.

The ice storm warning has been cancelled for much of south-central Iowa; the winter storm warning for portions of northwest Iowa has also been canceled. Expect the remainder of the state to slowly see the warnings continue to expire into the evening as this line passes through. For now I'll cease the updates to only every couple of hours, leaving you with a few pictures I grabbed near my apartment here in Ames:

Fallen Tree Branch -- Small Icicle -- Several Small Icicles

2:00 PM - Currently experiencing freezing rain, heavy at times in the past half hour; accumulations occurred quickly on all of the trees, etc. Looks like a good tenth of an inch of frozen rain, slightly less on some trees. This rain did manage to melt into the sleet that was already there, creating somewhat of a frozen slush mixture. This band centered over I35 currently, continuing to move northeast into the mid-afternoon; behind this band it seems to have cleared off precip wise as a dry slot move in ahead of the low. Unsure on any precip chances after this current band works through, likely done in Ames by 3 PM. That update at 3 PM or just before will have the totals thus far, which may end up to be the final totals depending on how the rest of the system moves through.

1:15 PM - Warm air has made its' way into southwest Iowa, as well as southeast NE and the portions of KS/MO. This has prompted the Omaha NWS to cancel the ice storm warning for portions of the state, due to rain likely falling for the remainder of the afternoon and only light precip likely during the overnight hours when some freezing may occur. Much of the ice in the area that has been dropped will likely melt over the next couple of hours as the rain falls. This warm air has however allowed for a large complex of showers and potential rumbles of thunder to move into southern Iowa and is currently working east-northeast into central Iowa. This will have the potential to bring copious amounts of ice/sleet to the area in very little time. Check out the latest radar image on my homepage to view the location of this next round of precipitation... Temperatures are near freezing in front of the complex, sleet or freezing rain potentially turning over to rain if temperatures continue to rise with the system. Either way it is likely to be a mess over the next couple of hours for areas of central/eastern Iowa as it makes its' way through. Next update likely in an hour or so as this round is overhead...

Noon Update: Light sleet still occurring here in Ames, not sure on additionally accumulation as I haven't gotten back outside yet; will likely do that before next update. Warmer air continuing to make its' way into the state from the southwest, air temperatures and surface temperatures are both rising with its' appearance. Not much for additional reports in the past hour, been fairly quiet actually as a band moves into northeastern/eastern Iowa and moves out of the area; looks like western Iowa is fairly precip free for the time being. The next wave of precip is currently working through along the southwestern corner of Iowa and will likely continue east and north; mainly affecting southern Iowa with a round of rain/frz rain or sleet depending on the temperature profile.

11:00 AM: Moderate to Heavy sleet/graupel was coming down in Ames, seems to have let up a bit in the past couple of minutes. Nearly an inch of sleet accumulation on the ground, a couple of hundredths of an inch of ice on cars and other surfaces. Trees don't seem to have much for accumulation, although I'm sure some may accumulate better than others. Roads are slick however, several accidents have been reported throughout the morning with a couple of injuries possible (ambulances on scene, actual extents unknown). Travel is not advised for areas of southcentral, central and eastcentral Iowa currently; the remainder of the state has roads mostly or completely covered. Essentially travel should not be advised no matter where you are in the state, as conditions are likely to worsen into the afternoon. Power outages in some areas of the state have been reported, this may likely continue into the afternoon; latest estimates have total houses in the thousands. Several reports coming in as far as totals go, however conditions changing so rapidly I'm not going to go through a listing; check out the links to the right for the latest local storm reports.

Expecting sleet/frz rain to continue for much of the state, however the warm air has already made its' way into southwestern Iowa with surface temperatures above freezing now. Rain beginning to be reported at some of the stations along the IA/MO and IA/NE borders. This warm air is likely to slowly make its' way into the rest of the state, we'll have to watch closely as this could really improve conditions as areas where rain has begun in eastern NE report that the ice was melting fairly quick even with the cold rain.

9:30 AM: Freezing rain and light snow accumulating on the ground, a couple of hundredths of ice accumulation on trees and other surfaces. Up to a half an inch of the sleet/snow and ice on the ground however. Road conditions continue to deteriorate, however no complete closures as of yet. Highest snowfall reports out of northwest Iowa where up to 1.5 inches of snow in Spirit Lake & Estherville; sleet now the main form of precipitation as of latest reports; freezing rain occurring and accumulations over a tenth of an inch reports in several areas across the state. Next update likely at 11 AM.

8:45 AM: Freezing rain and sleet mixture began ~15 minutes ago in Ames again, quickly accumulating on the surfaces. This is actually occurring quicker than originally forecasted, thus expect travel conditions to deteriorate rapidly this morning and have roads in some areas closed before Noon. Areas now around Des Moines and Ames are now also under 'Travel Not Advised'; I believe I80 in eastern NE is closed already in some areas due to several jack-knifed semis. Ice accumulation fairly rapidly, next update likely ~9:30 AM.

8:25 AM: A good dusting of snow has occurred in Ames with the light precipitation that has been over the area for the past couple of hours. Some freezing rain has also been falling across the state, checking out the webcams across the state you can tell which areas have really received this as the cameras are iced over already. Surface temperatures over southwest Iowa are already near freezing and a couple of readings above freezing, this may likely cause the changeover to rain within the next hour or two. Thus far for road conditions, south-central Iowa is already indicating that travel is not advised, this includes I-35 south of Des Moines (Towing services prohibited). Storm already underway and thus far making a decent impact within hours...

Friday, November 30, 2007

Winter Storm: Dec. 1-2 -- Final Forecast & Links

Final Forecast: Models tonight still in astounding agreement with not only total precip, but even timing. Low pressure track is still slightly variable, however the warm air and its' progress seems to be in fairly good alignment. Given this case, will still likely side towards the WRF and its' solution given it has better resolution for the shallow warm layers that will take place. The GFS has also been extremely aggressive with warm air advection; and seemingly trying to pull near 60 degree temps into southern Iowa. That is not likely to happen and thus makes me lean a little more away from that kind of solution...

Looking at model initialization, current surface plots have the low at 998mb along the WY/CO border; neither model has anything close to that. Pressure falls currently show strong tendencies of moving this low to the east or northeast; potentially this storm moving a big quicker? Or further north compared to model forecasts? This is going to be very hard to tell and will likely just need to be watched to see what takes place. Either way, need to make a forecast off of it:

Essentially for my final forecast I'm going to list some cities and make the detailed forecast for them. In the end we can see how close I came, others in the area reading this can make comments as well to let me know how close I came. Once again, areas north of highway 30 under a Winter Storm Warning while areas along and south in an Ice Storm Warning.

Sioux Falls, SD: Precipitation likely beginning ~7 AM in the morning as snow, snow should last throughout the afternoon hours with some moderate to heavy snow possible. By mid-afternoon however, some sleet and/or ice pellets may begin to fall with accumulations possible. Snow totals of 4-7 inches & up to another quarter of an inch of sleet/ice pellets and possibly freezing rain before the storm winds down Saturday night.

Sioux City, IA: Snow beginning by 7 AM as well here, however this will be changing over to freezing rain by Noon and to rain by Saturday evening; a couple hours of rain may then switch back over to freezing rain and a bit more snow by Sunday morning. Total snow accumulation of 2-5", freezing rain and IP/sleet accumulation of a quarter of an inch.

Omaha, NE: Beginning as freezing rain from the beginning on Saturday morning, however changing over to rain just before Noon. Likely to stay as rain, with maybe a final glaze of ice before the storm ends Saturday night. Total ice accumulation of a third to half an inch; liquid rain near another third to half an inch.

Spencer, IA: Snow during the morning hours, turning over to ice pellets/sleet during the early afternoon hours with the potential for freezing rain as well into the evening. A light snow may occur before the storm ends Saturday night; total snow accumulation of 3-5 inches with ice/sleet accumulations of over a half inch possible.

Carroll, IA: Ice pellets or sleet to begin in the morning, turning to freezing rain and then rain during the early afternoon hours. Rain may likely finish this storm off, a few sleet or ice pellets may accompany it however. Around a half inch of some form of frozen precip; another half inch of liquid rain possible.

Creston, IA: Freezing rain turning to rain is the story once again, up to 6 hours of freezing rain before the rain in the afternoon. Around a third of an inch of ice, followed by ~.5 inches of rain.

Mason City, IA: Snow in the morning hours turning to freezing rain before Noon; some rain seems possible although dependent on ground and ice temp as well as the rain it may just freeze on the surface as well. Total ice accumulation of a half inch to two-thirds of an inch; a tenth of an inch of other forms of precipitation (rain, ice pellts & sleet).

Ames, IA: A bit of snow before freezing rain begins in the morning, the switch to rain seems to occur around supper-time. Rain likely throughout the nighttime hours with total liquid rain totals of a quarter to third of an inch. Ice accumulation of near a half inch with some accumulation of snow and/or ice pellets as well.

Des Moines, IA: Much the same as Ames, with a bit of snow followed by several hours of freezing rain. Rain change over seems to occur in the late afternoon, total rain accumulation of a third to half inch. Total ice accumulation between a third and half inch as well.

Ottumwa, IA: Some snow, ice pellets/sleet then freezing rain by Noon, holding off the rain until mid-afternoon. Near a half an inch of frozen precipitation, a quarter to third of an inch of rain with precip ending around sunrise Sunday.

LaCrosse, WI: Snowfall likely by Noon tomorrow, turning to ice pellets/sleet by evening and some rain by the overnight. Total snow accumulation of 2-5 inches, ice accumulations up to a half inch; various other frozen precip types may total up to another quarter of an inch.

Waterloo, IA: Some snow or ice pellets during the late morning hours before freezing rain takes over for the afternoon/evening. Rain may work its' way in during the overnight, rain total near a tenth of an inch. Ice accumulations may be hefty, looking at a half inch to near three-quarters of an inch. Snowfall accumulation likely an inch or less by the time the storm ends Sunday morning.

Dubuque, IA: Saturday afternoon expect ice pellets or sleet turning to freezing rain for a majority of the time. Some rain likely to mix in during the overnight hours, totaling a quarter of an inch. Ice accumulations over a half inch seem likely, with near three-quarters of an inch possible!

Davenport, IA: Snow to freezing rain expected by Noon, holding off any precip type change until sunset when it turns over to rain. Expect light rain to occur for much of the night, finishing off Sunday afternoon with a small shot at frz rain or snow. Total ice accumulation of near or over a half an inch possible, rainfall near a quarter of an inch.

Cedar Rapids, IA: The mix of snow/ice and sleet for the late morning and early afternoon, likely staying freezing rain until later afternoon. A total of a half inch or higher of ice accumulation; approx. a quarter inch of rain as things come to an end by Noon on Sunday.

Burlington, IA: Early snow before turning to freezing rain by Noon on Saturday, likely to stay that way until later afternoon. Total ice accumulation of a quarter to third of an inch; rain totals near a quarter of an inch as well. Precipitation likely to taper off by Sunday afternoon.

Updates likely throughout the day tomorrow as I receive information and check out the current conditions around the state. Be sure to check road conditions and the latest updates on your forecast before heading out anywhere, I'm sure by the afternoon tomorrow that travel will not be advised. First potentially dangerous winter storms, with all the makings for possible widespread damage if conditions do fall into place.


8:45 PM Update: I've updated the frame on the right of the blog posts to contain several links that may be of interest to people within this storm. The Surface Plots are simply a map that has the plots for the weather stations, information shown include winds, temperature/dewpoints and current weather with cloud cover. The Iowa Road Conditions is just that, the current road conditions for the state of Iowa as updated by the Iowa DOT. The IEM Freeze is an exceptionally good tool for freezing rain conditions, it overlays the current radar image with air temperatures (numbers) and pavement temperatures (dots). The Iowa weather round-up is a text version of the station plots in case you would like to read instead of interpret. The Iowa Watches/Warnings/Advisories link contains the texts to all of the issuances for Des Moines NWS and all surrounding, please search your county name to find ones of interest. Lastly, local storm reports will be updated by the NWS offices as they receive them during the storm; NWS office codes are within parentheses.

Winter Storm: Dec. 1-2 -- Update #4

5:15 PM Update: The remainder of NWS offices have now upgraded the watches to warnings, as expected for Iowa areas along & south of Highway 30 for a majority are under an Ice Storm Warning. Areas to the north of their are under a Winter Storm Warning; areas under the winter storm warnings are likely not only to receive decent snowfall amounts, but also significant icing. Current forecasts continue to indicate that snow will begin for areas along and north of highway 30 during the morning hours tomorrow, by early afternoon changing over to freezing rain. Total snow accumulations ranging from 1 inch near highway 30 to near 6 inches along the IA/MN borders. Ice accumulations following may reach upwards of one-half inch, making conditions over the area quite treacherous. For the areas south of highway 30 and currently under an ice storm warning, freezing rain is expected to begin by the morning hours tomorrow; beginning its' transition to mainly rain by noon in extreme southern Iowa or by mid-afternoon near highway 30. Up to an half inch of ice is possible before transitioning to mainly rain. Any areas across the state may see sleet or ice pellets occasionally as precipitation types change over.

A detailed, city by city forecast will likely be produced tonight after the 00z model runs. This will be my final call for this event that may be one of the worst initial winter storms in some time...


3:15 PM: The Winter Storm Watches are now starting to be turned over into various warnings across the plains states. I'll list off some of the general areas of where the new warnings are, you can click on the link to read through the latest warnings of those types. You may have to search for your local NWS office and their list, the easiest way to find your latest warning may be to use the search function and type in your county name.

Areas of KS/MO/IL have been put under a Freezing Rain Advisory.

Just north of that over portions of northern KS, southern NE, northern MO, southern IA and into central IL are now listed under an Ice Storm Warning.

Winter Storm Warnings are likely to replace the watches to the north of the freezing rain advisories/warnings. Currently areas of WI/MI/MN and Iowa have been listed under these, with more areas likely to come.

Snow Advisory for portions of northern MN also now issued.

Not all NWS offices have issued their warnings yet, currently the offices yet to upgrade the watch include LaCrosse, WI; Des Moines, IA; Sioux Falls, SD; Minneapolis, MN; Aberdeen, SD; North Platte, NE. These offices are likely to issue upgrades within the next several hours. A new forecast update will be available by midnight tonight in my next blog post. At that time I will once again cover all of the warnings that are currently issued for Iowa and the surrounding area.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Winter Storm: Dec. 1-2 -- Update #3

Winter Storm Watches are still the only issuances that have been made by the NWS thus far, don't expect any of them to change over until tomorrow afternoon when areas of KS and possibly NE may see the upgrade as the storm begins to affect them by early Saturday. Early Saturday morning is when we will likely see a majority of the warnings come out, likely ranging from heavy snow warnings in SD/MN to winter storm warnings and freezing rain advisories over portions of IA/MO and areas to the northeast.

The afternoon runs of the WRF & GFS became a little closer together, timing is still an issue as the GFS is more progressive. Currently belief is that the WRF, although an outlier with the other models may actually have the best idea of what is occurring near the surface; due to the model resolution. Both are fairly similar in total precip amounts over the plains states as of the 18z runs. The 00z run (tonights) of the WRF has just came in and it has kept fairly consistent on most grounds, it actually increased the total precip amounts over NE/IA/MN. No substantial differences in its' temperatures at the different levels between the runs either. Will have to wait and see how the GFS handles things with its' 00z run.

Ended up not having a lot of time for a detailed forecast, but here is my quickcast for this weekend in Iowa. Both the WRF & GFS are fairly warm now over the state of Iowa, giving way to a mix of snow, freezing rain and even general rain showers. Areas of extreme northern Iowa look to receive the heaviest snow amounts, but likely only in the 4-7" rain at the maximum. They will likely see some sleet and freezing rain by Saturday evening, thus hampering the snowfall totals. Much of the rest of Iowa may see snow beginning on Saturday, but by evening have freezing rain or rain falling as temperatures continue to rise just above the surface. Some areas in extreme southern Iowa may get away with mainly freezing rain and rain, snow being the least prominent precip type.

The forecast is still going to be quite tricky, as the strength of warm air advection just above the surface is crucial to what type of precip is going to fall. The exact path of the low pressure system is also going to have some affect, a more southerly track than currently forecasted will bring more snow to northern Iowa as not as much warm air is likely. I'll likely get one more quick forecast in tomorrow afternoon, likely with updates on what types of warnings/advisories are going to be issued for the state.

Winter Storm: Dec. 1-2 -- Update #2

Winter Storm Watches have been issued from the CO/KS borders through eastern NE and covering portions of MO/IA/SD/MN/WI and IL. Areas under the watch can expect severe winter conditions to become possible within the next 48 hours, potential for heavy snows, freezing rain accumulations along with other types of winter precip. This is a very difficult forecasting situation, with such a strong gradient between receiving heavy snows and substantial amounts of freezing rain. To read the latest Winter Storm Watch texts, please head to this Link; You will have to search for your nearest NWS office and read their watch for your area.

Current forecasts seem to have pushed the all snow line further to the north than my forecast last night, indicating that only areas of SD/MN may receive all snow. All areas of Iowa seem likely to receive more than one precip type from this event. Northern Iowa mainly snow, but some freezing rain/sleet possible, the central and southern two-thirds of the state are all currently included in 'moderate risk' of seeing a quarter of an inch or greater amounts of freezing rain. This is a large concern and could very well become reality. Another complete forecast update will once again come later tonight.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Winter Storm: Dec. 1-2

A portion of Iowa got to see a hint at winter last week just before Thanksgiving, with mainly areas of snow falling over southcentral and eastern Iowa. Up to 5 inches had fell with that quick storm, all of it melting in a matter of days. This next system looks to give the entire state a shot at some impressive amounts of precipitation, worse is that it is all not likely to fall as the same type of precip. Currently the two main weather models for forecasting, the WRF & the GFS have some fairly significant differences. The WRF wants to be stubborn with the upper level wave that is likely to aid in the development of a lee of the rockies low pressure system; keeping it further west than the GFS. The difference in timing is ~6 hours and location wise, the WRF is ~150 miles further south with the strongest QPF (precip). Besides the timing and location, which are two important things obviously; the amount and locations in terms of levels within the atmosphere are going to be very important for this event.

The WRF and GFS are in agreement for some locations for the type of precip at the beginning of the system. However, the GFS is much more aggressive with the low pressure system and thus the warm air advection. This ends up transitioning the event from snow, to sleet and possibly freezing rain and even to straight rain in some areas. This is another conflict that the models are currently having and making forecasting a little trickier, although current consensus is leaning towards agreement with the GFS. Thus, the following forecast for the sections of Iowa:

Northwest: Mainly snow event, although some sleet & other types of frozen precip can't be rules out. Potential will exist for some very heavy snow amounts, current model forecasts are for 8-12". Timing looks to be from Saturday morning tapering off into Sunday evening.

North-central: Another mainly snow event, although a little better chance for some sleet by Sunday afternoon. Snow amounts between 5-9" seem possible in this area, beginning Saturday Noon and lasting into Sunday.

Northeast: Snow seems likely to begin by early afternoon on Saturday, potentially changing over to sleet and even rain by Sunday. Snow amounts between 4-7" are possible, although any rainfall could dramatically decrease that amount due to melting.

Southwest: Areas of southwest Iowa are going to be in a harsh area of winter weather in models are correct, with snow and substantial freezing rain and finishing off with cold rain. Snow forecasts are still 6-9", but lower amounts of snow and higher freezing rain amounts are likely as well. This is a very tricky area of forecasting, and will likely fluctuate up until the actual event.

South-central: Another area that will likely be along the lines of heavy snow, freezing rain and a complete turn-over to a cold rain. Snow forecasts are still indicating 4-7", but once again with a tenth or two of freezing rain also possible the snow amounts could be dramatically different. Rainfall after the snow/frz rain could also aid in actually helping the situation by melting, although it could also create an even worse environment. Once again another area that is going to be in a forecast fluctuation up until the event.

Southeast: Snowfall, freezing rain and rain all seem possible for this area of the state. Snowfall amounts within the range of 3-6" seem possible, but freezing rain also possible as well as rain over portions of the state could likely reduce that amount. Saturday afternoon snowfall with the precipitation tapering off by Sunday evening seem the likely timing.

Forecasts will likely be revived each night as the event nears, each model run could likely change the type of precipitation expected due to the 'touchy' nature of the system and the temperatures affects of precip type. By tomorrow night there may be some type of winter storm watches out for the state, it has been mentioned by the NWS offices that cover the state. With tomorrow's update I will post any information on those watches if they have been issued, or with information on when they will be issued. A tricky event that could be potentially dangerous to any travelers this weekend across the state..

Winter Storm: Round 2

A strong and potent storm system has its' sights on the plains for this weekend, the potential is there for portions of Iowa to receive some hefty snow amounts, along with the potential for sleet and freezing rain; even just plain rain for some areas. A complete forecast of this system with more details on where the worst weather may be will be posted by tonight. Keep checking back for updates, as winter looks to arrive once again!

EDIT: Complete Forecast Coming ~11PM

Thursday, November 22, 2007

First Snowfall of the Season

A day before Thanksgiving, hampering travel plans or allowing some to see a white Thanksgiving for the first time for quite a while. Previous years have struggled to accumulate November snow and actually keep it on the ground for a while into the holidays. However this year portions of the state were able to add on the snow pack right on time for the holiday travelers over portions of Iowa. Needless to say with less than 24 hours before Thanksgiving day it was going to have no problem sticking around for the holiday.

This snowfall was actually setup to the north of the surface low pressure system and a ways north of any actual frontal boundary. The cold front with this system was draped from southern Missouri through Arkansas and back into eastern Texas, a stationary front was located from central to northeast Missouri and then through central Illinois and further to the northeast. However, a jet streak over the Great Lakes and one over the Central Plains allowed for a favorable region for strong divergence aloft and therefore upward motion occurring over portion of Iowa and small portions of the surrounding states. The best snowfall occurred just before Noon yesterday and into the early afternoon hours in central Iowa; eastern Iowa saw the snow begin in the early afternoon hours and continue into the early nighttime hours.

Forecasted snowfall amounts were in the 2-5 inch range, as Snow Advisories were issued Tuesday night for portions of southeast Iowa. Wednesday morning these advisories were expanded further to the northwest, then including areas of Ames & Des Moines as well as Cedar Falls/Waterloo area. This event was seemingly well forecasted, mainly given the timing of snow which was centered over times when a lot of holiday travel is occurring. Accumulated snowfall extended as far northwest as Fort Dodge (dusting) and as far west as Jefferson (dusting); northward extent included areas of Waterloo (1 inch) eastward into Illinois. The rain/snow line was featured from extreme northwest Illinois, nearly along the Mississippi River valley and into extreme southeastern Iowa into the northeast corner of Missouri. Areas to the north and west of that line received the snow amounts, while other areas west and south saw mainly rain and a few snow flurries.

Heaviest amounts of snow came in patches, one around the Des Moines area and the others to the west of Iowa City & Cedar Rapids along with another patch northeast of there. 5.2 inches was the high amount of the day, this reported 2 miles southwest of Clive; a 4.8 inch amount was not far behind and it came from the airport in Des Moines. Other areas around Des Moines received snowfall amounts in the 3-4 inch range, Ames only received an inch of snow however as the gradient really dropped off the amounts as you went outside of the bands that occurred. Out of the Davenport NWS office, 4.5 inches in Norway, IA was the high amounts; 4.2 inches near Manchester and 4 inches in Delaware. Cedar Rapids had 2.3 inches accumulated, Davenport NWS office received 0.2 inches.

Check out the Co-op Observers map for all of the snowfall reports across the state from yesterday. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Fall Break Begins

Most colleges are going to begin their fall break over the next week for the Thanksgiving holiday, some are getting the latter part of the week off while others are getting the whole week. Iowa State gets the whole week off next week, before returning for one more week of classes, followed by 'dead week' and then finals. So the semester is winding down, which is a good sign that we should be seeing some of the warm air disappearing. This weekend shouldn't be too bad, but looking ahead into the holiday it looks like the cold air will make its' way into the state. Maybe some wintery precip to come with it?!

Before we get to that cold air, we'll deal with some fairly average temperatures. Lows tonight in the mid 20s to lower 30s, highs tomorrow will actually rise above normal for a majority of the state; upper 40s in the northeast to near 60 in the west. Low to mid 30s for Friday night followed by some cooler highs on Saturday, mid 40s to lower 50s from north to south. Lows remain close to the same on Saturday night, mid 20s to lower 30s; Highs on Sunday in the mid 40s to mid 50s from northeast to southwest. A weak wave may move in during the day on Sunday, giving a small chance at some clouds and sprinkles over the state; mainly north. Those clouds stick around to leave temperatures a bit warmer Sunday night, lows in the mid 30s to near 40 across Iowa.

By next week the situation gets a bit more interesting, with weather models beginning to diverge on solutions. A low pressure system may begin to develop to the southwest of the state, leading a warm front to form just to the south of the state. This will put the state in a favorable position for precip beginning on Monday night and potentially lasting through Thanksgiving! The forecast is very tricky, as the warm front will lead to warm air overrunning the state and providing some fairly steady rains. However, depending on the low pressure track and to whether it goes south of the state or even forms at all will decide how long the rain continues. Not to mention, if the low can to the south and/or east of the state we may see the finale of the storm put down some snow amounts. Weather is quite a touchy subject to forecast this far out, so no promises are being made as to how this will turn out. Just keep checking back early next week for more information on the possibilities of snowfall.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Very Windy!

A majority of the state is under Wind Advisories through the next couple of hours, and have been previously since this morning. A strong cold front has moved through the state and a tight pressure gradient along with it has whipped up these northwesterly winds to speeds up to 50 mph. Since this morning, over 30 weather stations across the state have had a wind gust over 40 mph. This number is increasing as over the past hours the winds have really increased, currently at my station near Terril, IA the wind gusts have been the highest of the day with measured gusts of 44 and 46 mph on separate occasions.

These winds should decrease as the sun sets, although a blustery night is still in store the winds should stay below 30 mph. These winds will help the temperatures from dipping down into the teens as they mix the air throughout the lower atmosphere. However, this still cold temperatures combined with that much wind will still make it feel like temperatures in the teens or lower.

Breezing conditions still exist for Thursday, but at least the sun should be shining. Expect conditions to calm and the temperatures level off in the mid 40s to mid 50s over the state by Friday and continue through the weekend.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

One last mild day...

After a surge of warm air came into the state early Sunday morning it has left us with temperatures that have been above normal and felt pretty good for this time of year. Today looks to be the last day with those conditions with the highs ranging from the mid 60s to near 60 across the state. Lows tonight will represent the movement of the cold air into the state nicely, mid 30s in the northwest to the mid 40s in southeast Iowa. This colder air should be in place pretty well by tomorrow, highs ranging from the upper 40s to the mid 50s from northwest to southeast as well.

The latter portion of the week will feature highs in the mid to upper 40s on Thursday, warming slightly to the mid 40s to mid 50s as warm air beings to move into the Missouri valley. Lows will drop below freezing for a significant portion of the night on Wednesday & Thursday, with lows in the mid to upper 20s. Friday night has lows warming slightly as the warm air continues from the south, upper 20s to mid 30s over the state.

Wondering when that first good snow storm is going to be? Well a rough look ahead at weather models indicate that another cold shot of air is going to make its' way into the state midweek next week. Hard to say whether or not this will give anybody some flakes, for the most part the cold air is behind the system and thus not much for precip. A long shot may put our first snowfall for a majority of the state in the Nov. 25 to Nov. 28 range. Keep in mind that this is a very rough forecast, but I'll keep an eye on things to see how they progress as the possible event nears.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Iowa Halloween Forecast

Missed out on the beggar's night forecast as I've been quite busy with homework and a test this week that is upcoming tomorrow. But, I can't miss out on the forecast for Halloween! Everybody is finishing up the costumes for the big night here in Ames, several costume parties all over campustown and I'm sure its' the same for many of the college towns around the state.

As for the forecast, tomorrow during the day we will see temperatures steady in the morning as a cold front moves through, allowing for temperatures to slightly decrease throughout the day tomorrow. Highs therefore will likely come in the morning to early afternoon for most areas in the state. Mid 50s for northwest Iowa to the lower 60s in southeast Iowa where the cold front won't make it through until early afternoon. As the sun sets and people begin to make their way out into the night, temperatures look to range from the mid 40s in northwest Iowa to near 50 in southeast Iowa. Winds from the northwest at 10-15 mph may be a bit brisk at times and shouldn't decrease much into the night. Partly cloudy skies dominate and temperatures continue to fall as we near the midnight hour, mid 30s in the northwest will definitely feel chilly; mid 40s in the southeast portion of the state will be slightly warmer but still not quite as warm as most would like.

Luckily no rain expected to fall with the cold front passage, but it will definitely be felt by the temperatures. As it ends up, by the time the sun rises on Thursday you can expect plenty of frost over western half of the state. Lows end up bottoming out in the mid 20s to mid 30s from northwest to southeast. Hopefully on Thursday I can get another update up here for the end of the week and through the weekend!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Des Moines Chemical Fire

Update: The fire had subsided by nightfall in Des Moines, although around two dozen fire fighters remained on scene to go through the area and put out any hot spots that remained. The fire was fed by several drums of chemical solvents, but the initial cause of the fire is currently unknown. Barton Solvents has supposedly had safety infractions at the Des Moines plant, earlier in the summer it had a major problem in Wichita, KS when nearly 6,000 people had to be evacuated.

I'm sure more information on the safety issue and the cause of the fire will be released as the investigation continues. They are also looking at possible effects of the fire and chemicals, testing in nearby ponds in the next couple days will make sure that nothing has made it into the water table.

For more information, check out some of the other local news stations such as the Des Moines Register and KCCI along with other TV stations in the Des Moines area.


A large fire at a chemical solvents plant in northeast Des Moines is currently engulfed in flames and has been for nearly 3 hours. Several fire departments are on scene from as far away as past Polk county lines. They currently expect the fire to continue for several more hours...

Rush hour traffic should begin shortly and in which case several problems exist with portions of I-35, I-80 and I-235 in northeast Des Moines closed.

In the past, the KCCI radar has been able to pick up the large smoke plume coming from this fire. Currently it doesn't look to be viewable on the radar, but I'll post a link to this image below for you to view. For more of the latest, check out the KCCI webpage:

Monday, October 22, 2007

Not a Terrible Week Ahead...

It could be much worse anyway, with rain only forecasted for the last 48 hours or so of the week instead of Tuesday through Thursday or more like last week. Temperatures won't be above normal, but they shouldn't be far below normal either; mainly a nice fall week as we near Halloween!

Lows tonight may bring patchy frost to many of the low lying areas in the state, 30s expected across the board. A nice sunshiny day tomorrow, highs ranging from the lower 60s in the east to the mid 60s and a few upper 60s along the Missouri river. Tuesday night lows won't be quite as cold as tonights, leaving most areas without the risk of frost. Mid 30s to near 40 from north to south across the state...

Mid-week has highs just a few degrees cooler than previous days; ranging from around 60 to the mid 60s from east to west. Lows at night however look to hold into the mid 30s to lower 40s from north to south. Thursday looks to be much of the same with highs in the lower 60s to mid 60s from east to west, showers likely to be just south of the state as a large cutoff low slowly makes its' way north. This indicates that by Thursday night we should start to see some of those showers over a majority of the state. With current models having a hard time on placement, strength and timing of the system as a whole, only low chances of rain have been introduced. However, it does seem likely that sometime within the Thursday to Friday range we will see some rainfall over the state. Lows Thursday night will be warmer with the cloud cover overhead, lower to mid 40s for the most part. With possible showers and at least clouds hanging around for the day on Friday, expect it to be the coldest of the week. Highs ranging from the lower 50s in the northwest to the upper 50s in the southeast. It does look however that the rain should move out of the state before or during Friday night, leaving the weekend forecast looking dry!

Friday, October 19, 2007

A Partially Dry Weekend...

After the days of rain and absolutely no sunshine over most of the state it was good to see the sun a little bit today and to at least have some dry surfaces. Yesterday finally had the low pressure system crossing over the state and taking the rain with it. Iowa managed to escape this powerful system which is responsible for at least 3 deaths and plenty of damage over the plains, only receiving heavy rain that prompted flood warnings. We did however manage to have some impressive pressure falls over the state, with several stations dropped down to near 980 millibars! My home station had a great drop through a 36 hour period where we went from 1010 mb down to 95 mb. On the backside of the low the strong pressure gradient contributed to some strong and gusty winds today, they will be much lighter tomorrow.

As for the forecast for tomorrow and the rest of the weekend, lows tonight in the lower to mid 40s across the state. Partly cloudy skies will allow for great football weather, now only if the Cyclones could play at least decent football, then it would be a great day. Highs in the 70s across the state, from the lower end in the northeast to within a degree or two of 80 in the southwest. Saturday night will have showers through Nebraska and South Dakota, not quite affecting the state for the overnight hours. Lows from the mid 40s in the northwest to the mid 50s in the southeast.

By Sunday morning expect some showers to be into western Iowa, overtaking the central portion of the state by mid-afternoon. Sunday night will have showers over a vast majority of the state, maybe a few breaks for the northwest corner. However expect the clouds and isolated showers to continue into the work week next week. Highs during the day on Sunday will have a sharp contrast dependent on the front location and cloud layer. Mid 50s over northwest Iowa where sun will be hard to come by, central Iowa may see a few lower 60s by Noon before the clouds take over. The eastern and especially southeastern portions of the state may see sunshine for a majority of the day, thus highs in their region may reach well into the 70s. Lows overnight on Sunday will also be highly variable as cold air makes its' way into northwest Iowa; 30s will be likely up there. For the central and eastern thirds of the state, 40s should be a reasonable range with some clouds still hanging around.

Questions remain on how long the rain will hang around the state during the work week, either way some cold air is working in behind the system. Looks to have 30s for lows and highs in the 50s through at least mid-week... More details for that in later updates.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Flooding Concerns

Much of the southern half of the state is currently under some type of a flood watch with rains continuing to move into the state. Rain is expected to continue over portions of the state into Thursday night, the ground is already saturated in most areas leading to quick run-off and thus flooding conditions coming quickly. Several river state gauges are already reporting near flooding or flooding conditions, they include the cities of Algona, Humboldt, Stratford, near Des Moines, Waterloo, Marengo, Marshalltown, Oskalooska and Hamburg. Many other cities that don't have gauges are reporting flooding and thus have flood warnings issued as well. A total of 15 counties across the state are under flood warnings, with nearly another three dozen under watches as the rains continue to fall.

Flooding should remain the top concern for the night and through the day tomorrow, without much sunshine it looks like our instability will remain fairly low and thus the severe weather threat limited. Most NWS offices and the SPC doesn't look to rule the threat completely out, but marginally severe hail and a few gusts near 60 mph could occur with any strong storms. These are likely to be few and far between...

Beyond Thursday night when the rains begin to subside we are looking at a fairly nice weekend for Friday and Saturday. Sunday should be okay as well, although a few mentions of showers for Sunday night are creeping into the forecast. More details on the weekend forecast and a tally of the rainfall amounts once this storm system has moved on past the state...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Rain, Rain, It's Not Going Away!

Or at least its' not going to until this weekend, which for most of the people in Iowa is all they are going to ask for! For the third weekend in a row on Sunday it rained and rained over a majority of the state. The rain has continued throughout the day today, with cloudy and misty conditions prevailing otherwise. Currently a band of light rain over eastern Iowa, some scattered showers over central Iowa and some moderate showers over northwest Iowa as well. This rain should continue over much of the state, especially the northern two-thirds. Lows tonight with cloud cover and mist/fog conditions should range from the mid 40s in northwest Iowa the the lower 50s over much of eastern Iowa.

Expect the rain to move out of the state for the most part by tomorrow afternoon, northern Iowa and especially northeast Iowa will see lingering showers in the morning. Highs from the mid 50s in northwest Iowa to the mid 60s in southeast Iowa; around 60 for all the places in between. Tuesday night will probably hold the only 12 hour stretch where there is not rain over some portion of the state. Lows during this 'dry' period in the mid to upper 40s across the entire state.

This dry period doesn't last long with showers & thunderstorms moving into the western and south-central portions of the state by the afternoon. Overspreading the entire state by nightfall on Wednesday and should continue for a majority of the state into Thursday. By Thursday night the showers should continue to move off with the low pressure system, leaving only the northeastern half of the state with lingering precip. Clouds and some sprinkles may continue to stick around the area for Friday as well, before finally clearing off and becoming dry in time for the weekend. As for temperatures during the latter half of the week, highs on Wednesday & Thursday will see near 60 in northwest to the lower 70s in the southeast. Lows in the lower and mid 50s on Wednesday night; mid to upper 40s for Thursday night. Friday won't be bad at all to begin the weekend, lower 60s for the northern third with mid and some upper 60s for the rest of the state.

The thunderstorms that are possible on Wednesday & Thursday are not currently outlooked for severe weather, however some areas in the vicinity of the state are. Thus later updates may call for the threat of severe weather as dependent on path of the next system...

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Iowa State & Iowa Football Game Weather

Check out the latest radar and satellite images off of the Iowa Chaser webpage to view how the weather is treating the two college teams in their battles against top 25 opponents. Iowa State takes on #23 ranked Texas and Iowa takes on #18 ranked Illinois, kickoffs are around 11:30 and Noon respectively...

The latest radar/satellite below is linked to the webpage where you can loop or just view the latest image. The two stadiums are highlighted by the football! Rain expected to enter Ames by 1 PM, the same goes for Iowa City. Could be a slippery second half for both teams that are being featured on national TV. Check out Iowa State on Fox Sports Net, watch Iowa on ESPN2.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Likely Wet Weekend

Tomorrow is finally Friday! With that comes a nice day that is just waiting for you to enter as you begin the weekend and you better get your fill of it then as the remainder of your weekend may have rain. After lows tonight from the mid 40s to mid 30s from the southwest to northeast, the sun will shine during the day tomorrow. Temperatures may vary greatly as the western third gets in on some nice warm air advection, leaving highs in the mid 60s along the Missouri River. Other areas of the state should stick in the mid 50s to the upper 50s in the eastern and central third respectively. Friday night should hold the rain/thunderstorms just to the south and west of the state. Lows in the upper 30s over northeast Iowa, near 40 over the central and southeast and the mid 40s over much of the northwest and southwest, a few near 50 marks in the southwest are also possible if cloud cover is present.

Saturday afternoon may be able to hold off the rain for a majority, allowing temperatures to warm into the lower to mid 60s over the state. The Missouri River area will likely see showers heading in by sunset and overtaking much of western Iowa by midnight. By sunrise on Sunday expect showers over central Iowa and lingering precip left over western Iowa. Lows during the overnight on Saturday in the upper 40s over eastern Iowa, lower 50s over the remainder where cloud cover and showers are in place. Sunday should be filled with showers across the majority of the state, the southeast has the lowest chances. The continued showers will be due to the warm front that will be pushing over the southern third during the day. Thus despite the clouds/rain high temperatures will make it into the upper 60s for the southern third. Upper 50s to near 60 are still likely over the remainder, a bit chilly with the rain falling. This front is likely to become stationary and hover along the Iowa/Missouri border, keeping rain likely over nearly the entire state. Lows in the mid 40s to lower 50s from north to south over the state...

Rain may possibly stick around for the early part of the work week as well, but clearing skies and a warm up may be in store by mid-week. This will set us up for the next large system to come in and may put us at risk of some more fall severe weather. More of those details in later updates after this weekend...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Dry Until the Weekend

After the cold front passed through yesterday the skies have cleared off nicely and temperatures have leveled off to more of a normal fall day. Another cold front currently just to the north of the state will reinforce the cooler air and bring temperatures down to even below normal for a few days this week. Luckily for most farmers and others that just don't want it, rain isn't expected from this cold frontal passage. Some occasional cloud cover will be about the most you can get from this one when it passes through Iowa at least, further to the north where there is some more help for precipitation they are looking at rain/snow mixes in northern Minnesota. Iowa doesn't look to be seeing any type of snow in the forecast, we'll hold off on that for a while!

Highs today in the mid 70s to the southern third of the state, upper 60s over the northern third as the cold front slowly sags to the south overtaking some of the northern counties. Tonights' lows will be influenced by this next shot of cold air, mid 40s in the south to the upper 30s in the northern sections. The cold front should pass through by Wednesday, leaving the entire state behind in a pool of below normal temperatures. Highs struggling to reach 60 in the southwest part of the state, mid 50s to near 50 for the high from central to northeast Iowa. The lows once again will drop down to near frost conditions on Wednesday night for northwest Iowa, expect mid 30s for lows there. The remainder of the state will see upper 30s for the most part, a few 40 marks mixed in for the 'heat islands'. Thursday should mark the last day of chilly air before we begin a warm up for the weekend, highs in the mid to upper 50s throughout; a 60 degree reading or two isn't out of the question though in the extreme south. Thursday night will get us out of the frost possibilities, lower 40s and upper 30s from southwest to northeast.

The warm up will begin on Friday with the light winds finally getting a southerly component in them. Highs in the upper 60s for the southwest, mid 60s for the northwest & southeast and lower 60s for the northeast. Lows on Friday in the mid 40s to near 40 from west to east across the state. By the time we reach the weekend it looks like the next system may have portions of the state within its' influence. Rain chances already introduced for western Iowa on Saturday night through Sunday night. I'll watch this system progress over the week, it'll likely slow compared to current model forecasts but nonetheless have an effect on the weekend activities for some portion of the state. Next forecast update likely on Thursday...