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: http://www.kcci.com

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...

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Fall Photography at Ledges State Park

Finished getting all of my photos uploaded this morning. Came away with a few good ones, didn't turn out as great as I thought it would have. I'm mainly going to blame this on the time of day I took quite a few of the shots, the bright afternoon sun definitely is not a friend when doing landscape pictures. Either way, a total of 8 pictures have been added to my Ledges Gallery Page.

Check out the Gallery

Fall Photography

Got out Saturday afternoon to Ledges State park near Luther or Boone, IA; quite a few people enjoying the day out there from families to other ISU students. Took well over 100 picture throughout the 3+ hours I spent roaming the trails and roadways, I think I walked at least 3 miles up and down the slopes and along several paths. I've looked through all of the pictures and should be some nice ones that captured the fall colors out there. Surprisingly, only about a quarter of the trees were even starting too turn by my estimates. Nonetheless some great shots of yellow, orange and red compared to the green that was still left on a majority of trees. I'll be getting through the rest of the pictures tomorrow as far as resizing, etc...

For now here is my likely favorite, I've always wanted to do the moving water effect and have a few dozen of them from the trip yesterday. I'll be posting the rest of my favorites as I get them converted and resized.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Weekend Severe Weather

Well as you might have been able to tell with the lack of posts and excitement, the severe weather chances for the weekend have pretty much went to crap. The SPC has gotten rid of any chances for Sunday & Monday over the plains states. Today still has a slight risk out for mainly areas of the Dakotas and Nebraska, but this threat is quite minimal with only a isolated large hail or damaging wind expected.

Looking out there in the models, seems like a ridge will actually setup over the plains states. Leaving us with dry weather for the remainder of the week once this system passes through. The ridge does look to break down by next weekend, but the next severe weather event may be a while by the looks of things.

Just before this next system hits us though, I'm heading out for some early Fall photography. I'll likely update the blog tomorrow or sometime next week with the pictures that I get today...

Friday, October 5, 2007

Svr Wx & Chase (10/5 - 10/8) -- Update #2

Friday Oct. 5, 10:15 AM: Well the severe threat today will be hampered by the strong capping that is overtaking the northern plains this afternoon. Early thunderstorms and cloudcover are working through central Iowa into areas of eastern MN and Wisconsin this morning. The warm front will be focused over areas of central Minnesota, where the best threat for severe weather does still exist. However, with such a large capping inversion expected over the areas near and to the south of the warm front the only thunderstorms that may get going will be well north of the front. The areas north of the front, although with decent shear values will not have near the instability that will be warranted to maintain some of the stronger severe thunderstorms that seemed possible earlier in the week. If for some reason we are able to break the cap nearer to the warm frontal boundary or just to the south of it, shear values as well as instability could support a substantial threat for large hail and tornadoes. However, with such a large cap expected, that threat is quite minimal thus far and is indicated by the latest SPC day 1 outlook that keeps only minimal probabilities over the area.

Tomorrow's severe weather threat also looks to be limited by the substantially warm air in place ahead of the trough and overall system that will be moving into the plains. A weak low pressure system is likely to form during the day tomorrow, with a cold front drapped to the south through areas of the western high plains. Ahead of this cold front will see warm temperatures not only at the mid-levels, but even higher at 500mb that will weaken even the instability factor for severe thunderstorms. Without substantial instability, expect the cap to hold in the warm sector for the day tomorrow. However, with the trough digging past the Rockies it will have the potential to ignite thunderstorms along it. These thunderstorms will mainly exist behind the cold front however, meaning the best threat seems to be a large hail risk with elevated storms.

Sunday's threat also seems to be on the downfall with the models deciding to disagree with eachother in the strength and position of the trough. Despite the disagreemnt there, the agreement between them does indicate that the day will be a likely mess of convection all over the plains states. A new low pressure system likely to form over some portion of KS/NE during the morning, leading to a nearly stationary boundary over the northern plains states and a cold front, possible dryline to the south over KS/OK and into the Texas Panhandle. Thunderstorms likely to be ongoing around the area of low pressure and along the stationary boundary in the northern plains. Some indications pose that thunderstorms will exist ahead of the front in the central/southern plains as well during the afternoon hours. All of this convection is likely to lead to less instability and overall less threat for severe weather over the plains states. SPC concurs with these, as they have only introduced minimal probabilities for the day over the central/southern plains. All in all it doesn't look like this weekend will be as good as an event as previous indications were pointing towards...

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Svr Wx & Chase (10/5 - 10/8) -- Update #1

Thursday Oct. 3 Update, 10:00 AM: Didn't get a chance to view last nights' model runs so I'm taking the time to do that this morning before all of the 12z runs of the GFS/NAM are in. Tonight and Tomorrow are both under risks for severe weather over the northern plains, mainly northwest Iowa and then points northward as a fairly strong warm front begins to take shape wit the aid of strong low level winds from the south. Those winds will pick up tonight and likely develop elevated storms along it, possibilities of large hail are the main threat with those storms. Areas of northern Iowa and southern MN as well as extreme areas of eastern SD seem to be in the best location for those. The storms will likely continue into the day on Friday as the warm front lifts further to the north, potentially hampering some of the potential for severe weather on Friday evening. However the strengthening low in SD and warm front over northern SD and into MN will be the focus for potentially significant severe weather nonetheless. The areas of SD and west-central MN should be out of the clouds and allow significant warming, creating ample instability. Shear will also be there along the sharp warm front and low pressure system, the only negative will likely be the warm temperatures that create a cap over the area. If storms can push through that though, expect the potential for some large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes. The SPC has kept wording in their discussion on how some strong tornadoes may occur, so this deserves to be watched. I'm tied up for Friday night, so no chasing will take place despite the urge to take the chance...

Saturdays' threat is now being displayed fairly well by the models from last night, the NAM, GFS & ECMWF all have the trough position in a fairly consistent area. The strength is just slight stronger on the NAM than the others, but nothing tremendously different. The threat for Saturday though doesn't look tremendous, no surface low pressure system really has occurred along the trough that is beginning to push onto the plains. This is going to kind of spread the focus out to be along the stationary or quasi-stationary front over the Dakotas southward through Kansas. Looking like more of a hail/wind event with more broken line or lines of storms than individual cells. Things could change, but for now it looks like I'll enjoy the wonderful weekend weather here in Iowa.

Sunday however from last nights' runs looks like it could be quite the show if things fall together right. Both the GFS & ECMWF have similar upper level lows in terms of strength and position, GFS slightly south. The low pressure system begins to stack a bit, and is definitely cutoff even by Sunday evening over western/central NE. Plenty of shear to go along with that, however several negatives jump into my mind currently. The lack of a cap near the low which may lead to numerous clouds/showers before the evening and thus ruin some of the instability. If we can have a good warm sector though, the areas of eastern NE/eastern KS are definitely within an area that could have some very nice severe weather. This day is open to chasing with a couple others, so it'll be a day of interest as well.

The remainder of the week for this system is still somewhat up in the air, as the low becomes stacked and is likely to slowly meander across the rest of the plains state on Monday & Tuesday. There may be some severe threat still with the system, but it's hard to say how severe and what type of severe weather may occur. These days aren't likely to have me heading out anywhere unless it is right around Ames, thus not too concerned about the work week forecast.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Latter Week Forecast -- Severe Weather Possibilities

To start off, the Des Moines NWS and the Quad Cities NWS have issued their statements on the tornadoes that occurred yesterday in Iowa. The tornado in Des Moines & Seymour were both given EF1 ratings, their reports can be found here. The other tornado in Iowa occurred in Keokuk county nearest to the town of Delta, this one was also given an EF1 rating. The specifics for that one as well as the tornado in Scotland county, MO are given on the Quad Cities NWS page.

A nice day today however behind the front with mid 70s to near 80 degrees for the highs across the state. Tonights' lows won't drop nearly as low as last nights as the southerly winds in the lower levels will continue to bring up moisture, upper 40s in eastern Iowa to the mid 50s in western Iowa are forecasted. Highs tomorrow should range from low to mid 80s with the southerly winds continuing to pump in warm and moist air for this weekend. This can easily be seen in Thursday night lows as they will be limited by the dew points, range of lows should be near 60 to the mid 60s in southern Iowa.

Thursday evening and early overnight will bring the first round of severe weather that will be possible over northwest Iowa. The strong lower level winds will continue to increase the moisture return to the north, this will also aid in the development of a warm front over the area. The nose of the low level jet will likely be the focus of thunderstorm development, mainly elevated during the overnight hours. These thunderstorms do have the possibilities of becoming severe, with large hail being the main threat. Isolated shower/thunderstorm may last overnight and into the morning hours for northern Iowa, although they should clear out of the area with time.

Friday's highs will be well above normal and within a few degrees of records in the warmth can really spread to the north. Lower 80s in the north where some clouds may linger near the warm front will keep them from flirting with near record warmth. However from Sioux City to the Quad Cities and points southward, highs will likely range in the mid to upper 80s! The dew point will also remain high, leading to quite muggy conditions for this time of year. Lows overnight will be wonderful, ranging from mid to upper 60s!

Currently areas of northwest Iowa are currently under a slight risk for Friday evening/night as well, including a hatched area where significant severe weather may be possible. This threat however is still questionable as the warm front will likely be well north of the state. We'll likely be relying on the low pressure system that will be developing over eastern Nebraska. This system is currently getting strong wording from the SPC, indicating that with such strong shear values and instability, along with a stout capping inversion that will be in place where storms can initiate they may have the ability for some extremely large hail and potentially strong tornadoes. This is very strong wording for an event this far out, so it will definitely deserve to be watched as it unfolds.

The weekend may also hold more severe weather potential as a deep trough move out of the west and onto the plains. A coinciding low pressure system will also develop int he lee of the Rockies and move into the western Plains for Saturday and Sunday. This feature in the forecast is also quite difficult to pinpoint at this time, but given the strong heating and moisture that is likely to be in place along with some impressive shear values it is undoubtedly looking like some areas of the plains will be in good shape for severe weather. This will likely be my focus of the next several updates, with the potential for several severe weather and chase opportunities on the weekend.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Recap of October 2nd Severe Storms

Today ended up being quite an active day today on the severe weather front, with 2 tornadoes reported and 4 wind reports also received. Starting with the 4 wind reports that were received, first one in Taylor county at 4:15 PM and a second one at the Des Moines airport at 4:47 PM when several car windows were blown out. The last two reports were out of Keokuk county where a machine shed and barn both had their roofs' torn off. Indications from the Fire Department there indicate that they believe it could have been a tornado that incurred this damage. Surveys' will likely be done tomorrow by the NWS and colleagues to confirm whether or not each report was a tornado and the ratings for them as well.

The two tornado reports currently only obtain the following information:
1) Power Lines/Poles down on 13th Street & Mulberry in Des Moines, Also car flipped on SW 6th Street.
2) Seymour in Wayne county, Emergency Manager reported that a roof was blown off, several windows blown out and power poles/lines down within town.

Further to the south there were several tornado reports as well, including a couple of injuries with the tornado reports. This system has already worked well out of the state and areas where it is currently affecting are no longer under any severe risk as no watches are currently in effect. Forecast remains similar to the one stated in the previous post this morning, expect another update tomorrow night for the remainder of the work week and a look ahead at our next system that poses a severe weather threat.


Our next cold front is beginning to influence the state this morning with thunderstorms slowly progressing eastward across the state. Currently the thunderstorms only cover the extreme western portions of the state, a good cluster of thunderstorms is also located over in the Pocahontas/Humboldt area. These thunderstorms should make there way to the northeast individually, while the line pushed by the cold front should progress eastward through the afternoon. Making it into central Iowa by Noon, into eastern Iowa by late afternoon or the early evening hours. There is a possibility that we could see some isolated severe weather during the afternoon hours over central and eastern Iowa. Currently only southeastern portions of the state are under a slight risk for severe weather, a storms or two may have the capabilities for large hail and damaging winds, could see a tornado warning or two along the cold front as well. None of these severe risks are very likely however, but you are encouraged to take notice if the storms are heading into your area that you are sure they pose no severe threat. The cold front should continue moving into the nighttime hours and clear all of the rain out by Midnight or a little after tonight for the extreme eastern portions of the state. You can follow the progress of the rain online as well as view any warnings that are issued in near-real time at Iowa Chaser, viewing the 'Latest Radar' image.

With the rain moving through and clouds dominating the skies today, high temperatures are likely to only reach into the lower 70s for western Iowa, mid 70s for central Iowa and the upper 70s for eastern Iowa, with the possibility for a few 80 marks in the southeast. Lows tonight behind the front should range from the mid 40s in the west to the lower 50s in the east. Even with this cold frontal passage, it won't hamper the highs too much by Wednesday with highs expected into the 70s across the state; lower 70s to upper 70s from east to west. Nighttime lows on Wednesday should only dip down into the near 50 range for a majority of the state, a few mid 50s in the southern third.

Those warm temperatures look to continue beyond the mid-week point until our next cold front takes aim at the state by the weekend. More details on that threat in later updates this week...

Monday, October 1, 2007

September 30 Severe Weather

Yesterday saw the state under a tornado watch with several storms capable of producing a tornado at one time or another during the evening hours. Areas of northwest Iowa and then southern & eastern Iowa were the hardest hit with damaging winds and hail, as well as at least two tornadoes that traveled through Marion, Jasper and Poweshiek counties in Iowa. We'll start with those two tornadoes as the surveys have already been completed and they have been rated with an EF1 and EF2. To read the entire report on those two tornadoes and their track statistics, view the Des Moines NWS webpage. Arial photos of those tornadoes, their path and the damage that ensued can be found via the Iowa Environmental Mesonet courtesy of IowaHelicopters. Those storms continued on into eastern Iowa where they became mainly wind producers during the early nighttime hours.

Other storms erupted in eastern SD/NE and moved into the state expanding with time during the evening hours. Several tornado warnings were issued with such rapid low level rotation that was present with the storms, however as of now there are no official reports of tornadoes in the northwest Iowa area. For the most part the reports in the first couple hours of storm evolution were large hail, including one report from 3 miles east of Cushing where 2 inch diameter hail fell. After 6 PM when the storms became mainly linear there were reports of winds along the storms path, although several tornado warnings were issued for the storms as they went through areas of Sac, Pocahontas, Palo Alto and Kossuth counties. Wind reports came out of Alta, near Oyens and my report from just south of Emmetsburg. Yes, I ended up punching through the line as it went through Palo Alto county during the late evening hours in my route back to Ames. I was met by some blinding rains and some wind that decided to blow all of it nearly horizontal to the south of Emmetsburg.

All of these storms were caused by a fairly potent system, although not nearly as strong as it could have been. A low pressure system was moving into the state from Nebraska at the surface, where it was slowly beginning to dissipate. The pressure falls were not great enough to keep it sustained, thus as it entered the state it was weakening in nature. Nonetheless the strong rotation near the low was enough to warrant several of those warnings yesterday. The lack of instability due to moisture and sunshine also hampered the severe weather threat... Overall the day turned out to be not as potent as it has potential for, leaving several severe weather enthusiasts disappointed. It did however produce tornadoes that unfortunately caused damage to a few homes and farmsteads. Another severe weather event is possible tomorrow, more details on that will be available in the morning.