Monday, January 28, 2008

Short Term Blizzard

A storm system featuring a very strong cold front is making its' way into the state tonight and through tomorrow. Behind this cold front, precipitation in the form of snowfall is likely to form as another low pressure system forms and deepens to the south of the state. This snowfall is likely to be moderate to heavy at times, combined with very strong northwesterly winds. The combination of the snow and winds will likely create blizzard to near-blizzard conditions for a few hours tomorrow morning and afternoon across northwestern and northcentral Iowa. These areas will likely see 1-3 inches of snowfall from this band of snow. As the newly developed low moves northeastward, it is likely to come close to the southeastern corner of the state; allowing the northeastern portion of the state to see some potentially higher snowfall amounts with the same wind speeds. This is likely to create blizzard conditions for several hours tomorrow afternoon and evening for this area. Total snow amounts in the 2 to 6 inch range are being forecasted.

The National Weather Service offices that forecast for Iowa and the surroundings have issued a number of advisories and warnings. For the latest update on what your local area is expecting, check out your local NWS office homepage and the links that are provided to the right of the blog updates.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Mornin' from New Orlean

Sitting in the airport this morning in New Orleans, LA; going to be a nice day here finally after two consecutive days of fog and rain. This of course during my two days that I was free to do whatever I wanted in this city, instead left with only Saturday morning to go around and explore some new parts of the city. Enjoyed a Mardi Gras parade last night, of course managed to get a good share of beads and pictures of the floats.

I'll get the pictures from my week down here up later on this week hopefully, might be a while as I catch up in all of my work, etc. Definitely enjoyed the week and beings the weather didn't cooperate the best, I'll look to come down here again later on to explore some more. Will be out of New Orleans within the hour, on my way to Denver, CO to catch my flight to Des Moines just after Noon CDT. Oh and I'll bring back some of the warmer weather, as temperatures in Iowa look to be in the 30s and 40s today. Continuing tomorrow with temperatures soaring into the 40s and 50s across the state; a good snow melting day in store. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

AMS Conference Ending

The 88th annual AMS conference is coming to an end tomorrow, with a great banquet supper tonight and the final presentations to end by 5 PM Thursday. It has been a fun time thus far, plenty of educational talks along with a lot of 'networking' opportunities for any students. It is a disappointment that Iowa State isn't represented better with more students/faculty down here. Met quite a few new people and enjoyed the night out at a Jazz Club and then strolled up and down Bourbon Street until I arrived back at the hotel just minutes ago.

Earlier today I strolled up the Riverview area to eat lunch and then head into the Aquarium of the Americas. The aquarium had plenty of neat things to view and of course take pictures of. The final count of picture from the aquarium likely surpassed the hundred mark. Once done with the aquarium I continued to head north to view some of the park areas along the river, also check out some of the nice brick French Quarter streets that are along some paths.

So far haven't had any problems with the area, in fact any of the people that I've met here have been very friendly. Even held a conversation with a local guy as we were both walking along the streets this afternoon for several blocks. Will finish off the conference tomorrow, head to my cousins' house to spend the remainder of the weekend. Maybe I'll get a few pictures up from yesterday up here tomorrow evening, otherwise more updates on my tour of New Orleans.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

New Orleans Update

Last day of the student conference at the AMS meeting, with a lot more people arriving today as the actual conference begins tomorrow. Did a little sight seeing today, went through the Riverview Marketplace and got a few shots of the Mississippi and its' barges. Also grabbed a few shots of the view from my 5th floor hotel room looking down the street's below. I've included those in this post, taken straight from my camera.

Plan on doing more sightseeing later on in the week, although hopefully the weather cooperates with chances of thunderstorms and showers throughout. Today is nice and sunny, with temperatures in the upper 40s in the sun. Most people in coats, but much nicer compared to the temperatures still in place over Iowa where they range from the single digits to teens.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Hello from New Orleans, LA!!!

Made the trip to New Orleans yesterday and into today, I believe I landed at the airport down here just after midnight this morning. Didn't get to the hotel and into bed until ~3 AM however, and with a morning wake up of 6:30 that didn't leave much time for sleep! The weather down here isn't nearly as good as it could be, raining last night and into this morning; although I got to hear some thunder this morning as I awoke. Partly Sunny and windy is the going forecast for tomorrow and Monday, with temperatures only in the 40s and 50s! Freeze warnings actually issued for the New Orleans area as they are expected to be near freezing. However, isn't as bad as the -16 degree low this morning from the home weather station in Terril, IA and just barely got above freezing. Add in another system capable of over 6 inches of snow into western Iowa and I guess I can't complain about barely freezing temperatures.

As for that system moving into Iowa, snow should begin in the western third of the state on Sunday night spreading into the central third by Monday. Eastern Iowa should see the snow begin on Monday and taper off by Tuesday morning. By the time all is said and done, a majority of the state should see more than 3 inches. The southern third of the state should see 3-5 inches, central and northern thirds' could see 4-7 inches of snow. For more information on this as well as a decent graphical representation of it, check out the Des Moines NWS Weather Story.

More updates possible through the week, likely to include mainly details on the 88th Annual American Meteorological Society meeting here in New Orleans. Hopefully with some pictures of the downtown area, staying only a few blocks from the French Quarter. Enjoy the cold and snow in Iowa!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Winter Storm: Jan 16-17

A winter storm is beginning to work into portions of Iowa late this morning and should continue to overtake much of southern Iowa into the early afternoon. Expect the snow to increase in coverage over the state throughout the afternoon hours, making it to northeast Iowa by this evening. Latest model forecasts from this morning have weakened the system some what, decreasing snow totals somewhat at least over areas of southern and central Iowa. A Snow & Blowing Snow Advisory has been issued for portions of southeastern Iowa where totals are likely to be within the 2-5 inch range; blowing snow likely throughout the state as the snow will be quite light and winds 15-20 mph will create some hazardous conditions. Portions of central Iowa were upgraded to a Snow Advisory, 3-6 inch totals are likely in this area with some blowing snow as well. Wouldn't be surprised to see the Des Moines NWS issue a blowing snow advisory for Friday even after the snow ends as winds increase throughout the day. The offices covering eastern Iowa have yet to issue their upgrades from the winter storm watch, however current forecasts indicate this area may end up being the hardest hit with storm totals increasing to a 4-8 inch range in northeastern Iowa.

Expect the snow to increase in coverage throughout the day today across the state, continuing into the nighttime hours where some of the heaviest snow will occur. Thursday will continue to see snowfall, heaviest in northeast Iowa, and tapering off in the south before coming to an end completely across the state by Thursday night.

Some updates are possible as this storm continues, however a busy classroom schedule and an upcoming trip may likely take away most of my time.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Snowstorm & Extreme Cold

Another system is forecasted to hit the state of Iowa on Wednesday and last into Thursday, behind it is going to be true arctic air. If you think the past couple days have been cold, then you might not want to be outside much at all for the remainder of the week. Temperatures in the teens and 20s for highs today will continue tomorrow, with even warmer temperature in place as southerly winds increase. Highs nearing 40 in extreme southeast Iowa aren't out of the question as the lack of snow is letting the ground warm nicely. Wednesday night lows will however begin to show the arctic air spilling into the northwest, single digits are expected for much of western Iowa, teens and a few 20s for the eastern half.

Wednesday into Wednesday night will also the beginning and the heaviest part of the storm system that is expected to move into and over the state. Light to moderate snow is expected across much of the state during the day, with the heaviest over southern Iowa. As we move into the nighttime hours the heaviest bands of snow are expected to work across much of the central portion of the state. Current models are showing higher than expected amounts, but nonetheless a good 3-6 inches with higher amounts certainly possible is the going forecast. To read the latest issuances of advisories/warnings, check out my homepage or you can click here to read the latest Snow Advisory for southwestern Iowa and Winter Storm Watch for much of the state. Not only will the snowfall be a concern, but winds are expected to increase and create blowing snow and potentially near blizzard conditions across the state. Extreme cold is also going to combine with this wind to create frigid and dangerous conditions...

As this system exits, behind it enters the arctic air with highs in the single digits to lower teens across the state. Lows below zero across the state, with some negative teens expected in the north and especially northwest. More updates on the potential winter storm as forecasts are adjusted and new issuances of advisories/warnings continue.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Winter Again...

We've been flirting with spring-time conditions in the past week or so, with an abundance of melting snow and even a tornado watch that included 3 Iowa counties. Now after that strong system has moved through, pulling down the cold air behind it we are back into the winter regime. Snow showers and flurries have went through the state on Thursday, putting down 1-4 inches across the state; with another round of snow last night into today moving across the state. This latest round will likely only put down a dusting to maybe an inch if some 'training' of the snow showers can occur. Temperatures today will range from the lower 20s to near 30 across most of the state; Southeastern Iowa will see warmer temperatures with lack of snow cover and with this system not quite pushing the cold air down there, mid to upper 30s will be likely highs. Lows tonight in the teens across a majority of the state, with southeastern Iowa once again being the warm spot with a few 20s.

Some light snow flurries will persist into Sunday for eastern Iowa with this latest system. Another system is right on its' tail and will push more snow into the state for Sunday night, once again accumulations should be light. Temperatures on Sunday will range from the mid 20s to the mid 30s over the state from north to south. Lows Sunday night will see some single digits for northwest Iowa, otherwise teens over the rest of the state. The next chance of snow isn't going to be until Tuesday or Tuesday night, until then expect temperatures in the 20s warming to the upper 20s and mid 30s before the next cold air shot. Lows single digits to teens for the most part, a few 20s mixing in for Tuesday night with cloud cover and scattered snow showers.

Updates may continue through mid-week this week, but then a lull in updates can be expected. One week of classes and then I'll take another 'vacation' to the National American Meteorological Society meeting in New Orleans, LA for 10 days. Expect to enjoy some warmer temperatures down there and enjoy the scenery as well! Will have a very nice photo update once I'm back from that journey, as I'm staying an extended time to have two full days of photography.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Shot of Snow

Snow showers should begin to work into the state overnight tonight, affecting areas of western and north-central Iowa mainly. This snow should however overtake the entire state by mid-day on Thursday and continue into the nighttime hours on Thursday for eastern Iowa. Light to moderate snow showers are expected, although traveling may become hazardous on occasion in some of the moderate bands with any winds that may be occurring. Do not expect this system to hamper travel plans too much though, just take a little extra time if you are traveling.

A for amounts, the heaviest snowfall totals are expected over areas that are north and west of a line from Omaha, NE to Waterloo to LaCrosse, WI. These areas should see 2-3 inches of snow with occasional 4 inch amounts not out of the question. Areas south and east of that line as well as some portions of extreme northwest Iowa may only see 1-2 inch amounts with an occasional 3 inch report. The only portions of the state that may not see an inch will be areas of extreme south-central and southeastern Iowa. These areas may see a mix of rain/snow and with no snow on the ground currently it will take more to show good accumulations.

As for temperatures, expect lows tonight in the mid 20s to lower 30s from northwest to southeast across the state. Highs tomorrow will be hampered by the clouds and snow showers making their way across the state, near 30 still in the northwest to only the mid 30s in the southeastern portions of the state. As this system moves out Thursday night, clearing skies across the west and central thirds of the state will allow temperatures to drop into the lower teens to lower 20s. The eastern third of the state may still see some isolated snow showers, with mostly cloudy skies over the area keeping temperatures into the mid 20s.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Tornado Watch #001 & #002

Two Tornado watches have been issued early this afternoon for areas stretching from the central plains of KS/MO extending northeastward to the IL/WI borders. These two watches both continue until 9 PM tonight as a strong storm system continues to fire thunderstorms. Three Iowa counties are included within watch #2, however these counties are already nearing the time where they could be discontinued as the broken lines of thunderstorms have moved east of their locations. Previous storms within the state did produce some hail near Creston, IA and other areas near Dubuque.

Current storms of concern include a cell along the IL/WI border to the northeast of Rockford, IL. This storm now has a confirmed tornado on the ground near Poplar Grove, IL and is moving eastward at ~45 mph. This storm should continue to move east/northeast along the IL/WI border, a very dangerous storm especially for this time of the year when tornadoes are not expected in that area. Another tornado warned storm is located in Missouri in vicinity of Columbia, MO; in fact two seperate storms may produce tornadoes in this area. No confirmations currently, but strong rotation has been noted on radar.

Those of you within the watch areas should continue to keep a close eye on the weather and stay tuned into local radio and TV for updates. Several chasers are out and about today, an update tomorrow may focus on these storms and what was produced by them throughout the day and evening.

What A Day!!

Currently as of the Noon hours temperatures ranged from the mid 30s to lower 40s where snow cover still remains over the state, but where the snow is gone temperatures have rose dramatically into the 50s and 60s, with Keokuk reporting a temperature of 67 degrees! Highs over some portions of the states may get into the lower 70s before the day is over. This warm air is bring brought up with the southerly winds that are in place, this has persisted the past couple of days allowing for dense fog as the snow melted throughout the state. Expect this to be the last day of the warm-up however as the storm system responsible for the strong southerly winds is finally making its' way across the plains today. The system will usher in winds from the north for tomorrow as it is off to the east of the state, but not before bringing in slight change of rain/snow to the state as well as potential severe weather for the plains.

Expect partly cloudy to cloudy skies over the state today, with some patches of dense fog as well as showers (especially central and east). Tonight expect to see some rain showers persist in the southeast, with a few snow showers beginning to work in over the remainder of the state. By Tuesday expect only scattered snow showers mixed in over central and eastern Iowa, especially south. We remain dry over the state until the next quick system looks to come in beginning Wednesday night and lasting through Thursday night. Temperatures today in the upper 30s to lower 70s across the state, with a drastic temperature gradient along where the snow pack ends/begins. Lows tonight in the mid 20s to lower 40s from northwest to southeast. Highs Tuesday see the change back over to colder air from the north, mid 30s to mid 40s across the state. Teens to mid 20s on Tuesday night, highs on Wednesday in the mid 30s to near 40 over the state. Wednesday night has the return of precip chances over mainly western Iowa, lows in the mid to upper 20s. Thursday precip chances continue over the entire state, highs ranging from lower to upper 30s from northwest to southeast; meaning a mix of snow rain possible. By Thursday night expect the precipitation to be confined to eastern Iowa with lows from the mid teens to upper 20s from west to east. Ending the week with highs near 30 in the north to the mid 30s in the south; lows teens to twenties...

On a regional note, severe weather possible this afternoon/evening over portions of eastern KS/OK/TX northeastward into central Illinois. The biggest area of concern will be centered over southern MO and northern AR. Damaging wind gusts the main concern, although a tornado or two is possible. This threat moves off to the east tomorrow, encompassing areas of IL/IN/OH/KY/TN with mainly damaging winds as the threat. Won't be surprised to see a few rumbles of thunder of southeastern Iowa today as well with the first severe threat of the year for 2008!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

A Warm-up!

After seeing a low of -5 on my home weather station on January 2nd and having some howling winds this morning leading once again to well below zero wind chills it is about time for a warm-up. This warm-up may lead to some good melting of the snow cover that is in place over the state, this snow cover is however also going to limit the ability of the air to warm over the state. Some early forecasts were saying how the temperatures may be able to rise into the 50s, this may be possible, but it will take significant melting of the snow to where some bare ground is present to warm. For the most part we may see warmer temperatures, along with some dense fog throughout the hours of the day as the snow continues to melt. This warm-up won't last for long either, as another very strong system is going to move in for early next week. This system looks like it could be a major weather producer across the nation, currently working into the western states causing significant winter weather, along with very wet and windy conditions.

As for your weekend forecast, expect lows tonight in the teens across the state with clear skies. Those clear skies will continue tomorrow as temperatures warm into the lower to upper 30s across the state from northeast to southwest. Lows for Friday night will be in the lower 20s to near 30 from northwest to southeast as warmer air surges from the south. Highs on Saturday will be some of the warmest in areas of northern and western Iowa, reaching into the upper 30s to mid 40s across the state. The cold air begins to move into the state by Saturday night, with lows in the 20s in the western third of the state; 30s for lows across the remainder of the state with dense fog likely. The front continues to sag across the state on Sunday, highs in the 30s over northwest Iowa; lower to mid 40s across the remainder of the state. Sunday lows once again in wide variation over the state, mid 20s to upper 30s from northwest to southeast.

The precipitation may begin as early as Saturday night, but a majority of it should hold off until Monday of next week. Do expect the cloud cover to increase during the day on Sunday as the system nears. More information on this will likely be posted in the next update late this weekend...

New Website!

Just a quick update on a few changes for the Iowa Chaser website, I have moved the website to a new domain and revamped the site to include some new features and more information. Be sure to change your bookmarks and links, any previous pages will give you a page that informs you that we have moved as well. So everything should be covered... Here are a few links to help you out for those interested:

Iowa Chaser Homepage
Iowa Chaser Gallery Pages (Photo Gallery)

Jayson Prentice Photography

Let me know what you think with any comments and suggestions!