Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wonderful Weekend!

Just when you think we might be getting into the thick of Fall and see the temperatures really tumble down, we get a week like this week has been. Although cold in the first half, we've warmed up very well and featured highs in the 70s across much of the state today. These above normal temperatures look to remain over the state through the weekend, allowing everybody a great opportunity to enjoy the nice weather at least one more time before the chilly temperatures return for good...

Highs for Friday will range from the mid 60s to near 70 from north to south across the state. These lows are slightly cooler with the weak cold front that will be entering the state, although likely stalling and becoming fairly diffuse over central Iowa. Friday night lows may have a wide range with some cloud cover possible over eastern Iowa. Either way, lows will range from the upper 30s to upper 40s from west to east. Saturday high temperatures will vary across the state with some clouds hampering highs over the northeast, but winds turning southeast will help the temperature rise slightly in western Iowa. Highs from the mid 50s in northeast Iowa, to the upper 60s over the southwest quarter of the state. Saturday night lows will be in the mid 40s to near 50 across the state, with some clouds keeping it mild. We finish of the weekend with Sunday highs in the mid 60s over northeast Iowa, to the upper 60s and near 70 across the rest of the state. Sunday night will have upper 40s and low 50s for the state, and we'll continue the mild temperatures into early next week before the next storm system arrives with a chance of rain!

2009 Weather Calendars!

The Iowa State student chapter of the American Meteorological Society has completed our 2009 Weather Calendar! This is our main fundraiser for the year, in which the proceeds go towards several of the community outreach events that we do such as elementary school talks. The calendars are printed on glossy, card stock paper, and feature great images that were all taken by our members! Four of the images in this years' calendar are taken by yours truly, including the front cover photo.

If you wish to order a calendar, please email me at jaysonprentice(at) or check out the web page that has been setup on our site.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Above Average Temperatures!!

At least for the highs for the remainder of the week, we'll see above average readings for nearly the entire state. The lows will hover from near normal, to above normal for the remainder of the week as well. The latter half of the week will see clear skies, making what appears to be a great Halloween night for the entire state.

Lows tonight will range from the mid 20s to lower 30s from north to south across the state. Highs tomorrow will be in the mid 50s to mid 60s from east to west, as winds begin to become southerly to bring in even more warmth. Wednesday night lows in the mid to upper 30s across the state, with clear skies remaining. Thursday really warms up with southerly winds picking up 10-20 mph and some higher gusts. Highs in the lower 60s in northeast Iowa, to near 70 across the south and west. Thursday night is beggars night for many local communities, the evening forecast should see temperatures in the 50s and winds around 10 mph. Lows for Thursday night will be in the upper 30s to mid 40s from northwest to southeast as a cold front begins to enter the state overnight. This cold front will hamper the high temperatures on Friday, with a few clouds finally making the forecast as well. Highs from the lower 60s to upper 60s from north to south, as winds shift to the northwest as the cold front passes through. As we enter the weekend, Friday night lows will be in the mid 30s to lower 40s from north to south.

More details on the Halloween forecast, and the entire weekend in Thursday's update!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Severe Local Storm Conference Papers

The American Meteorological Society's Severe Local Storms Conference got underway today in Savannah, Georgia. This conference features nearly a full week of presentations about every type of severe weather imaginable, from hail, lightning and tornadoes, to hurricanes and climate relations to severe storms. I was not able to go to the conference this year, but have read through several of the papers that are available online through the AMS. I thought I'd share with you some of the ones that I have found interesting, these include the talks about TWISTEX 2008, the summer research project that I have been a part of the past two years. Another paper is on the Parkersburg, IA tornado which many people may enjoy to at least look at. Of course I will also be happy to share with you a paper that I am a co-author on! If you have any questions about the papers, please leave a message here or email me (jaysonprentice(at)

Synoptic environments and convective modes associated with significant tornadoes in the contiguous United States
by Thompson, Grams, & Prentice

TWISTEX 2008: In situ and mobile mesonet observations of tornadoes
by Karstens et al.

Thermodynamic and kinematic analysis near and within the Tipton, KS tornado on May 29 during TWISTEX 2008
by Lee, Finley, & Samaras

Mobile mesonet observations of an intense RFD and multiple RFD gust fronts in the May 23 Quinter, Kansas tornadic supercell during TWISTEX 2008
by Finley & Lee

The Parkersburg, IA tornado
by Marshall, Jungbluth, & Baca

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Windy & Chilly!!

After a cold front moved through last night, additional cold air was pushed into the state as a Canadian high pressure system scooted in behind the cold front and associated low pressure. These two pressure systems combined to give much of the plains some strong gusty winds today, and Iowa was definitely in the mix with a high wind warning issued for much of the state for this morning and afternoon. Wind gusts across the state were in the 50s and even 60s (mph), with sustained winds 35-45 mph. These winds have weakened with the sunset, and are currently only 20-30 mph with gusts up to 40 mph. Besides the wind today, the temperatures which started out near 50 at midnight have continued to fall throughout the day despite the sunshine. The air aloft is cold enough that even surface temperatures near 40 are enough to create sporadic snow flurries across the state. Ames did see some snow flurries between 6-7 PM, and other portions of the state will continue to see these flurries through the overnight hours.

With the cold air from Canada rushing onto the plains states, you can expect that the temperatures for the next day or so will not be very warm. Tonights' lows will be kept a little warmer due to the winds, but will still results in a widespread freeze for the entire state (the first of the year for the entire state). The lower 20s are likely in northwest Iowa, and only the upper 20s for the 'warm' southeast portion of the state. Tomorrow highs will range from near 40 in the north to the mid 40s in the south despite the sun being prominent throughout the day. Overnight lows on Monday will be the coldest of the season by far, with the teens in northwest Iowa and only the mid 20s in southeast Iowa.

As winds switch to the west and southwest Tuesday into Wednesday we will start to see a nice warm-up. Tuesday highs in the mid 40s over northeast Iowa to the mid 50s over southwest Iowa. Overnight lows in the mid 20s to lower 30s from northeast to southwest across the state. The winds really shift to the southwest on Wednesday, continuing to bring in the warmth with highs in the mid 50s to mid 60s from northeast to southwest. Upper 30s to lower 40s across the state on Wednesday night will finally get the entire state above freezing for a 24-hour period.

We'll warm up even more for Thursday, but another cold front coming down will keep the highs down for your Halloween weekend. A first look at your trick-or-treating forecast shows temperatures near 50 to the mid 50s from north to south across the state by 8 PM on Friday. More detail on the latter half of the week and Halloween forecast in later updates!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

October 23 Rainfall Totals

A couple of bands containing light to moderate rain moved across the state today, mainly before Noon for a majority of the state. North-central and eastern Iowa saw the rain stick around through the afternoon, although it was generally light. As the low pressure system wrapped up tightly it also brought it a significant dry slot that dried out the state this afternoon. It even allowed a few areas to see the sun during the afternoon hours, which got high temperatures a little higher than forecasted. Highs ranged from the mid 40s in northwest Iowa to the mid 50s in southeast Iowa. Currently, only a few light patches of rain remain over the state, and it should remain that way through most of the night.

Tonights' lows will range from the upper 30s to mid 40s from northwest to southeast. Additional rain showers may move into the state tomorrow morning, but mainly over the eastern half of the state as the low moves along the Iowa/Missouri border tonight. Expect most of the rain to move out before Friday evening, but a few lingering showers aren't out of the question in extreme eastern Iowa. Highs on Friday should be in the upper 40s and lower 50s throughout the state, with lows overnight in the mid 30s to near 40 from west to east. Luckily, the rain should stop by Friday evening with little in the way of additional accumulations from the rain tomorrow. The storm total rainfall through 10 PM tonight is below:

Sioux City - 2.87"
Lamoni - 2.20"
Estherville - 1.55"
Des Moines - 1.25"
Ames - 0.79"
Iowa City - 0.60"
Quad Cities - 0.52"
Ottumwa - 0.51"
Marshalltown - 0.43"
Mason City - 0.39"
Dubuque - 0.30"
Waterloo - 0.19"

Into the weekend, the forecast looks much better with highs on Saturday ranging from the mid 50s to mid 60s from east to west. Sunny skies for the most part should give way to nice conditions for the Saturday college football games. Saturday night lows will range from near freezing in the northwest to near 40 in southeast Iowa. Saturday night will also see a quick moving cold front sweeping down into the state, and passing over the state by Sunday mid-morning. This cold front will be quite obvious in the high temperatures on Sunday, 40s are forecasted for the entire state. Winds on Sunday will also be howling from the northwest, 20-30 mph with gusts nearing 40 mph are possible. Look for a Sunday update to let you know how the Halloween week will be for the state of Iowa.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

October 22 Rainfall Totals

Moderate to heavy rain occurred through the morning hour throughout much of Iowa, with additional bands of rain moving through western and southern Iowa during the afternoon/evening hours. As we near the end of October 22nd, another band of light to moderate rain is working north/northwestward through much of western and central Iowa. Storm totals thus far have been fairly impressive, several areas have surpassed the two inch mark, with another night and day full of showers for them to incur. Beings the event isn't over yet, I won't go through a long list of reports, simply highlight a few of the airports across the state that have received the most.

Totals are 48 hour totals ending at 11 PM October 22

Lamoni - 2.11"
Sioux City - 2.10"
Estherville - 1.30"
Des Moines - 0.99"
Marshalltown - 0.37"
Ottumwa - 0.37"
Mason City - 0.25"
Waterloo - 0.05"
Iowa City - 0.04"
Quad Cities - 0.02"
Dubuque - 0.00"

Expect the rain to continue over western and central Iowa tonight, expanding eastward slowly to include eastern Iowa tonight and through tomorrow. The heaviest rainfall amounts through tonight and tomorrow should occur over central and eastern Iowa, thus the next storm totals update may be a little more even across the state. If you don't enjoy the rainy weather, you can always head west into Nebraska and Kansas where over a half foot of snow is forecasted/occurring!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Let the Rain Begin!

Some light rainfall occurred over the afternoon hours in mainly western Iowa. A band of rain has continued to move into eastern Iowa, this is very narrow and is quite weak with rainfall amounts generally only a few hundredths. Another cluster of moderate rainfall has moved into southwestern Iowa, and should continue to move mainly east throughout southern and western Iowa. Additional rainfall should continue throughout the nighttime hours over all but extreme eastern Iowa. As the rain continues to wrap around a low pressure system that will be positioned well west of the state, the rain should continue through all but extreme eastern Iowa throughout the day tomorrow. The low pressure system will slowly move east/southeast overnight on Wednesday and through Thursday. The movement of the low will pull the showers over the western half of the state Wednesday night, and over nearly the entire state on Thursday. By Thursday night the showers will finally move out of all but southeastern Iowa, with the rain clearing the entire state by Friday afternoon. Rainfall totals may be quite heavy with the consistent rain; 1-2 inches over the eastern half of the state, and 2-3 inches possible over the western half of the state. Local areas may see even heavier amounts approaching 4 inches or greater... You can view the latest radar from central Iowa on the Iowa Chaser Homepage.

Under the cloudy skies for the next 3 days, the temperatures will be fairly steady. Lows only ranging from the mid 30s to the mid 40s tonight through Thursday night. Highs tomorrow in the lower 40s to mid 50s from west to east, with the upper 40s and lower 50s on Thursday. As the system clears the state on Friday we'll see temperatures rise to to the mid 50s to lower 60s from east to west...

Just outside of Iowa, the strong cut-off low pressure system will bring some very cold air through the plains. As the low moves over Nebraska, conditions are looking favorable for a strong winter storm to take place with winds in excess of 45 mph and snowfall amounts well over 6 inches! The winter storm may affect areas from O'Neill to Valentine, southward to Imperial and along I80 between North Platte and Grand Island. The winter precip will stay out of Iowa for now, but the winter-type air will once again make its' way down over the weekend.

Later updates will update the precipitation forecast, and contain some storm total precipitation amounts.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Rainy Week Ahead

The weekend has been fairly enjoyable, with warm temperatures and mainly clear skies allowing temperatures to reach the upper 60s to upper 70s over Iowa. It was fairly windy this afternoon, with the southerly winds 15-25 mph across much of the state. A weak cold front has now entered the state, turning the winds to the north/northwest across northwest Iowa and increasing speeds to the 10-20 mph while the rest of the state has calmed a bit. The switch in winds will bring in a bit cooler air for tomorrow and for the rest of the week. Beyond this cold front passage, another strong system will be coming onshore tonight and work into and past the Rockies by Tuesday. This system is responsible for the title you see on this post, as it will bring in rain chances for the state beginning on Tuesday and potentially lasting the rest of the week!

Tonights' lows will range from the lower 40s in extreme northwest Iowa, to the upper 40s and lower 50s over the rest of the state. Highs tomorrow will be hampered by the cold front passage and associated cloud cover. Ranging from the upper 50s to the lower 60s from north to south over much of the state. Monday night will see low temperatures approaching freezing once again over some parts of the state. Mid 30s over northeast Iowa, mid 30s to lower 40s from northeast to southwest over the rest of the state.

A weak warm front from the next approaching storm system will begin to impact extreme western Iowa with rainfall by Tuesday afternoon. Clouds will work over the western half of the state throughout most of the afternoon. High temperatures in the upper 50s to lower 50s from east to west across the state. The rainfall will move over the entire western half of the state through the night, and approach the eastern half by morning. Lows overnight on Tuesday should be near 40 to the lower 40s throughout the state. Wednesday and Wednesday night will be rainy throughout the state, with the potential for moderate to heavy rainfall. Highs on Wednesday will show the impact of the second cold front of the week; mid 40s over northwest Iowa for highs, increasing to the mid 50s over the southeast. Lows overnight will be helped by clouds and rainfall, but dropping into the upper 30s to lower 40s from northwest to southeast.

The cold rain looks to continue on Thursday and Thursday night over a majority of the state. It should finally let up for the western half of the state Thursday night, and likely move out of the state entirely by the weekend. We'll try to warm up for next weekend, but it isn't looking too likely at the moment. Additional updates this week will focus on the rainfall amounts, and how cold of a rain (or snow?) we can get!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Nearly everywhere besides the southeast quarter of the state saw freezing or below freezing conditions last night. The lowest temperature came from northwest Iowa, specifically near the Spencer and Sibley areas. Low temperatures reported there were 25 and 24 degrees respectively. My house near Terril, IA recorded a low of 25.7 degrees... An image of the automated reporting stations across Iowa and what they reported for lows this morning is below:

Look for slightly warmer temperatures tonight with some clouds moving into the state. It will still be calm, and temperatures are still likely to be pretty chilly when you awake and are heading to work tomorrow ranging from the mid 30s in eastern Iowa, to the lower 40s along the Missouri River. The weekend looks enjoyable, and after my dynamics test tomorrow afternoon I will be happy to post the weekend forecast for everyone to enjoy!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Rain & Freezing Weather!

The past few days have seen plenty of consistent showers pass over the state, with one piece of energy pulling through just in time for another to get in line and cross the state. The rainfall amounts over the past 72 hours were not too impressive, a majority of the rainfall came down either in slow and steady amounts or in a couple of isolated heavy showers that did not last too long. Nearly every ASOS (airport) weather station had at least a half inch of rain, a quick list of some are below:

Marshalltown - 0.88"
Sioux City - 0.86"
Des Moines - 0.85"
Ames - 0.84"
Estherville - 0.76"
Mason City - 0.76"
Ottumwa - 0.69"
Waterloo - 0.65"
Quad Cities - 0.55"
Iowa City - 0.49"

Now that the rain has past, and the skies have cleared, you throw in some strong northwest flow today turning to calm conditions overnight; we are left expecting the coldest night of the fall this year. A large portion of western Iowa has been put under either Freeze Warnings, or Frost Advisories. Lows overnight should range from the upper 20s in northwest Iowa, to the lower 30s across the rest of western Iowa. The central portion of the state should see mid 30s for lows; while the eastern third will be in the upper 30s. This could be a potential season ending freeze for parts of northwest Iowa; and with the wet conditions previous, it is something that the farmers likely did not want to see happen.

The highs for Thursday will not make it near the normal values, much like today. Highs expected to be in the mid 50s to upper 50s across the entire state. Precip chances and clouds will push into the forecast for Thursday night. Mainly northern Iowa seeing the clouds and chance for a few showers, lows overnight on Thursday will range from the mid 30s in northeast Iowa to the near 40 temperatures across southern Iowa. These precip chances were extended to last into the initial half of Friday over northern Iowa; with highs on Friday in the mid 50s to lower 60s from east to west.

We'll warm up nicely for the weekend, just before another front will pass through to knock our temperatures down for the work-week.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Cold Front Moving Through...

A cold front is just on the doorstep of northwest Iowa, with areas of eastern Nebraska, eastern South Dakota, and into Minnesota receiving rainfall currently. Northwest Iowa is currently under mostly cloudy skies, meanwhile the rest of the state stays under clear skies. Strong southerly winds will continue overnight, with 15-25 mph wind speeds likely for most areas; extreme western Iowa will see the winds shift over to the west and then northwest as the cold front moves through. Lows tonight will range from the 40s over northwest Iowa, and 50s over the rest of western Iowa, but the central and eastern thirds of the state will remain in the lower 60s. Expect anywhere west of a Omaha to Fort Dodge to Algona line to see rainfall by sunrise tomorrow morning.

This will setup a long day of cloudy skies and continuous rainfall for a large part of the state on Monday. The cold front should move through nearly the entire state by Monday night, but most of the precipitation may be behind it. Highs on Monday should range from the lower 50s in extreme northwest Iowa, to the mid 70s across eastern Iowa. Rainfall is likely west of a LaCrosse, WI to Waterloo to Des Moines to Lamoni line, some of these amounts may be significant depending on any embedded thunderstorms. Monday night will have rainfall scattered through most of the state, only early in the west, and lasting through most of the night in the central and eastern thirds. This rainfall will keep temperatures a little warmer with cloud cover above, central and eastern Iowa should range from the lower to upper 40s, with only extreme southeast Iowa left in the 50s. Back behind the front in the clear skies of northwest Iowa, temperatures will fall dramatically into the mid to upper 30s!!

Although the cold front becomes a little more diffuse, it should finally push through the state Tuesday morning. Lingering showers are possible for the southeastern half of the state, while temperatures are in the mid to upper 50s for nearly the entire state on Tuesday. Additional moisture will keep the showers in the forecast for nearly the entire state on Tuesday night, and the cloudy skies will allow a little warmer temperatures in mainly the 40s.

The system finally rids the state of any influence on Wednesday morning, with high temperatures under sunny skies finally return into the lower and mid 60s. Overnight lows on Wednesday will be in the mid 30s to mid 40s across the state, with the coldest temperatures coming in northwest Iowa once again... Later updates for early this week will likely focus on rain totals and the passage of the cold front.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Windy & Rainy Weekend (Football Forecasts)

We'll start of tonight's post with the weekend football forecasts for the high school football across the state of Iowa, then the two weekend college football games that are on the road. For Friday evenings' games we'll see temperatures ranging from the mid 60s to the lower 70s across the state at kick-off; lower to mid 60s should be in place by the end of the game. The skies should be partly cloudy, but the winds will be the problem, sustained 15-25 mph from the southeast, they will weaken a bit to 10-20 by the second half, but will still have some effect on the games.

Iowa State vs. Baylor -- 6:00 PM @ Waco, TX

Kick-off temperature of 85 degrees, with good moisture, will likely keep the conditions a little warmer than the Cyclones want. Partly to mostly cloudy skies with winds from the southeast at 5-15 mph. Although western Texas may see thunderstorms, some severe, Waco and central Texas look to stay quiet. ISU should have decent warm and humid weather to deal with on their road trip, hopefully coming away with a road win.

Iowa vs. Indiana -- 11:00 AM @ Bloomington, IN

Kick-off temperature just below 70 degrees should warm to near 80 by game end. East-southeast winds under 10 mph and only partly cloudy skies means another great afternoon of football for the Hawkeyes, as long as they can come away with a win.


As for your local forecast for this weekend, the title says it all. Friday through Saturday night will be partly cloudy and windy, with mild temperatures given strong southerly winds. Sunday afternoon will cloud up over the state, and through the nighttime hours the chances of rain and isolated thunder will move into the state.

Friday highs will be in the low to mid 70s across the state, as a warm front lifts through giving some clouds, but otherwise sunny skies. Friday night will show the increased moisture, with low to mid 50s expected rather than 30s and 40s. Saturday will range from the lower 70s in the northwest, to near 80 over much of the south. Saturday night will have lows in the upper 50s and even some lower 60s across the state. This additional moisture will set the stage for several rounds of showers and possible thunderstorms Sunday into early next week. Sunday afternoon should see the showers and isolated thunderstorms in the western third of the state, highs in the afternoon should range from the mid 60s to the upper 70s from west to east. Sunday night will have the showers and perhaps a couple rumbles of thunder move into a majority of the state. Lows overnight will have a large gradient from northwest to southeast, low 40s in the northwest to upper 60s in the southeast... Look for the rain to continue into Monday and finally exiting before Tuesday begins.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Final Rainfall Totals... & Chilly Air

The rainfall across the state has finally came to an end, as the showers and cold front has finally passed through the entire state as winds are noted to be northwesterly throughout. The eastern third of the state is still under cloud cover, and thus still has temperatures in the lower 50s. The remainder of the state has clear skies and temperatures dropping quickly into the 40s, a few northwest Iowa cities are already down to 40 and will drop into the 30s tonight. Even eastern Iowa will drop into the 40s as the skies clear in the next few hours...

With the rainfall coming to an end, here are a few of the local airports final totals once again, along with some of the other stations that saw significant amounts.

St. Ansgar - 2.22"
Ankeny - 2.08"
Muscatine - 1.73"
Chariton - 1.68"
Mason City - 1.56"
Des Moines - 1.34"
Quad Cities - 1.17"
Ames - 1.15"
Estherville - 1.00"
Burlington - 0.84"
Sioux City - 0.74"
Waterloo - 0.63"
Lamoni - 0.56"
Spencer - 0.55"
Ottumwa - 0.36"
Dubuque - 0.33"
Marshalltown - 0.15"
Iowa City - 0.14"
Cedar Rapids - 0.03"

Monday, October 6, 2008

October 6 & 7 Rainfall Totals

Moderate to heavy rains fell throughout the evening and through the overnight hours across the state, and continued into this morning. Leading to rainfall totals for October 6th and 7th that were pretty impressive. The rain is fairly light now over the state, with the only reflectivities on radar coming across central Iowa, and another band over the far eastern portion of the state. Rainfall totals through the remainder of the afternoon should be under a tenth or two in central Iowa, and under a quarter inch in most of eastern Iowa. Through 1 PM, here are some of the rainfall totals from local airports:

Des Moines - 1.25"
Mason City - 1.15"
Ames - 1.07"
Estherville - 0.96"
Sioux City - 0.74"
Burlington - 0.64"
Spencer - 0.55"
Lamoni - 0.53"
Waterloo - 0.49"
Quad Cities - 0.24"
Ottumwa - 0.17"
Dubuque - 0.15"
Iowa City - 0.11"

Lots o' Rain!

A low pressure system that is currently near the Kansas/Nebraska border will move northeast and strengthen throughout the nighttime hours. As the low moves through western Iowa during the overnight, and then north of the state in the early morning hours it will pull a cold front through. This cold front combined with the low pressure system will provide the state with a very good chance of rainfall, including some fairly significant amounts. A view of the current radar can be found on the Iowa Chaser homepage. Expect to see the western and central thirds of the state to be full of precipitation through the nighttime hours tonight. The rain will begin to push eastward as the cold front moves through, indicating that by sunrise the precipitation will be over mainly the central and eastern thirds of the state. Mid-afternoon and into the early overnight hours should leave only the eastern third of the state with rain chances.

Although total rainfall amounts have previously been forecasted to be between a half inch to well over an inch, latest satellite imagery indicates that the low pressure system is pulling in some fairly significant dry air. This dry air will act to limit some of the precipitation amounts that may be seen overnight tonight. Despite this dry air, total precip amounts should still be near a half inch. As of 8 PM, some rainfall totals are already near a half-inch. Creston, IA already has 0.60"; Red Oak has 0.44"; Council Bluffs has 0.43"; Carroll and Sioux City both have 0.19"; and Des Moines has accumulated 0.13".

Lows overnight tonight should range from the upper 50s to near 50 from southeast to northwest. Highs tomorrow will only reach the mid to upper 60s across the state, as mostly cloudy skies and strong winds remain over most of the state through the afternoon. Tuesday night lows will show the brunt of the cold air, as clear skies occur over the western two-thirds of the state and calmer winds ensue. The range of temperatures will be from the low 50s in the eastern third with cloudy skies and scattered showers, to the upper 30s over northwest Iowa where those clear skies are in place.

Beyond this storm system, we'll see clear to partly cloudy skies and fairly quiet weather through Friday. Wednesday highs in the upper 60s to lower 70s from east to north, although southwest Iowa will have the mid 70s in place. Thursday highs will be a bit cooler, mid to upper 60s from roughly north to south across the state. Friday afternoon will be in the upper 60s to lower 70s from north to south before the next rainfall chances approach. Wednesday night lows ranging from near 40 to near 50 from northwest to southeast. Thursday night lows in the mid to upper 40s across the entire state; and Friday night will be in the lower to mid 50s across the entire state as some warm air returns ahead of the next storm chances.

The next storm system on Friday evening and into the weekend will be discussed in the midweek update, while the update tomorrow will likely feature the storm total rainfalls from the current system.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Thunderstorms Return

Despite the chilly air as of late, including the forecast of tonight's lows ranging from the mid 30s in the northeast quarter of the state. The entire state won't feel the low temperatures this time around, as only northeast Iowa will be affected by a weak cold front that moves through later this evening. The remainder of the state will see lows ranging from the low 40s to low 50s, with the warmest areas in the southwest. Tomorrow's highs under clear skies will range from the mid 60s in the northeast, to the mid 70s across mainly western Iowa. Lows overnight on Saturday will range from the upper 40s to upper 50s from northeast to southwest across the state.

Saturday night will also bring in the first chance of thunderstorms over the state. As a warm front lifts northward during the nighttime hours, warm air and moisture overrunning this front is likely to initiate heavy showers and isolated thunderstorms. The best chances for precipitation will be over the northeast half of the state, as areas south of the warm front will not see the overrunning, thus their precip chances are significantly lower. With some pockets of instability present, a few isolated strong thunderstorms are possible, with the main threat being some moderate sized hail.

Sunday morning and into the afternoon may have some isolated showers continuing over the northeast half of the state. Otherwise we will warm up nicely with southerly flow over the state, a strong gradient will exist with some areas of northeast Iowa under fairly significant cloud cover. Upper 60s for highs in northeast Iowa, lower 70s to lower 80s across the rest of the state under clear skies and southerly winds. Overnight on Sunday will represent the increased moisture, keeping lows in the 50s throughout the state.

The next round of thunderstorms will enter the forecast for Monday, and continue through Wednesday! With a cold front, and low pressure system stalling out nearby, storm rainfall totals could easily be above an inch over a large portion of the state. The severe weather threat seems low at the moment, given instability will be lacking due to continuous cloud cover beyond Monday afternoon. More details on the Monday through Wednesday rainfalls in the Sunday night update...

Weekend Football Forecast

#16 Kansas vs. Iowa State -- 11:30 AM @ Ames, IA (On Versus Network)

Tailgating temperatures will be in the mid 40s as the sun rises, but will warm up nicely to the mid 50s by kick-off. The temperatures will continue to rise during the game, by game end we should be in the mid 60s. Wind speeds should be southeasterly, ranging from 5-15 mph increasing throughout game time, a few gusts may reach the 20 mph mark. Skies should be mainly clear though, allowing for decent forecast for the game.

Iowa vs. Michigan State -- 11:00 AM @ East Lansing, MI (On ESPN2)

A chilly beginning, with tailgate temperatures in the mid 30s! By kick-off, temperatures are likely to be in the upper 40s, and continuing into the mid 50s by game end. Skies should be partly cloudy during the game, with northerly winds remaining under 5 mph. A chilly one, but an overall okay forecast for the players and fans.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Frost!! (Welcome to October)

October is going to be welcomed in by our coldest nighttime temperatures since the early springtime. The below normal temperatures may wreak some havoc on local gardens, and some of the crops where the frost tonight is more widespread. A large portion of western Iowa has been put under a frost advisory, where widespread frost is possible over northwest Iowa. Other areas of the state will still see frost, but likely in the lower lying areas where it is more susceptible. Lows will range from the mid 30s in extreme northwest Iowa, to the mid 30s over the western third of the state. Other areas may see upper 30s to the mid 40s over eastern Iowa where some cloud cover and windier conditions may exist to keep the temperatures warmer. The Des Moines NWS 'weather story' shows the areas of frost more likely...

Image removed due to the changes in the 'Weather Story' from Des Moines NWS.