Thursday, August 29, 2013

It's Official -- Drought Conditions Worsen

The new drought update from the U.S. Drought Monitor is out and just as I talked about in yesterday's blog, the dry conditions are getting worse across the Midwest.

Here is the map of the Midwest showing that "abnormally dry" conditions (yellow) have increased from 45% coverage last week to 51% this week. 

More critical on this map how is "moderate drought" has expanded from 8% last week to 25% this week.  .

And, 4% of the Midwest is now in a "severe drought".

In Iowa, the drought situation is worse than it is in Illinois.

The entire state is "abnormally dry" and 60% of Iowa is now in a "moderate drought" compared to 35% last week.  22% (mainly across central Iowa) is facing a "severe drought".  Last week, no part of Iowa was in that category.

In Illinois, 68% of the state is "abnormally dry" (yellow) and 21% is in the "moderate drought" category.  Last week, it was at 0% for the "moderate drought".

We could see a few scattered showers Friday evening and Friday night and, again, Sunday.  However, no widespread beneficial rains are in our ten-day forecast.

CBS4 Meteorologist Anthony Peoples

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Good News/Bad News

After a record high of 97° on Wednesday (beating the old record by 1 degree) there's some good news in the forecast as far as the temperatures go!  It seems most (but definitely not all) people have now had enough of the late summer heat and humidity.  After a few more days of the blazing heat things will cool down dramatically next week!  And it looks like once we get a little deeper into September temps might actually dip BELOW AVERAGE!  Here's a temperature forecast for September 5-11th...

A big cooldown coming up...

On the other hand we could desperately use some rain, but it looks like there's plenty more dry weather in tap for the Quad Cities....Here's a rain forecast for the next 7 days from the WPC...

Less than 0.50" of rain

And another outlook from the CPC showing a good chance of below normal rain for September 5-11th also!

A Record Dry Month Possible In Burlington

We've been talking quite a bit lately about the lack of rainfall in the Quad Cities.  We've only picked up 0.76" of rain in August at the Quad City International Airport in Moline.

However, the situation is worse over southeastern Iowa.  So far, in August, Burlington has only picked up a trace of rain!  The last measurable rain there was back on July 30, 2013, when 1.20" fell.

While there's a very slight chance of a shower or two across the Mississippi and Illinois Valleys in the next ten days, if it doesn't rain in Burlington by midnight Saturday, that trace of rain will go down as the driest August on record there.

If it doesn't rain in the Quad Cities by midnight Saturday, this will be the 9th driest August on record.

As you can see from the U.S. Drought Monitor dated August 20, 2013, we were already in the "Abnormally Dry" category.  Since no rain has fallen since then, we'll likely move into or closer to the "Drought - Moderate" category when this is updated Thursday morning.

CBS4 Meteorologist Anthony Peoples

Monday, August 26, 2013

A Closer Look at our Dry Streak...

Are you watering your lawn?

So it's now been 21 days since we had any measurable rain in the Quad Cities!  We aren't quite into top ten territory for consecutive days with no rain but we are closing in on that list!  Here's a look at the longest precip free stretches in recorded Quad Cities weather history...

# of days    Streak ended on:
1.  45          11/15/1952
2.  40          01/23/1944
3.  36          11/21/1999
4.  35          01/06/1940
5.  32          09/17/1893
6.  31          02/05/1919
7.  30          12/10/1904
t8. 28          07/10/1989
t8. 28          09/23/1979
t8. 28          01/19/1954

So we're at 21 days once Monday ends, and when you watch Ten at 10 tonight on CBS4 you won't see any rain chances coming over the next 7 days - if the forecast doesn't change we'll be into a tie for the 8th longest dry spell in QC history!  Full disclosure - there's about a 5-9% chance for rain this Wednesday and Friday, but those %s are a little too low to include on the 7-day forecast!

Almost Three Weeks Without Measurable Rain

We've now gone twenty days without measurable rain officially in the Quad Cities and it looks like we could go another week without any real chance of wet weather.

Our last measurable rain at the Quad City International Airport in Moline, Illinois, fell back on August 5th when 0.49" accumulated in the rain gauge.

Heavy rain and thunderstorms brought power outages to the "northwoods" of Wisconsin Monday morning, but that rain will stay away from eastern Iowa and northwestern Illinois.

While there may be a couple of slight chances (20% or less) of showers Wednesday and Friday, it looks as though we'll remain dry through the end of the month.

As of right now, the 0.76" of rain that has officially been recorded in the Quad Cities puts this August as the 9th driest August on record.  For this August to stay in the Top Ten, we need to stay at or below 0.83".

CBS4 Meteorologist Anthony Peoples

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Heat Advisory Issued

As the CBS4 weather team has been advertising for the last several days, a late-August heat wave is finally here.  The official high temperature Sunday at the Quad City International Airport in Moline was 90°--the first 90° temp since July 19th when the mercury rose to 95°--the hottest temperature this summer!
This summer's been a sharp contrast to last summer.  I was curious as to how many 90°+ days we've seen this summer compared to the brutally dry summer of 2012.  To this date in 2013, we've seen just 9 days of 90° or higher.  Summer of 2012 saw a whopping 41 days of 90°+ up to August 25th; 5 of those days saw temperatures above the century mark!

Temperatures will make their way into the lower to mid 90s Monday & Tuesday, which will be very close to record highs.  The National Weather Service has issued a "Heat Advisory" for many in the CBS4 viewing area.
The advisory goes into effect at Noon on Monday (8/26) and expires at 10PM Tuesday (8/27).  Factoring in the humidity, heat indices will be anywhere from 95° to 105°...on the higher end of that come Tuesday.

Be sure to drink plenty of liquids and keep an eye on the elderly and pets to make sure all is well.  Also, lather on the sunscreen because there will be no lack of sunshine!  For more heat safety tip, CLICK HERE.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Record High Temperatures Next Week?

Most of the summer of 2013 hasn't been too hot in the Quad Cities, but the end of August will be a different story!  We'll be close to record highs next week, as temps soar into the 90s for the last week in the 8th month of the year!  Wednesday, August 28th, will be very close to a record - the record high for that day is 96° and we'll top out around 95°!  It will definitely be worth are the record highs for most of next week...

Mon (26th) - 97
Tue (27th) - 97
Wed (28th) - 96
Thu (29th) - 97
Fri (30th) - 98
Sat (31st) - 98

And now the 7 day forecast...

And we won't be the only ones dealing with the late August heat...check out this forecast from the CPC!  Most of the upper Midwest will be in or near record territory! 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Summer Holding on Strong

Temperatures the last few days have been pretty warm across the area.  The humidity has also been an issue with dewpoint temperatures in the mid and upper 60s, making it feel like it's been in the mid 90s!

We have a weak cold front that will move through the area late Wednesday night and Thursday, which will give us a brief break from the heat with temperatures around average for this time of year.  However, a ridge builds back into the area this weekend, bringing with it some very warm weather.  Here's a look at the Climate Prediction Center's 6-10 day temperature outlook:
The latest data coming into the CBS4 Weather Center follows the CPC's idea.  Temperatures will warm back into the upper 80s by Saturday and back into the lower 90s by Sunday!  Summer weather is not going anywhere anytime soon.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Blue Moon, Yellow Moon

When you hear Blue Moon what do you think of?

A.  something that rarely happens
B.  an adult beverage typically served with an orange
C.  two full moons in 1 month
D.  4 full moons in one season

Believe it or not all of these are acceptable answers!  And tonight is an example of answer D.  We have a full moon and specifically it's the 3rd full moon of the season, so it's a blue moon!  Here's a little more from the wikipedia page about blue moons:

Using the Maine Farmers' Almanac definition of blue moon (meaning the third full moon in a season of four full moons, and where the seasons are marked by equal 3 month intervals between solstices and equinoxes as opposed to calendar quarters), blue moons have occurred or will occur on
  • November 21, 2010
  • August 21, 2013
  • May 21, 2016
  • May 18, 2019
  • August 22, 2021
And you can read the whole article here: Click on me.

On a related note - tonight's "blue moon" will actually look a little more yellow/orange than average!  That's because we have about 50 large wildfires raging out West, smoke and haze from those fires eventually filters overhead here in the Midwest.  That smoke/haze at high altitudes gives the moon a yellow/orange tint!

Let us know if you notice anything special! 

Amazing Phenomena in the UK

NASA has released amazing video of two rare events that happened in Scotland earlier this month.  "Noctilucent clouds" were visible throughout the night, and shortly after you can see the Aurora Borealis.  Noctilucent clouds are clouds that form in the highest layer of the Earth's atmosphere, called the mesosphere.  They are composed of tiny crystals of water ice and mostly occur in the summertime, which is when the mesosphere is at its coldest. The clouds sometimes form from dust particles, whether it be from a volcano or small meteors passing through the atmosphere.

While we get a little glimpse of the Aurora Borealis here in the Quad Cities from time to time, we are just a little too far south to witness noctilucent clouds.  They generally occur in the northern most latitudes.

To see the amazing video, CLICK HERE.  To have these clouds and the northern lights at the same time is quite a treat to the eye!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Below Average Rainfall for August

It's been 14 days since there has been any measurable rain at the Quad City International Airport, where official weather data is recorded.  You may be noticing the grass isn't growing as fast and your plants looking a tad thirsty.

The month started out on a wet note, with 0.27" of rain falling on August 2nd, and 0.49" of rain falling on August 5th.  If you recall, on August 5th was an off and on, light to moderate rain event which kept the temperatures in the lower to mid 70s!

Normally we should be sitting at 2.65" for the month, so we are 1.81" below average.

The latest model trends show a better chance for rain coming in on Thursday, which is some great news.  There is a little discrepancy in how much rain we will get out of the system, but any rain is good news especially for the farmers out there.  Here is the Weather Prediction Center's forecast for the next 5 days...
I do agree that the heavier bulk of rain will fall to the north of the Quad Cities.  Of course, amounts will be fine tuned as we get closer and have a better idea of what the atmosphere will do.

By the way, we are still sitting a little over 7 inches above average for the entire year.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Warming Up & Staying Dry

As Andy mentioned in Friday's blog post, temperatures will be warming up close to 90° throughout next week.  It will be a gradual warm up, as temperatures warm up 2 or 3 degrees each day through Thursday.  We've been quite spoiled as of late with comfortable conditions and dry weather.  However, we are in need for some rain.  Is it in the forecast?  Not in the near term.

The graphic on the left is the GFS, one computer model meteorologists use to analyze forecasts, showing the chance for rain on Thursday (00Z Friday is 7PM Thursday, CDT).  The graphic on the right is the ECMWF, or European model.  The European is keeping the rain north, keeping the QCA dry:

 This is one of those cases where each computer run can tell a different story.  We generally get updated information every 6 hours with the GFS, and every 12 hours with the ECMWF.  Another model we use is a Canadian model, and it tries to bring rain in on Friday, which neither of the above have.  So there's definitely some fine tuning that has to be done.

In the meantime you can expect plenty of sunshine with some warmer and more humid air by next week.  Updated forecasts all the time at!

-Meteorologist Kyle Kiel

Friday, August 16, 2013

Close to 90 Next Week...

Remember how hot it was last summer?  We had dozens of days in the 90s (and hotter) and a handful of days over 100°!  This year - that's definitely not the case!  The hottest temp we've had so far is 95° and we've only had a total of 8 days at least 90°!  We'll be close to the 90s next week, with Wednesday and Thursday looking especially warm and close to 90 degrees! 

90°+ days so far this year...

May 14    90
June 12   92
June 22   92
July 15    91
July 16    91
July 17    95
July 18    94
July 19    95

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Drought Monitor is Back...

Well that didn't take too long!  After finally making it out of our big drought from last year we've gone in the wrong direction over the last couple months.  As of today parts of our area are back on the drought monitor!  The areas shaded in yellow on this graphic are now Abnormally Dry...and with 10 more days of dry weather coming up things will get worse before they get better again! 

Here's the Iowa map...
Moderate drought near Des Moines

And here's the view for the state of Illinois...
Illinois update
It's really been feast or famine this year for rain around the Quad cities.  Remember all the flooding we had on the Mississippi River earlier this year (and all other rivers too for that matter?)  We had a massive excess of rain through June and things have now really turned back around...look at some of the monthly rain totals over the last 4.5 months:

April - 7.21"
May  - 7.97"
June  - 6.14" (Most of this actually fell in one day)
July - 2.56"
August - 0.76"

We can hope things will turn around sooner than later, but right now it doesn't look too promising! 

A New Atlantic Ocean Tropical Storm

The Atlantic Ocean hurricane season is coming alive with the fifth named storm of the season, "Erin", forming near the Cape Verde Island, off the western coast of Africa.

This follows Tropical Storms Andrea (top winds:  65 miles-per-hour), Barry (top winds:  45 miles-per-hour), Chantal (top winds:  65 miles-per-hour), and Dorian (top winds:  60 miles-per-hour) in June and July.

Meanwhile, in the Caribbean Sea near the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, there's an area of stormy weather that will bring Cancun heavy rain and wind today.

There is a decent chance that this could become a tropical cyclone in the Gulf of Mexico over the next few days.  If it becomes the next named Tropical Storm (winds of 39 miles-per-hour or higher) in the Atlantic, it will be called "Fernand".

CBS4 Meteorologist Anthony Peoples

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

More Dry Days Ahead

August (and July for that matter) has been pretty dry so far, and there's no rain in sight!  With a large area of high pressure migrating into the Great Lakes from Canada we'll see nothing but sunny skies in the Quad Cities for the next week!  A few showers will be as close as Des Moines on Thursday but that rain should stay West of the Quad Cities.  In fact, you won't see ANY rain chances in tonight's 7-day forecast, but you will see a couple chances for rain in the 10-day forecast on Ten at 10! 

Here's another look at a 7-day rain forecast from the NWS WPC - note the dry bulls eye right by the Quad Cities.

7-day rain forecast

New Video of 2011's Japanese Tsunami

It's been more than two years since a devastating tsunami hit Japan killing almost 16,000 people with more than 2,600 people still missing.  The 133-feet tsunami was triggered by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake on March 11, 2011.

Today, the event is remembered by several names:  "The Great East Japan Earthquake", "2011 Tohoku Earthquake" and "3.11 Earthquake".

New video has just surfaced of the flooding and the fires caused by the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami.

While the video is about 26 minutes long, the amazing images start right before the eight-minute mark.

CBS4 Meteorologist Anthony Peoples

Monday, August 12, 2013

Long Dry Stretch

The last measurable rain at the Quad City International Airport in Moline, Illinois, the official weather observation site for the Quad Cities, was back on August 5, 2013, when 0.49" fell.

We've now gone six days without any measurable rain at the airport and we missed out on the showers that fell across eastern Iowa very early this morning.

And, the 10-day forecast looks pretty dry, too.

If a little disturbance doesn't drop in from Canada in the northwesterly flow of air aloft and we remain dry through next Wednesday, that would be 15 consecutive days with no measurable rain in the Quad Cities.

I know it's a long-shot to be dry that long, but if that happens, it'll be the longest dry spell since this past winter when we went from January 13-26, 2013, with no measurable rain or melted snow.  That was 14 days.

For the record, we did have some snow flurries during that period and 0.2" of snow was reported on January 13, 2013, but melted down, it didn't amount to 0.01", which is considered measurable precipitation.

CBS4 Meteorologist Anthony Peoples

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Perseid Meteor Shower this Weekend

It's that time of year again...back to school season is upon us, and so is the Perseid Meteor shower!  The year's best meteor shower peaks this weekend and it looks like skies will be clear in the Quad Cities, so we'll have a great chance at seeing A LOT of shooting stars!  This meteor shower happens every August and could offer up to 60 meteors per hour! 

For the best viewing you'll want to be away from city lights and outside after midnight Saturday night and again on Sunday night.  Give your eyes some time to adjust and basically just look up!  If you're in an open area try looking off to the Northeast, but any clear skies should be good...

For more info on the meteor shower click here.


Cool August Likely To Continue

It hit 87° in the Quad Cities Wednesday and that marked the warmest day this August.  However, for the month, temperatures for the first seven days are running 2.9° below average.

It looks like that trend will continue.  High temperatures over the next seven days will generally be in the upper-70s to low-80s.  The average highs during this period are around 84° and 85°.

Here is the temperature forecast from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center for August 15th-21st and much of Midwest, Great Lakes, the Ohio Valley, and the mid-Atlantic will likely see below average temperatures.

The fall temperature preview continues!

CBS4 Meteorologist Anthony Peoples

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

August Fogs Can Forecast The Winter's Weather?

If you like winter weather or even thinking of winter in the summertime, this blog is for you.  Last night, right before the new episode of "Under The Dome" on CBS4, there was a repeat of "Mike & Molly".  It was a Christmas episode complete with a Christmas carol, decorations, and snow!

Back on August 1st, the foggy weather made me mention folklore on "CBS4 News This Morning".  According to folklore, "For every fog in August, there will be a snowfall."

This was the view from our SkyCam early Tuesday morning as visibilities started to improve from dense fog.

In the first six days of August 2013, we had fog on four of those mornings!

And, while I'm talking about folklore, here's another one: "If the first week in August is unusually warm, the coming winter will be snowy and long."

If that's the case, could we be having another easy winter like most of the winter of 2012-2013 was since temperatures in the Quad Cities for the first five days of August are running 5.1° below average!

For now, enjoy the summer heat and humidity that is expected later today!

CBS4 Meteorologist Anthony Peoples

Monday, August 5, 2013

Monday Morning Rain

After a pretty dry July we've now had about 3/4 of an inch of rain fall in the Quad cities over the first 5 days in August.  Most of that fell on our Monday morning as a quick but heavy shower rolled through the area around 10/11am.  Several totals came into the CBS4 Weather Center around 1 inch, and a few places even picked up a little more than that!  Here's a sample of some rain totals today:

Rain gauge pic from Deborah in Bettendorf

And another rain gauge pic from Kerry in Geneseo, where they had more than an inch of rain today!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Scattered? Isolated? 40%? What does this mean?

Often times you'll hear meteorologists throw out the terms "A chance for an isolated thunderstorm;" "Scattered thunderstorms throughout the area;" "A 50% chance of rain."  But, have you ever wondered what exactly that means?  It's time to clear up any confusion some may have.

"Isolated" is a term meaning widely scattered throughout an area (in our case, the 22 counties covering eastern IA and western IL) over a period of time (generally less than 20%).  Scattered generally means 30% to 50% of the area has the chance of receiving precipitation.  Now, you may be asking about the percentage that you often see on our 7 Day Forecast:
Those percentages are the "POP" or "potential of precipitation."  This is basically a simple math problem.  It is the level of Confidence multiplied by the amount of area the rain will cover.  For example, a 30% chance of rain comes about with 60% confidence rain will occur over 50% of the area (0.60 * 0.50 = 0.30 = 30% ).

Some people may think that because there's a 30% chance of rain, it won't be heavy or there won't be severe weather.  That's not necessarily the case.  A great case is in an "isolated" case.  Especially out in the Plains it's very easy to have an isolated storm pop up and turn severe within 20 or 30 minutes.

Hopefully this was a good lesson for you!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Rainfall: Above or Below Avg. for 2013?

We are just a little over half way through the year 2013 (can you believe it?!).

You may have noticed your grass turning a little brown, or your plants looking parched.  Are we below average?  Relatively speaking, yes, since July was below average.  As far as the year goes,  let's take a look at how much rain has fallen vs. how far above/below average it's been.

January:    2.86"  |  +1.37"             April:   7.21" | +3.62"
February:  2.54" | +0.94"               May:    7.97" | +3.65"
March:      2.57" |  -0.29"            June:    6.14" | +1.65"
                                                    July:      2.56" | -1.73"
We are exactly where we are supposed to be for the month of August (up to August 3rd) at 0.27".

As you can see, we've only been below average two months out of the whole year.  Our rainfall so far this year is 32.12"---just over 9 inches above average!  In one year, on average the Quad Cities sees 37.96" of precipitation!

As the CBS4 weather team has been saying, it's been dry as of late, but that could be changing.  Here's the Climate Prediction Center's outlook for the next 6 to 10 days:
The latest model trends indicate a rainier period of weather toward the latter part of the 10 day.  Of course, that's still over a week away, and things can change.  Keep up with the "Quad Cities' Team to Trust", and we will keep you updated!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Mississippi Valley Fair Weekend Weather

Showers and thunderstorms are possible later today and tonight as a cold front passes through Iowa and Illinois.

This will bring us cooler weather for the weekend.

If you're heading out to the Mississippi Valley Fair Saturday night for the Diamond Rio concert, you can expect mostly clear skies with temperatures falling from the 70s to the upper-60s during the show.

We're going to see almost a repeat for Sunday night's finale with country star Jake Owen.  While temperatures will be in the same range, there will be a few more clouds.  Light winds are expected both nights.

CBS4 Meteorologist Anthony Peoples

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Another Cool Month Is Possible

July 2013 will be remembered as cooler and drier than average in the Quad Cities.  Temperatures ended the month at 2.5° below average and rainfall was 1.73" below average.

For temperatures, that isn't too far off of what we've experienced in 2013.  Five of the first seven months this year have been below average.  Only January (+2.6°) and May (+0.7°) were above average.

As for precipitation, July joins March (-0.29") as the only two months in 2013 when totals were below average.

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center is predicting August temperatures to be below average for much of the Midwest, Great Lakes, and the Ohio Valley.

That seems logical since I'm predicting highs in the 70s again by late next week into the weekend.

As for rainfall, there's an equal chance for it to be normal, below or above average.

CBS4 Meteorologist Anthony Peoples