It’s Almost Fall & It’s Getting Colder

September 18th, 2012 by anthonypeoples

ORIGINAL POST:  Tuesday, September 18, 2012, 9:00 a.m.

Although we’ve already experienced some chilly weather, we’re still a few days away from the official start of fall.  Autumn begins in the Quad Cities Saturday, September 22, 2012, at 9:49 a.m. 

While we saw a high of 86° last week, it’s going to be some time before we get to enjoy temperatures like that again thanks to a series of cold fronts that will give us sporadic chances of rain and the coldest air of the summer and fall.

I added summer in there because since it’s technically still summer and we’ll be dropping into the 30s tonight across the Mississippi and Illinois Valleys.

We’ve already had several mornings recently with lows in the 40s, but we officially haven’t had a low temperatures in the 30s in the Quad Cities since April 27, 2012, when we dropped to 36°.

After a chilly Tuesday with highs in the low-60s, we’ll warm back into the 70s Wednesday and Thursday as we await our next cold front.  That will bring some light rain Thursday night and Friday.

When that strong cold front passes through Friday, high pressure from Canada builds into the Midwest Saturday.  This will give us a mostly sunny start to the day with increasing afternoon clouds and a chance of some chilly rain showers.  Skies clear out Saturday night and we could be seeing low temperatures Sunday morning in the low-to-mid-30s.

The last time we saw a freezing low temperature in the Quad Cities was 32° on April 23, 2012.  On April 12, 2012, we dropped to 28°, which is cold enough to be called a “hard freeze”.

The cooler than average temperatures will pretty much dominate our weather for the rest of September.  That doesn’t mean we won’t see mild days ahead of cold fronts, but for the most part, it will be cooler.  The Climate Prediction Center agrees.

Have a great rest of the weekend and enjoy the last few days of summer.


Summer Heat Goes Into The Record Books

September 4th, 2012 by anthonypeoples

ORIGINAL POST:  Tuesday, September 4, 2012, 10:19 a.m.

With about four months left in the year, 2012 is already going down in the record books for the heat.

Since May, we’ve already hit the 90° mark a total of 44 times.  This moves us into a tie for ninth place on years with the most 90° days.  High temperatures Tuesday will likely reach the low-90s and if that happens, this year will move up to a tie for seventh place.

For the short-term, it looks like that will be it for the intense heat as a series of fronts drop in giving us an unsettled weather pattern with shower and thunderstorm chances and cooler temperatures.

A few scattered showers and storms are possible Tuesday, late Tuesday night and Wednesday, and Thursday night and Friday.

(Wednesday Afternoon Rain Chances, below)

(Friday Morning Rain Chances, below)

The best chances of seeing wet weather will be Wednesday and Friday.

High temperatures this week will trend downward from the low-90s Tuesday to the upper-80s Wednesday and only in the 70s for Friday and the upcoming weekend.  As a matter of fact, highs on Saturday will only be in the low-to-mid-70s with overnight lows in the 40s possible!

Over the first three days of September, we had a high temperatures in the 70s, the 80s, and the 90s.  Lows have been consistent in the mid-to-upper-60s.

The Climate Prediction Center is still forecasting warmer than average temperatures through November.

Have a great week.


Beneficial Sunday Rains Could Be Followed by “Isaac” Rain Next Weekend?

August 27th, 2012 by anthonypeoples

ORIGINAL POST:  Monday, August 27, 2012, 8:43 a.m.

It’s incredible how good it feels on a Sunday just watching it rain after a summer with a severe to extreme drought that has cost farmers millions of dollars in lost corn crops and with lawns and gardens dried up and begging for rain.

While I know that some outdoors events were cancelled because of the rain, that is the risk people take with having events outside and they’ve been pretty fortunate this summer.

Widespread 1-4″ rainfall amounts were reported across eastern Iowa and northern Illinois Sunday.  This is how much rain collected in one of my gauges Sunday evening in Moline.

Officially, at the Quad City International Airport, in Moline, Illinois, 1.71″ of rain fell Sunday.  That was the heaviest 24-hour rainfall since 1.73″ fell on July 24, 2011.  Earlier this year, on May 3, 1.70″ accumulated in the rain gauge at the airport.  Meanwhile, at the airport in Davenport, Iowa, 2.46″ of rain fell Sunday.

And, the rain was steady enough that much of it soaked into the ground.  For the year, in Moline, we’re still running 8.42″ below average.  It isn’t as bad in Davenport.  They are only 3.16″ below average.

It feels great to be able to walk through the wet grass early Monday morning.  We’ve become so accustomed to crispy, crunchy, brown yards this summer.  The plants are just soaking it in and it’s strange to see water droplets collected on my prolific poinsettias.

Summer heat will be building again across the Midwest.  Under sunny skies through Friday, we’ll experience highs in the upper-80s to low-90s in the Quad Cities.

However, as I hinted this past weekend in my WQAD Storm Team 8 weather broadcasts, the latest computer models from the National Hurricane Center are projecting that “Tropical Storm Isaac”, which will become a hurricane late Monday night or early Tuesday morning is looking more likely to make landfall somewhere across Louisiana or Mississippi late Tuesday night.

As you can tell on this 5-day forecast, the remnants of Isaac could be tracking up through Arkansas and Missouri by next weekend.  That path would increase our chances of picking up some decent rain amounts Friday night into the weekend.  While this is not set in stone yet, it is more promising for us to receive rain than if Isaac had made a Florida landfall.

Here’s an incredible take on the amount of tropical moisture that a hurricane can generate.  This is the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center’s forecast of rain over the next five days.

Notice that a plume of 5″ rainfall amounts push up into Missouri, but look down along the Gulf Coast.  Rainfall amounts in excess of 18″ (that’s a foot-and-a-half) are possible.  That is why there is significant flooding with land falling tropical systems and hurricanes.

Again, the weekend rain chances are not certain for us yet in the Quad Cities, but it’ll definitely be worth watching.

For now, pray for our fellow Americans along the Gulf Coast and especially, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Have a great week!


Heat Makes A Return

August 22nd, 2012 by anthonypeoples

ORIGINAL BLOG:  Wednesday, August 22, 2012, 11:14 a.m.

The heat is on the way back to the Mississippi and Illinois Valleys for a few days before rain arrives this weekend and cools us back to typical late August temperatures.

After highs in the mid-to-upper-80s Wednesday, we could reach or top the 90° mark Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

So far in 2012, we’ve already been 90° or warmer a total of 37 times.  That is the most  we’ve experienced since we had 34 of them in 2007.  That August we hit 90° or higher twelve times.  Earlier this month, we had five days at that level.

Temperatures this August, with all the pleasant days and cool nights, are running 3.3° below average.

After the midweek to early weekend warmth, high temperatures start falling back into the low-to-mid-80s Sunday through next Tuesday.

As September draws closer, a look back at the past five years shows that we had two days in September 2011, 2010, and 2008 with highs of 90° or higher.

In September 2009, there were no 90° days.  However, in September 2007, we had eight days when the highs hit 90° or warmer.

And, while we have not had any 90° days in October from 2007-2011, on October 3, 2006, we hit the record October high in the Quad Cities of 95°.

While it’ll be warmer than average through Saturday and then cool back some by early next week, more warmth is on the way.  Here’s the Climate Prediction Center temperature forecast that takes us through Tuesday, September 4, 2012.

So, don’t pull out the sweatshirts and put away the air conditioners just yet.


Driest “Meteorological Summer” on Record — So Far

August 20th, 2012 by anthonypeoples

ORIGINAL POST:  Monday, August 20, 2012, 9:53 a.m.

The heat will be building across the Mississippi and Illinois Valleys by the middle of this week after our recent respite with highs only in the 70s and lows in the 40s and 50s.  With that transition to warmer temperatures, a more active weather pattern arrives later in the week and into this upcoming weekend with some welcomed rain. 

That is great news because with just eleven days left in “meteorological summer”, the three hottest months of year (June, July, and August), this is the driest summer on record in the Quad Cities.

So far, only 3.17″ of rain has accumulated at the Quad City International Airport in Moline, Illinois, the official weather observation site for the Quad Cities, since June 1, 2012.  That is 8.41″ below average for the summer months.

July was the driest month this summer with only 0.45″ of rain.  I took this picture July 15, 2012.  The hole that I dug for a shrub shows how moisture-deprived the subsoil was at the time.  And, things haven’t gotten much better, if any.

The driest “meteorological summer” on record was back in 1886 when only 3.59″ of rain fell.

Rain chances will be on the increase across eastern Iowa and northern Illinois beginning  Thursday night as a series of disturbances move in from the west.  We’ll see a chance of rain through, at least, Monday of next week.

Here is the rainfall prediction from NOAA’s Hydrological Prediction Center from Thursday morning through Saturday morning.  This show that 0.25-0.50″ of rain could accumulate.  Keep in mind more rain will fall after this map expires.

After a warmer than average June and a very hot July (temperatures were 5.3° above average in the Quad Cities), August is off to a very cool start.  We are running 2.9° below average.  If this continues through the end of the month (and it should), this will mark only the second month in the past year that we saw below average temperatures.  The last time was September 2011 (-4.0°).

While the official start of autumn is still more than a month away (September 22, 2012), check out this maple tree I found yesterday in my Moline, Illinois, neighborhood.

I was surprised to see reds popping up this early and especially with the drought this summer!

As for fall temperatures, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting more warm weather for “meteorological fall”, September, October, and November.

If you like warm weather, you’ll like this forecast.  However, take it with a grain of salt.  It also predicted above average temperatures for us for August, too.


My First Hand Look at the Drought & The Rivers

August 13th, 2012 by anthonypeoples

ORIGINAL POST:  Monday, August 13, 2012, 9:12 a.m.

While the drought continues across the Midwest, the rain and cooler temperatures Sunday in Iowa and northern Illinois marked a significant change from the weather conditions we’ve experienced most of the summer.  The high temperature only reached 72° in the Quad Cities and 0.61″ of rain fell Sunday (0.78″ with the additional rain that fell early Monday morning) at the airport in Moline, Illinois.

Sunday’s 0.61″ was the heaviest one day rainfall officially at the Quad City International since 0.61″ fell on June 16, 2012.  And, the good news is that another soaking rain is possible Thursday with cooler temperatures to follow.

This rain is a Godsend to area yards and gardens, but it comes too late for many farmers.  Some of them have already mowed down their corn crop for feed.

It will also help low area rivers, lakes, and streams.

The Mississippi River in the Quad Cities is at a very low river level and it’s even worse to our south.  River traffic on the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Missouri, to New Orleans, Louisiana, is being called “extremely difficult”.

This weekend, I was in Fort Dodge, Iowa, which is located in the northwestern part of the state, and I was shocked at how low the Des Moines River was there.  While the river is very low at 3.37 feet, it’s not at a record low-level yet.  That is 2 feet and was reached back on November 3, 1955.

I want to share some of the pictures of how low the Des Moines River is there in Fort Dodge, Iowa, now.

It was very interesting being able to walk out onto the broken, caked river bottom that just last summer was a typical river with water flowing toward the dam.

Those pictures were from yesterday (August 12, 2012).

Here is what the same river looked like last summer (July 23, 2011) when I was there.

Like eastern Iowa and northern Illinois, central and western Iowa is seeing rainfall amounts more than 5″ below average for the year.  (The Quad Cities are more than 8″ below average for 2012.)

It’s going to take several decent rain events over the next few weeks and months to restore the water deficit we’re facing now.

While rainfall over the next few months, overall, are expected to be below average, at least with the cooler than average temperatures forecast this week, evaporation rates will not be as high.

Personally, I say “bring on the rain” later this week.  Let’s all get out and do our rain dance.


Heat Eases A Bit This Week

August 7th, 2012 by anthonypeoples

ORIGINAL POST:  Tuesday, August 7, 2012, 11:38 a.m.

While we’re only into the first week of August 2012, it’s offered a lit bit for everyone.  We opened the month with four days with highs in the low-to-mid-90s.  Strong to severe thunderstorms last Saturday brought some wind damage to our northern hometowns and much-needed rain to the area (some saw a lot of rain and others, just a little), and Monday morning’s lows were in the low-50s.

Today we’ll see high temperatures reach the 90s again.  Tuesday will mark the 37th time this summer that we’ve experienced high temperatures of 90° or higher.  This beats 2007 when we saw 34 days with highs that warm.  That year, most of them (12) came in August with 8 each in June and September.

This year, we had 22 days in July with highs of 90° or higher, with seven in June, five in August (so far), and three in May.

We do have a break coming up most of this week from the sultry 90s with a few scattered showers and thunderstorms possible Wednesday and Thursday.  Wouldn’t it be nice to get a couple of days with moderate, steady rain?

The long-term forecast from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center keeps above average temperatures here through October, along with drier than average weather.

So, while it’s still possible that we could see a late season surge of heat pushing us close to 100° again, we are already, climatologically speaking, past the peak heat of the summer.

From the first of August through the end of the month, our average temperatures drop from a high and low of 85° and 65° to 82° and 60°.

By the end of September, those averages drop to 71° and 48° and by the end of October, 58° and 38°.

As for rainfall, on average, we see 4.52″ in August, 3.09″ in September, and 2.97″ in October.

Thanks for checking out my blog and have a great rest of the week!


Past Year — Very Dry & Warm

July 31st, 2012 by anthonypeoples

ORIGINAL POST:  Tuesday, July 31, 2012, 3:22 p.m.

The heat and the drought continues to build across Iowa and Illinois.  While it will come as no surprise that this summer has been hotter and drier than average, what may surprise you are the temperarture and rainfall numbers over the past twelve months.

With today marking the last day of July, this month will likely see the an average temperature around 80.7° in the Quad Cities.  That would make July 2012 the sixth warmest July on record.

And, it’s been dry.  With no rain in forecast today, we’ll close July 2012 out with 0.45″ of rain.  This is the seventh driest on record.  Records in the Quad Cities go back to the 1870s!

But, it gets worse for precipitation.  In the past twelve months, the Quad Cities have endured three months with less than one inch of rain or melted snow combined:  October 2011 (0.67″), January 2012 (0.70″) and July 2012 (0.45″).

From August 1, 2011 to July 31, 2012, the Quad Cities has recorded 28.57″ of precipitation.  That is 9.39″ below average for the past twelve months.

The only months that were higher than average in precipitation in the past year were:  November 2011 (+1.88″), December 2011 (+0.48″), February 2012 (+0.35″), and May 2012 (+1.66″).

Temperatures over the past twelve months are running 3.6° above average.  There has only been one month in the past year that experienced cooler than average temperatures and that was September 2011 (-4.0).  All eleven of the other months has been warmer than average.

Things don’t look to change over much over the next three months.  Here is the forecast for August, September, and October 2012 from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

Have a great start to August and pray for rain.


Drought Continues To Take A Toll on Farmers

July 17th, 2012 by anthonypeoples

ORIGINAL POST:  Tuesday, July 17, 2012, 3:09 p.m.

The crop situation across Iowa and Illinois continues to worsen with above average temperatures and below average rainfall over the past week.

While the crop conditions are worse in Illinois, Iowa took more of a hit last week.

Illinois corn farmers are reporting that 56% of the crop is in poor or very poor shape.  That’s up from 48% last week.  In Iowa, the corn crop that is in poor or very poor shape jumped from 18% to 27%.

Top soil and subsoil conditions are drastically worse this week.

In Iowa, farmers report that 58% of the topsoil in very short supply of moisture compared to 48% last week and 28% two weeks ago.

Illinois farmers are worse off.  73% of the topsoil is very short on moisture compared to 50% last week and 20% two weeks ago.

As for subsoil, 70% of Illinois farms have very short moisture content.  Two weeks ago, that number was at 13%!

In Iowa, very short subsoil moisture content stands at 48%.  Last week it was at 38% and two weeks ago, it was at 24%.

Here is the U.S. Hazards Outlook from NOAA’ Climate Predicition Center through July 24, 2012, and things don’t look promising for our area.


Hot Summer & No Break in Sight!

July 16th, 2012 by anthonypeoples

Sixteen days into the month of July 2012, the Quad Cities have already reached 90° or higher twelve times.  With more days this week of intense heat expected, it looks as though we’re easily going to surpass our most recent high of fifteen 90°+ days in July of last year.

Looking back to 2007, that was the year in the past six with the most days with highs of 90° or higher.  We had a total of 34 days with twelve of those coming in August, followed by eight in June and September, four in July, two in May.

If that year is any indication, we have many more hot days left this summer and fall.

However, taking a five-year average of 90°+ days from 2007-2011, we had 1.4 in May, 4 in June, 5.6 in July, 5.8 in August, and 2.8 days in October.

This year we experienced 3 days with 90°+ heat in May versus the average of 1.4.  In June, we reached that mark 7 times compared to the average of 4, and as I mentioned before we’ve reached 90° or higher 12 times this July with the last 5-year average standing at 5.6.

As for totals, the highest number of 90°+ days recently was 2007 with 34.  In 2008 and 2009, we only reached that mark seven times.

In 2010, we had 21 days with 90°+ heat (8 days were in August and 7 in July), and last year, we had 29 days (15 in July, 5 in June and August, and 2 each in May and September).

As of now, based on the first 15 days of July 2012 (and this is subject to change), this is the 6th warmest July on record and the 3rd driest on record.

No real break from the heat is expected any time in the near future.  Here is the Climate Prediction Center’s forecast for temperatures for late July, August, and September.

Hang in there.