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KCRG TV9 First Alert Forecast For Dubuque and the Tri-States

KCRG TV9 FIRST ALERT FORECAST FOR WEDNESDAY, MAY 23, 2018 

TODAY:  PARTLY CLOUDY.  HIGH 87.  SOUTHEAST WIND 5-15 MPH. 

TONIGHT:  MOSTLY CLEAR.  LOW 62.  

TOMORROW:  PARTLY CLOUDY.  HIGH 85.                      

EXTENDED OUTLOOK FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY: 

WARM WITH A CHANCE OF SCATTERED STORMS FRIDAY AND SATURDAY, DRY SUNDAY.  HIGH’S IN THE 80’S TO NEAR 90.  LOW’S IN THE 60’S. 

MISSISSIPPI RIVER STAGE AT DUBUQUE:  13.3-FEET AND FALLING


KCRG Weather Blog

Spring’s last hard freeze was late, but last frost was a little early

We had a record cold April, but there’s been a lack of chilly weather since then. We haven’t had to contend with frost in nearly a month, and we won’t need to worry about it anytime soon. We start to think about patchy frost when the low temperature falls to 36 degrees. A freeze occurs at 32 degrees, and a hard freeze happens at 28 degrees. Cedar Rapids’ low of 27 degrees on April 29 was the last time the temperature met those categories. The average date of the last 28-degree low is April 11, 32 degrees is April 22, and 36 degrees is May 4. Dubuque’s last hard freeze was April 20, and the average last date for that is April 13. April 29 was the last cold morning when the low was 32 degrees. The average last 32-degree low is April 24, and for 36 degrees, it’s May 6. Iowa City’s last hard freeze was also on April 20, and the last frost and freeze were April 29. The average last low of 28 or colder is April 9, 32 degrees is April 21, and 36 degrees is May 2. Waterloo, like Cedar Rapids, had its last cold morning on April 29 when the low was 26 degrees. It hasn’t fallen into the 30s since then. The average date of the last 28-degree low is April 15, 32 degrees is April 29, and 36 degrees is May 6.

Summer-like weather takes over soon

Highs will soar well into the 80s to around 90 to finish off the week, lasting through early next week. These temperatures will be about 15 degrees above normal and will come with an increase in mugginess. The warmest stretch should occur from Saturday through Monday. Highs will approach 90 each day, with the highest chance of getting there happening west of Highway 218 and south of Highway 30. Even outside that zone, highs are expected to be in the upper 80s. Dew points in the 60s the next couple days will feel somewhat humid. By the weekend, dew points should be pushing 70, which is getting into the oppressive territory for late May. They won’t be quite as high as they are in July and August, thanks mainly to the fact that the corn crop isn’t mature and pumping lots of extra moisture into the air. Since this is the first bout of warm and humid weather of the season, it’ll take some time to get used to it. Since it’s a holiday weekend, be extra mindful of the conditions – drink more water and rest in the shade or air conditioning. Scattered storms are possible on Friday, although not everybody will get them. Severe weather is not likely, but those who get under a stronger storm may have brief gusty winds and a downpour. There is still a slight chance of a storm Saturday, but the odds of that are coming down.

National Hurricane Center had record track accuracy in 2017

Hurricanes impact weather patterns hundreds of miles away, cause millions (if not billions) in damage, and can cause extensive loss of life. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has posted their forecast accuracy for the most recent 2017 season, and it’s great news. 2017 was the most active Atlantic tropical season since 2005. The NHC’s track errors were the lowest on record for all forecast periods. This graph shows that that the five-day forecast error (blue line) was only 150 miles at five days out. While that may seem high to you, remember the scale of a hurricane. They are massive! The fact that they can pin an area of coastline from Galveston to New Orleans five days away is really quite remarkable. Back in 2005, that error was more than double what it was last hurricane season.

Some are getting the wettest weather in seven months

From May 12 to May 21, Cedar Rapids’ official rainfall has been 2.59”. That’s the largest 10-day precipitation total since October 2017, when about the same amount of rain fell. Dubuque has had 2.99”, the most since about five inches occurred early last October. For others, this period hasn’t been as wet. Iowa City has had only a little more than an inch during this 10-day stretch, but that amount isn’t very noteworthy there. In Waterloo, there’s been 1.12”, which is also pretty run-of-the-mill. Those who got underneath the slow-moving thunderstorms late Saturday got some big downpours. In some cases, a couple of inches fell in just a couple of hours! Those cases were very isolated, however.

Comfortable Tuesday leads into more summer-like pattern

After a cool, cloudy, and sometimes drizzly Monday, the weather turns a corner on Tuesday. We’ll have a partly cloudy sky and seasonable highs in the 70s. Warmer air overhead pushes in late Tuesday night, which should produce scattered showers and storms across the area. Those should go away Wednesday morning. After that, our weather will have a more summery flavor. Highs will be in the middle 80s Thursday through Saturday, and it’s going to feel humid those days. Scattered storms are possible Friday and Saturday, although there’s not a clear signal yet on the most likely locations or times of day for them. Sunday and Memorial Day are looking dry, though.