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KCRG TV 9 First Alert Forecast

KCRG TV9 FIRST ALERT FORECAST FOR THURSDAY, MARCH 23, 2017 

TODAY:  CLOUDY WITH ISOLATED SHOWERS POSSIBLE THIS AFTERNOON.  HIGH 42.

                SOUTHEAST WIND 10-20 MPH.

TONIGHT:  PARTLY CLOUDY.  SLOWLY RISING TEMPERATURES OVERNIGHT.     

TOMORROW:  MOSTLY CLOUDY AND WARMER WITH SCATTERED SHOWERS AND

                           THUNDERSTORMS LIKELY IN THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING.  HIGH 68. 

EXTENDED OUTLOOK SATURDAY THROUGH MONDAY: 

RAIN LIKELY SATURDAY, DRY SUNDAY, ISOLATED SHOWERS POSSIBLE MONDAY.  HIGH’S IN THE 50’S.  LOW’S IN THE 40’S. 

MISSISSIPPI RIVER STAGE AT DUBUQUE:  10.7-FEET & RISING

KCRG Weather Blog

Beyond The Weather – Upcoming March Views

As the weather gets warmer we have more comfortable nights to get out and view the heavens. Our Friday will certainly be mild, but clouds could interrupt that view. For most of next week we are looking at highs in the 50s with lows in the 40s, so a light jacket will do for you beyond the weather opportunities. Check out the western sky in the evening. As spring begins this is where we find the constellation Orion. Orion is known for its winter appearance in the southern sky. Evenings in the eastern sky you can locate the constellation Leo. A cluster of stars can also be found to the northeast of Leo, slightly lower on the horizon. With the naked eye it will be hard to distinguish, but a pair of binoculars should do the trick. Three planets that are harder to find can been seen in the western horizon, about one hour after sunset. Mars will be the highest planet and have a bit of a reddish color. Much closer together and near the horizon we see Mercury and Uranus pairing up. Binoculars or even better a telescope will aid in seeing this planetary gathering. Happy Stargazing!

Gloomy Thursday, warmer and more active Friday

Eastern Iowa is gloomy today with cloudy skies and an isolated shower possible throughout the afternoon and early evening. Temperatures will be cool once again, topping out in the low to middle 40s across most of the TV9 viewing area. As a warm front lifts through the area temperatures will warm. Overnight lows are expected to stay in the 40s and skies will be partly to mostly cloudy. The start of Friday will be dry and temperatures will be warming quickly! High temperatures will top out into the upper 60s and low 70s. As the system moves closer to eastern Iowa rain chances will become more likely. Expect showers and storms Friday late afternoon and evening as a cold front pushes closer. A few storms may be stronger at times with heavy rain. Once the front pushes through high temperatures will drop back into the 50s and a few showers will be likely on Saturday. Rainfall totals at this time look to be around a half inch to an inch, with locally higher amounts possible.

Spring’s arrival doesn’t mean frost is over

The exceptionally mild weather last month probably got a lot of people thinking of spring, and the official start of spring earlier this week has kept that thought going. However, as much as your green thumb may be itching, it’s too early to get overly excited about getting your garden going. The average last hard freeze – a temperature of 28 degrees or colder – in the Cedar Rapids area is around April 12. That’s still a few weeks away! The earliest date of the final hard freeze of the season was March 22, 1963. The latest fell on May 10, 1966. The average last freeze of 32 degrees is around April 24, a full month from now. The earliest was March 29, 1999, and the latest was May 22, 1963. We still have frost concerns when the temperature falls to 36 degrees, although covering plants or bringing them indoors offers protection and is a pretty routine thing to have to do in the spring. The average last date for a 36-degree low is May 6. The earliest was April 15, 1985 and the latest was May 27, 1992.

Active weather and warmer temperatures late week

Our next system is pushing closer to eastern Iowa. Clouds are increasing this afternoon with winds out of the east at 10 to 15 mph. High temperatures throughout the afternoon will top out into the lower to middle 40s. Mostly cloudy skies will take over throughout the evening and overnight hours. Winds will change directions out of the southeast and die down slightly at 5 to 15 mph. Temperatures will stay in the 40s throughout Thursday and will rise throughout the overnight hours. Thursday’s weather becomes a bit more active. Starting off the day fairly calm, but showers will become likely into the afternoon and evening. Scattered storms will be likely later on Friday. A few storms may be stronger at times. Temperatures will continue to warm! High temperatures are expected to warm into the upper 60s and low 70s on Friday afternoon.

Warming up for Friday

The end of this workweek will be as mild, if not warmer than, last Monday. Temperatures are expected to climb to near 70 degrees, but we may also have to dodge some afternoon storms. A strong warm front will lift north on Thursday, and this may produce scattered showers across eastern Iowa. The front will likely move through the TV9 viewing area by early Friday morning and this will allow a very warm and spring-like air mass to take over the region. Highs on Friday are expected to be in the mid-60s around Highway 20, to the upper 60s closer to Highway 30. Many areas could top 70 around Interstate 80 and points south. There will also be a chance for showers and thunderstorms later in the day, but a good portion of Friday looks to be mostly dry.