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

KCRG TV9 FIRST ALERT FORECAST FOR SATURDAY, AUGUST 18, 2018 

TODAY:  MOSTLY SUNNY. WIND: LIGHT N. HIGH 84 

TONIGHT:  MOSTLY CLEAR. PATCHY FOG DEVELOPS LATE. WIND: LIGHT SE. LOW 61 

TOMORROW:  INCREASING CLOUDS. HIGH 84                  

EXTENDED OUTLOOK MONDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY: 

CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND STORMS MONDAY. DRY TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY. HIGHS IN THE 70s, LOWS IN THE UPPER 50s.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER STAGE AT DUBUQUE:  8.8-FEET & RISING


KCRG Weather Blog

Beyond the Weather: Planetary finds

Clearing in the sky is in the forecast for this weekend, just in time for some views that go beyond the weather. Through this weekend, a few planets are easy to find. Look to the southwest at nightfall and locate the moon. The moon will be the highest off the horizon. To the lower right, the next brightest object will be Jupiter, with Venus lowest near the ground. Saturn is another fun planet to look at, especially using a telescope to distinguish its rings. The moon appears closer to Saturn each night this weekend in the southern sky. Next week, the waxing gibbous moon nears the planet Mars at dusk. Turn to the southeast sky for this view. Happy stargazing!

Moderate drought creeps northward

This week's Drought Monitor, released Thursday morning, shows that moderate drought has expanded slightly since last week. The moderate drought region, colored in peach, now extends from Washington up to near the Quad Cities. It now includes far southern Washington County, as well as much of Louisa and Muscatine Counties. The severe to extreme drought areas in the southern tier of Iowa are unchanged from last week's Drought Monitor. The abnormally dry conditions near the Interstate 80 corridor and up to Highway 30 in east-central Iowa also remain the same.

Dry south and wet north, by the numbers

Southern Iowa has been in the grips of drought for quite some time. Precipitation deficits continue to increase in that part of the state. Precipitation includes rainfall and the melted equivalent of snowfall. Since June 1, 2017 – the beginning of meteorological summer last year – that part of the state is running more than a foot behind. Ottumwa is the furthest in the red not just in KCRG-TV9’s coverage area, but for the entire state. There, precipitation is a whopping 20.33” below normal since June 1, 2017. These are the top precipitation deficits in this region of the state: 1. Ottumwa: -20.33” 2. Fairfield: -15.30” 3. Mount Pleasant: -14.24” 4. Clutier: -13.87” 5. Lowden: -10.23” Northern Iowa, on the other hand, has had no problem getting rain and snow. These are the top five surpluses on our side of Iowa: 1. New Hampton: +13.13” 2. Waucoma: +11.40” 3. Ionia: +11.25” 4. Charles City: +10.47” 5. Tripoli: +9.04”

Lack of August Wind

Aside from within thunderstorms, August is not known for wind. In fact, it’s the least windy month on average. Since Saturday, we haven’t been able to buy a breeze. Average wind speeds have been 5mph or less, which doesn’t help with any humidity relief. One of the key reasons why August is the least windy on average is due to the average temperature gradient (spread) across the country this time of year. When the air is closer in temperature, there’s less of a pressure gradient, meaning less wind overall.

Beyond the Weather: Perseid meteor shower peaks this weekend

Each year we mark time by certain events. It could be a birthday, anniversary, holiday, or festival. Others may mark time using astronomical events that happen at yearly intervals. One such event is coming up this weekend. It is time to prepare for the Perseid meteor shower. Saturday and Sunday night, August 11th and 12th, mark the peak of the meteor shower that is already going on. At peak time under good conditions, you can expect to see 60 to 70 meteors per hour. Good visibility is in the forecast for both nights. The moon will also not be an issue this year with only a crescent moon appearing. The best viewing will be in a dark location without any light pollution. Go there and give your eyes 15 minutes to adjust to the darkness. Look to the northeast about 40 degrees off the horizon. The meteors will appear to come from the constellation Perseus with Cassiopeia just above. In summary: this weekend, check out a dark location, let your eyes adjust and look to the northeast. Happy stargazing!