Last week was a messy one in the Upper Midwest. In Minnesota, there was a whole lot of snow, followed by plummeting temperatures, but in Iowa, there wasn’t as much overall precipitation, and what fell was much more complicated. Official observations reported mixed precipitation both Wednesday and Thursday in Iowa City, with a bent towards snow on Thursday, but mixed with little ice. Given how gnarly the weather ended up being, the forecasts were ultimately not so bad. The forecasts were all unanimous in their prediction for mixed precipitation, and for the most part the temperatures were pretty ok. The one thing that was the same in Iowa as Minnesota was the precipitous drop in temperature when all was said and done. That’s tough to forecast, but it was done well, and no better than by WeatherBug Wednesday – .03 inches of precipitation High 32, Low 28 Thursday – .25 inches of precipitation, High 33, Low 4
I consider myself someone who is pretty good at geography. It turns out I’m not as good with Michigan as I thought, as I had envisioned the town in the Saginaw Bay area, but its actually on the shore of Lake Michigan. That makes our drive a little bit easier, actually, and we can look forward to a drive slightly longer than 6 hours, and covering 390 miles. Expect a pace of about 64mph, delayed significantly by Chicago, though fortunately probably not by fresh snow. (Map embedding is currently not cooperating. Feel free to follow the link below for our route)
After a week that saw the Upper Midwest get pummeled by a couple of successive snow storms, this weekend looks to be extremely drivable. Of course, there is the cold to contend with. It might actually be cold enough that lingering latent moisture could refreeze on I-80 in eastern Iowa, but temperatures will gradually warm with increasing southwesterly flow in the area. The flow will also be more apparent aloft, rather than at the surface, which nips another concern in the bud. There isn’t likely to be any lake effect snow for the drive up the lakefront.
Happy Tuesday, everyone! Let’s take a swing through Iowa. I actually have in-laws around Iowa City, so maybe I should forward this on to them, huh?
At 1253PM, CT Iowa City was reporting a temperature of 25 degrees with overcast skies. A line of snow was moving into Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, though it looks to be a quick moving feature at the leading edge of a trough spun off from a much broader system over the Rockies. The larger jet trough at the root of this system is split over the Upper Midwest, allowing for a bit of surface instability and more atmospheric support for a pendant trough than would usually by typical. The discrete circulation moving into the Great Lakes will also pipe in a bit of stabilizing cold Canadian air through the Upper Midwest. This should buy a fairly tranquil Wednesday morning, however as the broader low moves into the Plains, it will overwhelm the feature that will be moving into the Great Lakes by Wednesday night. Precipitation will build quickly, but a surge of midlevel warmth will lead to a period of freezing precipitation as well on Thursday morning. Cold air will wrap back in for Thursday afternoon, and blustery, snowy conditions will take the rest of the day. Tomorrow – Mixed precipitation with ice more prevalent late High 34, Low 25 Thursday -Ice turning to snow, before wind increases and clouds clear, High 34, Low 11
TWC: Tomorrow – Cloudy with light rain developing later in the day. High 37, Low 25 Thursday – Rain and freezing rain…then becoming windy and mixing with light snow and sleet in the afternoon High 34, Low 16
AW: Tomorrow – Cloudy, a little rain, beginning after temperatures rise above freezing High 37, Low 25 Thursday – A bit of freezing rain in the afternoon; otherwise, a little morning rain; cloudy, windy High 35, Low 7
NWS: Tomorrow – Rain likely, mainly after 5pm. Cloudy, High 36, Low 25 Thursday – Rain and freezing rain, possibly mixed with snow before noon, then a chance of snow and freezing rain between noon and 4pm, then a chance of snow after 4pm High 35, Low 9
WB: Tomorrow – Cloudy. Light rain likely in the afternoon. High 36, Low 26 Thursday – Blustery. Mostly cloudy. Light rain possibly mixed with freezing rain and snow in the morning, then a chance of freezing rain and snow in the afternoon. High 34, Low 6
WN: Tomorrow – Cloudy with light rain. High 36, Low 27 Thursday – Mostly cloudy with light wintry mix. High 35, Low 30
FIO: Tomorrow – Overcast throughout the day (brief rain). High 36, Low 27 Thursday – Snow (< 1 in.) starting in the morning, continuing until afternoon, and breezy starting in the afternoon. High 35, Low 8
There is a good chance that the middle of the day will be nasty. I think there will be more wintry weather than other outlets, and I am very sure WeatherNation will regret not having hourly forecasts out through Thursday.
Anthony’s third in a trio of forecasts back at the beginning of February and end of January was for Iowa City. The weather was typical for early February, if a little bit warmer than normal, as temperatures were close to 30 by Thursday, February 3rd. This was due to sunny skies during the day, which also meant chilly temperatures under clear skies overnight. There was a three way draw atop the leaderboard, as Victoria-Weather had a nearly flawless forecast on February 2nd, while Accuweather and the National Weather Service caught up on the third. It was close all the way around, with the top three only 4 degrees better than the last place outlets.
Actuals: Wednesday, February 2nd – High 24, Low 14
Thursday, February 3rd – High 30, Low 13
Two road trips in one day today. This one will see us take a southwesterly voyage, where as the other, later tonight, well, that will be southwesterly as well. Our drive will cover 1514 miles and will last for nearly 3 complete days. At this pace, our average speed will be 64.6mph. The third day will be slightly shorter, but in general, we will cover about 516.5 miles per full day of travel. It’s snowing in Minnesota today, so a trip down to Phoenix from nearby Iowa City certainly doesn’t sound so bad right now.
DAY ONE (Tuesday)
A cold front is moving through the Mississippi Valley as we speak tonight. Flow aloft in support of the trough and behind it is fairly weak, and broadly ridging behind the initial front. What does this mean to the average traveler? It means sunny skies and light winds. We’ll make it through the most well populated part of our drive, and end up in Goddard, Kansas, just west of Wchita.
DAY TWO (Wednesday)
Westerly flow and the mid-April time of year means we are in prime time for lee troughing and dry lines. Weak low pressure will indeed develop in eastern Colorado, with a dry line dangled south along the Texas/New Mexico border. We may see some storms touched off from Guymon, Oklahoma to Tucamcari, New Mexico, meaning that the Texas Panhandle will be a ripe environment for a few showers and thunderstorms. On either side of this area of thundertorms, we will be in pretty good shape. We won’t see a soul for miles at a time, but the weather will be most agreeable. The day will end in Clines Corners, New Mexico, which we will reach about an hour ahead of Alburquerque.
DAY THREE (Thursday)
Hot high pressure is sliding into the intermountain west, and will be in place by Thursday. It’s not a huge stretch that Arizona and New Mexico are dry and warm, but the set up is more reassurance that we are out of the woods in terms of thunderstorms. Phoenix will be warm and dry upon our arrival, which is pretty much what one looks forward to when they go to Phoenix.
Let’s take a little road trip shall we? Today’s is an easy one, just 350 miles separate Kalamazoo from Iowa City. Perhaps Western Michigan is off to play a non-conference game against the University of Iowa? Let’s see if weather will slow down our jaunt to see some quality athletics!
A few snow showers that fell during the early morning hours, but will have dissipated by the time we wake up and start heading out the door. High pressure is nosing its way over the Midwest, which should keep the entire route over northwest IA, northern IL, and eastern IA dry. There’ll be some passing clouds at times, but nothing we should be particularly worried about. A pretty easy drive!
Off to a city so nice, Iowa named it after itself! Hmmm, seems a bit conceited though, right? Bah, we’ll let it slide this time. They’re good people!
At 1052pm CST, the temperature at Iowa City, IA was 22 degrees under overcast skies. High pressure over the Dakotas/Montana extends into the Midwest tonight, keeping conditions fairly quiet, despite a small bit of flurries scurrying on by towards the southwest. These won’t affect Iowa City overnight as the shift into Missouri. Over the next couple of days, that high pressure will shift directly over the Midwest, keeping the conditions in Eastern Iowa fairly quiet. It’ll be a little bit chillier than it has been the last couple of days, so might have to bundle up just a little more for the rest of the workweek. But at least it’ll be dry!
Thursday: Mostly sunny. High 25, Low 14.
Friday: Morning clouds, burning off by afternoon. High 27, Low 11.
TWC: Thursday: Mostly sunny. High 26, Low 17.
Friday: Partly cloudy. High 29, Low 17.
AW: Thursday: Partly sunny. High 26, Low 15.
Friday: Clouds giving way to some sun. High 28, Low 14.
NWS: Thursday: Mostly sunny. High 25, Low 13.
Friday: Decreasing clouds. High 27, Low 14.
WB: Thursday: Mostly sunny. High 23, Low 17.
Friday: Mostly cloudy. High 27, Low 16.
WN: Thursday: Partly cloudy. High 25, Low 12.
Friday: Partly cloudy. High 27, Low 14.
FIO: Thursday: Partly cloudy starting in the morning, continuing until afternoon. High 28, Low 15.
Friday: Mostly cloudy until afternoon. High 29, Low 16.
There is a bit of cloud cover moving just over the city, mainly off to the southwest. That’s about as exciting as it’s going to get for the rest of the work week.
The system that caused yesterday’s devastating tornado outbreak through Anthony’s home town and throughout northern Illinois was a perfect example of a spring time storm, capable of impressive air mass advection. This certainly did us in with the forecast in Iowa City. Temperatures were cooler than anticipated on Wednesday before the system moved into town, but conversely, after the warm front lifted north, temperatures were much higher than anyone had in the forecast on Thursday. WeatherNation was pretty decent on Tuesday, with the coolest forecast on Wednesday. It was a disaster on Thursday all the way around. Fortunately, not a literal one for Iowa City. There was some large hail south of town, but nothing in the city.
Actuals: Wednesday – Thunderstorms reported, not measured, High 56, Low 45
Thursday – .16 inches of rain, thunderstorms, High 78, Low 39
We’re going to hit the road again on this fine Tuesday afternoon. Well, the drive will be on Wednesday, and that’s the good news. It will only be one day, covering 622 miles at a pace of about 61.9mph. That should tell you that the drive will be a little more than 10 hours, which is entirely manageable, but a little longer than we are typically accustomed to. Let’s hit the road.
If things hold as they are now, we should navigate the Ohio Valley in the most fortuitous manner possible. It’s going to be cutting it close, but I think this route is the best case scenario for a drive through the Plains. A warm front continues to lie north of our route, and at the beginning of the day, we will see some showers through eastern Kentucky into southern Indiana. More robust and severe thunderstorms will develop along a wave in the afternoon over those areas, but in the afternoon and well after we have reached Illinois. There will be some clearing through the Land of Lincoln, and we will pass through Champaign and Peoria with mostly clear skies. Low pressure in the Plains will touch off heavy thunderstorms in central Missouri, with only some rain at the north end of the system as we arrive in Iowa City. Severe storms all around, but none along the route. That’s brilliant.
We’re looking for weather updates from the Upper Midwest today, and the home of the University of Iowa.
At 152PM, CT, Iowa City was reporting a temperature of 48 degrees with overcast skies. The state was smothered in low clouds, north of a warm front along the Missouri border, and there is light rain over the northwestern part of the state, with stronger thunderstorms over the north central areas, particularly northwest f Fort Dodge. A split in the jet structure has led to a surface trough running from Iowa to the Dakotas, enhancing the precipitation over the Upper Midwest.
This rain will shift out of the region overnight tonight, leading to a bit of clearing in the morning. An upper level jet trough will lead to the development of low pressure over the High Plains, as the lee enhances. This will be a major severe weather maker, however the severe storms will likely be south and east of Iowa. Iowa City will start to see more general ran and thunderstorms tomorrow evening, with the rain potentially continuing through the night. Thunderstorms will wrap up with a chance for severe weather late on Thursday morning, followed by some stratiform rain and plummeting temepratures.
Tomorrow – Rain early, with thunderstorms late, High 63, Low 43
Thursday – Thunderstorms early, then rain through the afternoon, High 67, Low 47
AW: Tomorrow – Areas of fog in the morning; otherwise, cloudy with a shower in the afternoon High 63, Low 44
Thursday – A morning t-storm, cloudy, breezy, warmer; a severe afternoon t-storm; thunderstorms can be severe High 72, Low 48
NWS: Tomorrow – A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Cloudy, High 59, Low 44
Thursday – Showers and thunderstorms High 70, Low 49
WB: Tomorrow – Cloudy. A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. High 59, Low 44
Thursday – Breezy…Warmer. Showers and thunderstorms likely. High 70, Low 49
WN: Tomorrow – Mostly Cloudy with Scattered Storms High 59, Low 45
Thursday – Mostly Cloudy with Thunderstorms Likely High 70, Low 48
FIO: Tomorrow – Light rain starting in the afternoon. High 63, Low 47
Thursday – Light rain in the morning and afternoon and breezy starting in the afternoon. High 71, Low 44
Storms are brewing for the state of Iowa. There are a few rumblers in the northern part o the state right now, but they will be spreading elsewhere soon enough.