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KCRG TV9 FIRST ALERT FORECAST FOR TUESDAY, AUGUST 22, 2017                           







KCRG Weather Blog

Stretch of comfortable weather lasts into the weekend

After a few days of muggier and stormy weather, we’ve jumped right back into drier and seasonably cool conditions. Those who like this type of weather will be happy to know it’s lasting awhile. The cold front that brought eastern Iowa thunderstorms Monday evening has dropped well to the south, and in its wake, an area of high pressure has taken hold. Through the end of the week, that high pressure will be reinforced, meaning we’re going to be enjoying some very quiet and seasonably cooler days into Saturday. A weak upper level system will bring a few more clouds on Thursday, but because the air will be so dry, we won’t be expecting any rain. Our next chance of rain arrives on Sunday, but is very small thanks to that dry air. Seasonable conditions are expected into early next week, as a possible tropical system impacts the deep south, and stalls out our weather pattern.

Storms likely Monday evening with heavy rain possible

The threat for severe weather has greatly diminished as of the latest forecast. Cloud cover has kept our atmosphere from becoming very unstable. Still, thunderstorms tonight may bring heavy downpours to eastern Iowa. A complex of showers and storms will continue to move across northwestern and north central Iowa through this afternoon, and begin to move into our northwestern counties during the afternoon. Although, their intensity is expected to weaken once it moves into the TV9 viewing area, heavy rain and frequent lightning will still be likely as they move through all of eastern Iowa this evening and early overnight. A Level 1 (slight) risk for severe weather is in place for parts of Bremer, Butler, Chickasaw, and Grundy counties, and areas west. This is where large hail and damaging winds have the highest likelihood of occurring. The rest of the area could see isolated stronger storms, but persistent clouds on Monday have helped lower those chances. Still, heavy rain will remain in the cards for the entire area. Several inches of rain are possible where storms occur.

More rain chances coming up, including Monday

Not everybody got rain on Sunday, but there are more rounds on the way over the next couple of days. Sunday morning’s rain fell primarily over southern Iowa and was certainly welcome. While most of the rest of the day ought to be dry areawide, an isolated shower or storm is possible late. A somewhat better chance comes Sunday night as a warm front lifts north across the area. This will keep pushing north, taking much of the rain with it early Monday. There should be a break in the wet weather during the midday hours while the eclipse is happening. However, the big question is whether or not the sky will be cloudy. While some breaks in the clouds are entirely possible, it would be good to keep expectations low. The odds of seeing clearing in any one particular place during the maximum coverage (shortly after 1 p.m.) are fairly low. Additional showers and storms become more likely late Monday and especially Monday night through Tuesday morning. The severe weather threat looks fairly low at this time, although some downpours of locally heavy rain are possible.

Rain chances may put a damper on the solar eclipse

Much needed rain chances will be working their way back into eastern Iowa by the beginning of the work week. Unfortunately the rain chances are moving in during the time we’ve all been waiting for; the solar eclipse. You all want to know when, I’m sure. Here’s what we know at this time. The chance for showers and storms will move in later in the day Sunday and continue early Monday. That will be the first round of activity. Luckily we’ll catch a short break during the afternoon with partly cloudy skies for some. At this point in time there may be a chance you could see the solar eclipse. It is a slim chance of seeing any sun, but the chance is there nonetheless. Even though there will be partly cloudy skies, you will still notice the sky get darker. That will be a sight in itself. Another round of rain and storms will be likely throughout the evening on Monday. Storm chances will even continue through early afternoon on Tuesday.

Impact of heat on state fair attendance

Given that the Iowa State Fair is almost exclusively outdoors, it figures that poor weather conditions will tend to impact the overall experience of fairgoers. Excess heat seems to be the biggest driver of people not going to the fair, as opposed to rain or cool air. The following graph shows Iowa State Fair attendance since 1904, and there are several big weather events over the past 30-40 years that have contributed to dips in attendance. Thanks to the Iowa State Fair Marketing Team for providing this graph. The 1983 Iowa State Fair was the hottest on record, and did cause a dip in attendance by nearly 10% compared to 1982. The hot, dry year of 1988 took just a small amount out of attendance. Originally, I thought that the flood of 1993 caused the big dip in the 1990s, but in looking closer, the heatwave of 1995 is the culprit. That was the 4th hottest fair on record with unusually high humidity levels to boot. There were some very wet years, but, if they created a dip in attendance, it didn’t appear to be significant. The coolest fair of 2004 only had minor impacts on attendance, but the fair still exceeded 1,000,000 visitors that year. So far, so good this year. The weather has been mainly dry and mild – the sweet spot it seems for ideal attendance!