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

KCRG TV9 FIRST ALERT FORECAST FOR FRIDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2017

TODAY:   INCREASING CLOUDINESS, BREEZY AND MILD.  HIGH 75.  SOUTH WIND 15-25 MPH.              

TONIGHT:  MOSTLY CLOUDY.  LOW 58.  

TOMORROW:  MOSTLY CLOUDY AND BREEZY WITH A CHANCE OF SHOWERS EARLY, RAIN

                           BECOMES MORE LIKELY BY EVENING.  HIGH 72.  SOUTH WIND 15-30 MPH. 

EXTENDED OUTLOOK SUNDAY THROUGH TUESDAY: 

COOLER WITH A CHANCE OF SHOWERS EARLY SUNDAY, DRY MONDAY AND TUESDAY.  HIGH’S IN THE 50’S & 60’S.  LOW’S IN THE 40’S & 50’S. 

MISSISSIPPI RIVER STAGE AT DUBUQUE:  13.6-FEET & FALLING

KCRG Weather Blog

Recent rains improve the drought

Drought conditions ranging from moderate to extreme just a few weeks ago have gotten smaller or even erased. The latest Drought Monitor issued Thursday morning shows that unusually dry conditions continue from roughly Highway 30 and south. This is because there are still some leftover effects of the very dry weather in August and September. A few small pockets of moderate drought dot the area, too, but those are much smaller than they had been. The rain coming this weekend may help even further, although it'll slow down the harvest progress again.

Beyond The Weather – Time for the Orionids

This week has provided us with plenty of clear skies to enjoy the day. A string of 70 degree highs continues into the start of the weekend, giving us a perfect chance to be outside. As we move into the later part of October, take advantage of any clear nights to view one of our annual beyond the weather sights. To see any meteor shower the same rules apply. Get to the darkest location possible without any city light pollution. Give your eyes about 20 minutes to fully adjust to the darkness. Your focus should be the southeast sky. Find the constellation Orion. Orion the Hunter is easily recognized by his belt of stars. The meteors will radiate from the top of Orion’s hand. This fall, the peak occurs on October 21 and 22 after midnight each night with 10 to 15 meteors possible per hour. Happy stargazing!

Rain and real fall weather

Don’t get too used to the sunshine. The weather is going to change up once again. High temperatures will go from the 70s to the 50s. The cold front that will pass through is very potent. Winds will pick up speed and it will definitely feel more like a fall day. Not only will temperatures drop significantly, but rain chances will move into eastern Iowa as well. Rain chances are likely early Saturday, but will become more likely into the evening hours. A few rumbles of thunder are possible into the evening and overnight. Shower activity is also possible early Sunday. Once the system has passed through rainfall totals will likely sit around a half inch to an inch.

First freeze of the season is running late

Mild weather has returned after a relatively chilly start to the week. So far this season, Cedar Rapids’ and Dubuque’s coldest low has been 33 degrees. Iowa City has gotten as low as 36 degrees, while Waterloo made it to 32 degrees. These all occurred this past Monday and, for being the first cold snap, were running behind the norm. Waterloo has had its first freeze of the season. The average first date of that is October 2, so this year was a couple weeks after that. 2017 is tied with 2015 and 2008 for the latest first freeze since October 20, 1973. Cedar Rapids’ average date of the first 32-degree low is October 8. The latest on record (since 1953) is October 31, 1994. Next Wednesday, which is October 25, is the next chance of getting there, although the current forecast is 35 degrees. If the temperature does end up getting to 32 that day, it’ll be the latest since October 27, 2008 and will be among the latest on record. The long-term climate site in Marion had its latest first freeze on November 7, 1900. Dubuque’s average date is later (surprisingly enough) on October 12. If a freeze were to occur on October 25, it would be the latest since 1994, when it fell on November 1. The latest on record was November 7, in both 1947 and 1900. Iowa City’s average first freeze date is October 12. It turns out that last year was its latest first freeze on record! November 11 was the first time the temperature dropped to 32. The long-term climate site at the water treatment plant did it nearly a month earlier, though. Only 14 of its 123 years of records had the first freeze happen after October 25.

A real taste of fall

Don’t get too used to the warmth and dry conditions. A potent cold front is on its way to eastern Iowa. Late Friday and into Saturday the system moves closer, bringing rain chances especially for Saturday. Rain chances will continue into the morning Sunday. Rainfall totals are expected to be around 0.25” to 0.50” at this time. Not only will this cold front bring rain chances, but it will also knock temperatures down significantly. High temperatures are only expected to warm into the 50s. By the middle of next week, highs will only top out into the low 50s. Winds will also pick up speed, making it feel even cooler. Overnight lows are expected to drop into the 30s. This will be the coldest it’s been so far for the season. Be prepared to whip out the winter coats for the morning commute.