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How to determine the best snow for snowman building

Plenty of snow has fallen across Eastern Iowa to start out 2020, but not all snow is good snowman building snow. Snow can put into 5 different categories based on moisture: dry, moist, wet, very wet, and slushy snow. Moist to wet snow is the ideal moisture content needed to build the best snowman. If the snow is too dry, it is comparable to loose powder and in turn, the snow won’t stick together. On the other hand, if the snow has too much moisture and is slushy, it can’t form into a solid. The best type of snowstorm that brings this type of snow is like what we saw this past week. Temperature hover either a degree or two above or below freezing and keep enough moisture in the snow for it to stick together. Submit your snowman photos here: https://www.kcrg.com/ugc/

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Clouds lock in for a while

This will be a gray pattern for quite some time as a strong atmospheric inversion occurs across eastern Iowa. An “inversion” occurs when a warmer layer of air sits on top of a colder layer down near the ground. This can trap moisture, low clouds and occasionally some pollutants as well. The slushy, wet snow we’ve had the past few days will keep putting moisture in the air, where it’ll stay trapped because of the inversion. That’ll result in plenty of clouds and occasional fog or drizzle. Temperatures will struggle to move much past the lower 30s for the most part.

Snowfall reports for January 23-24, 2020

These are the snow reports received between 3 a.m. and 11 a.m. on January 24. When a location has a number and direction, that indicates how many miles from the city center the report was. For example, "3 NNE Cedar Rapids" was reported three miles north-northeast of the center of Cedar Rapids. If a location isn't listed, it's because there was not a report from there. 1 SW Floris Davis (Co): 6.0” 9 SSW Bloomfield (Davis Co): 5.0” 2 NNW Oskaloosa (Mahaska Co): 4.3” 3 SSW Bloomfield (Davis Co): 4.0” Lowden (Cedar Co): 4.0" 2 NE Ottumwa (Wapello Co): 4.0” North English (Iowa Co): 4.0” 2 NNW North Liberty (Johnson Co): 4.0” Stanwood (Cedar Co): 4.0” 5 SW Montezuma (Poweshiek Co): 4.0” 2 SW New London (Henry Co): 3.8” 1 SSW North Liberty (Johnson Co): 3.8” Bertram (Linn Co): 3.8” Mount Vernon (Linn Co): 3.8” 1 ESE New London (Henry Co): 3.7” 1 SW University Heights (Johnson Co): 3.7” 1 ESE Coralville (Johnson Co): 3.5” 2 NNW Williamstown (Johnson Co): 3.5” Sigourney (Keokuk Co): 3.5” Durant (Cedar Co): 3.5” 3 ESE (Hiawatha Linn Co): 3.5” 3 NNE (Cedar Rapids Linn Co): 3.5” Parnell (Iowa Co): 3.5” Solon (Johnson Co): 3.3” Coggon (Linn Co): 3.0” 1 SW Washington (Washington Co): 3.0” 1 W Montezuma Poweshiek Co): 3.0” 3 SE Iowa City Airport (Johnson Co): 3.0” Montezuma (Poweshiek Co): 3.0” 2 SSE Hiawatha (Linn Co): 3.0” 1 NNW Monticello Airport (Jones Co): 3.0” 2 ESE Fairview (Jones Co): 2.9” Ely (Linn Co): 2.8” 1 S Salem (Henry Co): 2.8” 3 ESE Amber (Louisa Co): 2.8” 2 NNW Oakland Mills (Henry Co): 2.8” 2 W Cedar Rapids (Linn Co): 2.8” 4 NNE Muscatine (Muscatine Co): 2.7” 2 NW Muscatine (Muscatine Co): 2.7” 2 N Muscatine (Muscatine Co): 2.6” 1 WNW Fulton (Jackson Co): 2.5” 1 E Dewitt (Clinton Co): 2.5” 1 NE Fairfax (Linn Co): 2.5” 1 NW Center Grove (Dubuque Co): 2.3” Elizabeth (Jo Daviess Co): 2.1” 2 ENE Dubuque (Dubuque Co): 2.0” 1 ENE Vinton (Benton Co): 2.0” 1 W Maquoketa Airport (Jackson Co): 2.0” 4 NNE Lafayette (Linn Co): 2.0” Coggon (Linn Co): 1.7” 3 SSE Atkins (Benton Co): 1.7” Strawberry Point (Clayton Co): 1.6" 2 NNW Mount Auburn (Benton Co): 1.5” 2 ENE Hazleton (Buchanan Co): 1.5” Cassville (Grant Co): 1.5” 1 NE Volga (Clayton Co): 1.4” Calmar (Winneshiek Co): 1.4" 1 SW Traer (Tama Co): 1.3” Guttenberg Dam 10 (Clayton Co): 1.3” 1 SSE Manchester (Delaware Co): 1.2” 6 SSW Elkader (Clayton Co): 1.1” 3 S Shellsburg (Benton Co): 1.0” Rickardsville (Dubuque Co): 1.0” 2 NNW Marshalltown (Marshall Co): 1.0” 3 N Toledo (Tama Co): 1.0” Clutier (Tama Co): 1.0” 2 NNW Marshalltown (Marshall Co): 1.0” 2 SSE Waterloo (Black Hawk Co): 0.9” Cedar Falls Black (Hawk Co): 0.9” 1 E Grundy Center (Grundy Co): 0.7” Tripoli (Bremer Co): 0.5” 1 ENE Eldora (Hardin Co): 0.4”

Snowfall totals for January 22-23, 2020

These are the snow reports received between midnight and noon on January 23. When a location has a number and direction, that indicates how many miles from the city center the report was. For example, "3 NNE Cedar Rapids" was reported three miles north-northeast of the center of Cedar Rapids. If a location isn't listed, it's because there was not a report from there. 1 SE De Soto (Crawford Co, WI): 4.3” New Hampton (Chickasaw Co, IA): 4.0” 3 SSE Steuben (Crawford Co, WI): 3.3” Charles City (Floyd Co, IA): 3.2” 1 NW Guttenberg (Clayton Co, IA): 3.2" Cascade (Dubuque Co, IA): 3.0” Guttenberg (Clayton Co, IA): 3.0” 1 ENE Volga (Clayton Co, IA): 3.0” Coggon (Linn Co, IA): 3.0” 2 SSE Nora Springs (Floyd Co, IA): 3.0” 3 N Toledo (Tama Co, IA): 3.0” Gays Mills (Crawford Co, WI): 3.0” Guttenberg (Clayton Co, IA): 3.0” Evansdale (Black Hawk Co, IA): 3.0” 2 W Cedar Rapids (Linn Co, IA): 2.9” 1 NW Fayette (Fayette Co, IA): 2.8” Iowa City (Johnson Co, IA): 2.8" 3 ENE Randalia (Fayette Co, IA): 2.8” 6 NE Postville (Allamakee Co, IA): 2.8” 1 WSW Hiawatha (Linn Co, IA): 2.8” 2 SSW Hiawatha (Linn Co, IA): 2.8” Prairie du Chien (Crawford Co, WI): 2.8” Anamosa (Jones Co, IA): 2.7” 2 NNW Oakland Mills (Henry Co, IA): 2.6” 4 W Stanley (Buchanan Co, IA): 2.5” West Chester (Washington Co, IA): 2.5” Calmar (Winneshiek Co, IA): 2.5" 1 NNE Prairie du Chien (Crawford Co, WI): 2.5” Solon (Johnson Co, IA): 2.5” 2 WSW Cedar Rapids (Linn Co, IA): 2.5” Sinsinawa (Grant Co, WI): 2.5" Cedar Rapids (Linn Co, IA): 2.5” Swedesburg (Henry Co, IA): 2.3” 8 ENE Decorah (Winneshiek Co, IA): 2.3” 4 NNE Fairfax (Linn Co, IA): 2.3” Anamosa (Jones Co, IA): 2.2” 2 NE Cedar Rapids (Linn Co, IA): 2.2” Dubuque Regional Airport (Dubuque Co, IA): 2.2” Tripoli (Bremer Co, IA): 2.2” Marion (Linn Co, IA): 2.1” 3 SW Center Junction (Jones Co, IA): 2.1” Hiawatha (Linn Co, IA): 2.1” Parnell (Iowa, IA): 2.0” 3 SE Fairview (Jones Co, IA): 2.0” 1 WNW Maquoketa (Jackson Co, IA): 2.0” Cassville (Grant Co, WI): 2.0" 2 NW Decorah (Winneshiek Co, IA): 2.0" Marble Rock (Floyd Co, IA): 2.0" 1 NE Fairfax (Linn Co, IA): 2.0” 1 W Anamosa (Jones Co, IA): 2.0” 2 N Iowa City (Johnson Co, IA): 2.0” Dubuque (Dubuque Co, IA): 2.0” 1 W Montezuma (Poweshiek Co, IA): 2.0” Clutier (Tama Co, IA): 2.0” New Hampton (Chickasaw Co, IA): 2.0” 4 WSW Lancaster (Grant Co, WI): 2.0” 1 SW Traer (Tama Co, IA): 2.0" Montezuma (Poweshiek Co, IA): 2.0" 2 NNW Marshalltown (Marshall Co, IA): 2.0" 2 NW Marion (Linn Co, IA): 2.0” Elkader (Clayton Co, IA): 1.9” University Heights (Johnson Co, IA): 1.9” Elma (Howard Co, IA): 1.8” 3 N Oakland Mills (Henry Co, IA): 1.8” 1 NE Cresco (Howard Co, IA): 1.8” Rickardsville (Dubuque Co, IA): 1.8” Muscoda (Grant Co, WI): 1.8” 2 SSE Waterloo (Black Hawk Co, IA): 1.8" 1 ENE Eldora (Hardin Co, IA): 1.7" 1 ESE Iowa Falls (Hardin Co, IA): 1.5” 2 NE Ottumwa (Wapello Co, IA): 1.5" Durant (Cedar Co, IA): 1.5" 2 NNW North Liberty (Johnson Co, IA): 1.5” 3 SE Tipton (Cedar Co, IA): 1.5” Lowden (Cedar Co, IA): 1.5” 2 NNW Muscatine (Muscatine Co, IA): 1.4” Stanwood (Cedar Co, IA): 1.4” 1 E Grundy Center (Grundy Co, IA): 1.0” 1 NW Center Grove (Dubuque Co, IA): 1.0”

Beyond the Weather: Late January sights

Here are some interesting targets for you to take a look at beyond the weather in the coming week - if we can only get the clouds to break during night sometime! Oftentimes, we have you find the constellation Orion. It is easy to spot in the southeast evening sky. Once located, imagine a line straight through the belt toward the horizon. This brings you to the star Sirius. Using binoculars, look just below Sirius. What you will see is a small cluster of stars, M41, known as the Little Beehive. Starting this weekend and continuing through next week, look to the southwest an hour after sunset. Watch the progression of the phase of the moon each night. In addition, the moon will pass a very bright Venus. Just below Venus - but unable to be seen with an unaided eye - is the planet Neptune. Happy stargazing!