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

KCRG TV9 FIRST ALERT FORECAST FOR WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2018         

                 WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON 

TODAY:  CLOUDY EARLY WITH PATCHY FREEZING DRIZZLE POSSIBLE, TURNING PARTLY

                CLOUDY THIS AFTERNOON.  STEADY OR SLOWLY FALLING TEMPERATURES. 

                WEST WIND 10-20 MPH. 

TONIGHT:  PARTLY CLOUDY.  LOW 23. 

TOMORROW:  MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH ISOLATED RAIN/SNOW MIXED LATE.  HIGH 38.         

EXTENDED OUTLOOK FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY: 

DRY.  HIGH’S IN THE 30’S & 40’S.  LOW’S IN THE 20’S. 

MISSISSIPPI RIVER STAGE AT DUBUQUE:  8.5-FEET & FALLING

 


KCRG Weather Blog

What are the long-term odds of a white Christmas?

Christmas is less than two weeks away, and the question of “will there be a white Christmas?” is beginning to come up. We consider a “white Christmas” to be one with at least an inch of snow on the ground on Christmas Day. While it’s hard to give a simple “yes” or “no” since a lot can happen between now and then, the general weather pattern is one that keeps highs above freezing through at least the end of next week. There have been some consistent signals of colder weather arriving just before Christmas. Precipitation is harder to pin down, but there aren’t any real snow chances until next Friday at the earliest, and even that is questionable this far out. We’ll have a better sense of this as time goes on. At this point, if we get a white Christmas, it’s probably going to be down to the wire. Regardless of whether or not there’s snow on the ground on the 25th, it’s important to put all of this in context. The long-term odds of a white Christmas in much of the state is actually close to 50-50. Northern Iowa, not surprisingly, has higher odds – it’s about six or seven out of every ten there. Meanwhile, southern Iowa has lower chances over the long-term – about three or four out of every ten years. These are the climatological chances of a white Christmas in several of the long-term climate observation sites in eastern Iowa. This is done by taking the most recent 30-year period of records and seeing how many of them had an inch of snow on Christmas Day. So, if 15 of the years did, then it’s a 50% chance. Anamosa: 64% Cedar Rapids: 47% Decorah: 64% Dubuque: 63% Fayette: 71% Guttenberg: 65% Independence: 54% Iowa City: 44% Manchester: 57% Postville: 62% Sigourney: 42% Tama: 48% Tipton: 47% Washington: 37% Waterloo: 58%

Central Iowa has been in a snow hole

So far this winter, only a handful of snow events have occurred. Nearly all of them have missed the Des Moines and Ames area entirely. In fact, parts of the Des Moines metro area have failed to even reach one inch of snowfall so far this season. The lack of snow extends farther east toward Williamsburg and even stretches up along the Highway 151 corridor. This is really only a matter of good luck (or bad luck if you are in snow removal), though. Southern Iowa has received plenty of snow and remains above normal for the season. Over the next 10 days, very little snow is expected in Iowa as temperatures remain above normal.

Lack of mild weather recently is a rarity

Overall, temperatures over the past several weeks have been unusually cool. Since November 1, Cedar Rapids has had only 14 days with a high of 40 or warmer. That’s the third-fewest on record and is the fewest since 1996. That year, there were only 10 days of at least 40 degrees from November 1 through December 10. 1992 had 12 such days, and this year’s 14 ties 1893 and 1910. In Dubuque, there have been only 11 days of 40 or warmer. That’s the second-fewest on record, behind only 1996 with 10 days. Iowa City is up to 13 days of getting to at least 40 degrees. That’s the second-fewest, behind 1996 with 10 days. However, the airport has only about 30 years’ worth of records. The water treatment plant, which is the long-term climate site, has reported 12 such days, which is behind only 1992 when it had 11 days. So, regardless of which location you pick, Iowa City is in second place. Waterloo has had 13 days of 40 or warmer. That’s tied for 4th-fewest, along 2000, 1992, 1986, and 1978. The fewest on record is nine, set in 1996.

Weather pattern changes to milder conditions next week

While we have dealt with plenty of cold air over the past few weeks, things will be turning around from a temperature standpoint next week. High pressure over eastern Iowa this weekend will slowly shift southeast of us into southern Illinois and eastern Missouri. When high pressure is located there, we tend to get warmer. We should go well into the 30s on Monday with the chance of a few 40s not out of the question for Tuesday. No precipitation is anticipated either day, and only small chances exist later in the week.

Dry weekends have been hard to come by

This weekend will be dry, but not because there’s no active weather going on anywhere. A strong weather system will be passing well to our south, throwing only some clouds our direction. Since September 1, five of 14 weekends have had no precipitation at the Eastern Iowa Airport and three of those were in September! The last completely dry weekend – not even a trace of rain or snow reported – was November 10-11. Here are the precipitation values for each weekend since the start of September: September 1/2: 0.88”/0.03” September 8/9: 0.00”/0.00” September 15/16: 0.00”/0.00” September 22/23: 0.00”/0.00” September 29/30: 0.17”/0.15” October 6/7: 0.33”/0.63” October 13/14: 0.00”/0.01” October 20/21: 0.00”/0.00” October 27/28: 0.04”/0.12” November 3/4: 0.25”/0.89” November 10/11: 0.00”/0.00” November 17/18: 0.18”/0.00” November 24/25: 0.00”/Trace December 1/2: 0.53”/0.09”