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

KCRG TV9 FIRST ALERT FORECAST FOR TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2018 

TODAY:  PARTLY CLOUDY.  HIGH 83.  NORTH WIND 5-10 MPH. 

TONIGHT:  MOSTLY CLEAR.  LOW 61. 

TOMORROW:  PARTLY CLOUDY.  HIGH 81.                 

EXTENDED OUTLOOK THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY: 

A CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND STORMS THURSDAY INTO FRIDAY, DRY SATURDAY.  HIGH’S IN THE 70’S & 80’S.  LOW’S IN THE 60’S. 

MISSISSIPPI RIVER STAGE AT DUBUQUE:  13.5-FEET AND FALLING


KCRG Weather Blog

A parade of cold fronts is coming

This is a very favorable weather pattern for anything planned outdoors. It won’t be stiflingly hot for the county fairs, nor will it be too cool for swimming, boating or grilling. The first in a series of cold fronts moved across the area Monday afternoon. This pocket of cooler air continues to push down to the southeast. The second cold front will move across our area sometime on Friday into Friday night. The third front looks to move through around Monday or Tuesday of next week. What this means for us is a continuation of slightly below normal temperatures for the next one to two weeks. This also tends to be a drier pattern overall with little risk of heavy rain.

Upcoming weather pattern keeps the heat away

Less humid air poured in on Monday, and the mugginess will be tolerable for most of the next several days. Temperatures will also be hanging out close to the July normal of the lower to middle 80s, and there are no signs of big heat moving into our part of Iowa anytime soon. The reason for this is that the jet stream will be dipping southward across the eastern United States. This will allow occasional systems from Canada to slide past, reinforcing the comfortable air. It also prevents the big heat from shoving into Iowa. This pattern looks like it will persist not just this week but possibly beyond. In fact, the Climate Prediction Center is forecasting odds that favor temperatures that are cooler than normal this weekend through the middle of next week.

Approaching peak heat

As we approach the middle of Meteorological Summer, we also approach the warmest week on average in the calendar year across Iowa. July is overall the hottest month and we average eight 90-degree days within it. That’s a little over 25% of the month. Lows at night tend to be warmer in July as well. The warmest air of the season out west usually occurs earlier compared to those farther east and south. This is due to the Monsoon season that typically kicks in around this time of year, which is a seasonal wind shift. In Texas and other southern states, peak heat is still about a month away. Heat in that part of the country can easily last well into September!

Beyond the Weather: Mid-July planets

Heat and humidity are not a friend when out for a night looking at the stars. The sky is not as clear as a cool, crisp winter’s night. Since winter’s clearing is months away, we will look for some easy-to-spot items beyond the weather for the middle of the month. The moon is always an easy target. In the western sky, about one hour after sunset, the moon will be progressing through the waxing crescent phase. Each night from Saturday through Monday, the moon will be a bit higher off the horizon. Also in the western sky near the moon at this time will be two planets to spot. Mercury will be very low on the horizon, while Venus shines brightly higher in the sky. As the moon begins to approach the first quarter phase, look for it in the southwest sky later at night. At this time you will find the planet Jupiter to the left of the moon and the star Spica to the right of the moon. Happy stargazing!

Unlike June, July has been dry

This past June was pretty wet as rainfall amounts were several inches above average. However, rain has been hard to come by so far this month. A good share of our area has had less than a quarter-inch this month. That’s far more than an inch short of what is average through the first ten days of July. Even Waterloo, which has had more than an inch of rain this month, is running about a half-inch below normal. Southern Iowa has been dealing with relatively dry weather for quite some time, aside from a small respite in June. Drought conditions persist there and the past week certainly has not helped. A new Drought Monitor will be released Thursday morning.