KCRG TV 9 First Alert Forecast
KCRG TV9 FIRST ALERT FORECAST FOR WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2020
TODAY: MOSTLY TO PARTLY CLOUDY AND WINDY. HIGH 31. NORTH WIND 15-25 MPH.
TONIGHT: PARTLY CLOUDY AND BREEZY. LOW 13. NORTHWEST WIND 10-20 MPH.
TOMORROW: MOSTLY SUNNY. HIGH 31.
EXTENDED OUTLOOK FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY
DRY. HIGH’S IN THE 30’S, FRIDAY, THE 40’S SATURDAY, THE 50’S SUNDAY. LOW’S IN THE 20’S.
Last week, the Climate Prediction Center released its outlook for March as well as spring (March, April, and May). For March, a good share of the country, but focused on the southeastern United States, has higher-than-even chances of the monthly temperature being below normal. Iowa is on the edge of that, suggesting there is not a strong signal for temperatures. The precipitation outlook in the Midwest favors a drier month compared to average. For spring, most of the country leans toward warmer-than-normal. Parts of the Plains and Midwest, including Iowa, are just outside that zone. Here, there are equal chances of temperatures being near, below, or above normal – again, no strong signal in any direction. The precipitation outlook leans toward wetter than average.
As the wind continues to blow today, this is a good reminder that we’re entering windy season. While many of us think about the fall as Iowa’s windy season, it’s actually the spring by a small margin. Wind is the result of air pressure differences between high pressure systems and low pressure systems. Oftentimes in meteorological spring, the air is colder to our north, yet, already warming to summertime levels in the southern U.S. The pressure gradient that results usually leads to spring being the windiest time of the year in Iowa. To the parents out there, think about how many windy early season baseball and soccer games you've sat through!
It appears the heaviest snow from the next storm system will happen to our south and east, which means we probably won’t be adding much to the already-limited snow this month. Cedar Rapids has had only 0.7” so far, one of the lowest February totals on record. The least was a trace – not enough to even measure – in 1977 and 1987. Cedar Rapids’ snowiest February on record came in 1962 when 27.9” fell. Dubuque has managed to get 4.1” so far. 1933 had no snow, remarkably! On the other end, 2008 was the snowiest February, clocking in with 32.5”. In Iowa City, 1.0” of snow has fallen this month. 1987 and 1998 both had no snow. 2008 was the snowiest February on record in Iowa City with 29.7”. Waterloo is at 1.5” this month. The lowest February snowfall was 0.3” in 1969. The snowiest was just last year in 2019, with 31.1”.
This upcoming week is the last for February, but what weather do we normally see in March? The average high temperatures in Cedar Rapids are in the mid-40s through the month of March, where the average low temperatures are in the mid-20s. Temperatures overall throughout the month will be rising as we get closer to the spring season, which starts on March 19th, 2020. Average high temperatures on March 1st are around 39° but by the end of the month average around 54°. Low temperatures also rise throughout the month, starting around 21° March 1st, and on average are around 32° by the end of the month. On average the last day Cedar Rapids sees temperatures at or below freezing on April 24th.
We’ve been eyeing this weekend as a nice one for the better part of a week now. Highs will be well into the 40s with the potential for lower 50s over the southern half of the area where there’s no snowpack. This is about 10 to 15 degrees above seasonal averages and provides a nice break from the chilly air. This also gives an opportunity to send the kids outside for a bit, sweep out the garage or possibly get the car washed. Weekends like this don’t come around often in February, so be sure to enjoy it!