KCRG TV9 First Alert Forecast For Dubuque and the Tri-States
KCRG TV9 FIRST ALERT FORECAST FOR SATURDAY, JULY 20, 2019
EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH 7PM TONIGHT
TODAY: PARTLY SUNNY, SCATTERED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS. HIGHS IN THE LOW 90’S. SOUTHWEST
WIND 5-10 MPH. HEAT INDEX 107.
TONIGHT: PERIODS OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS. LOWS IN THE UPPER 60’S.
TOMORROW: NOT AS WARM, MOSTLY CLOUDY. SCATTERED SHOWERS AND
STORMS IN THE MORNING. HIGHS IN THE UPPER 70’S.
EXTENDED OUTLOOK MONDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY:
MOSTLY CLEAR SKIES, HIGHS IN THE UPPER 70’S TO LOWER 80’S.
MISSISSIPPI RIVER STAGE AT DUBUQUE: 14.1-FEET & STEADY
After extreme heat plagued most of the Midwest, we finally see some relief in sight. Rain and storms look to be likely through your Sunday, but the good news is that cooler temperatures will follow. A frontal boundary pushing through on Sunday brings rain and thunderstorms to the northern half of our area, but as the day went on everyone was feeling the relief from the heat. The Heat Index went from triple digits to the mid-80s within an hour in some locations. After the rain and storms push out Sunday, expect temperatures in the upper 70s, low 80s to start the week. Lows will even be dropping into the upper 50s Monday night into Tuesday, which will probably feel cold to us. Keep in mind we went from wind chills of -55° to heat index values of around 110-115° within a matter of months.
Mid-July 1995 was intensely hot across the Midwest. From July 12th through 14th, unbearably hot weather occurred in Cedar Rapids, too. The heat index peaked at 131 degrees, the highest on record here. This heat wave was a major killer with over 700 dead in Chicago alone by the end of it. It was so severe that it changed the way Chicago prepares for heat waves. While it was hot outside on Friday, it’s nowhere near the intense heat of 1995. Look for this heat to break later Saturday as storms become likely.
For the past week, many of us have relived the Apollo 11 mission. Many can pinpoint exactly where they were when they heard Neil Armstrong speak from the surface of the moon. The moon is one of the easiest targets we have in the sky. Sometime this weekend, take some time to go out and look beyond the weather at the lunar surface. As you look at the moon, you will see dark and light areas. You’ll see two large darks areas that almost resemble a snowman. The lower circle is the Sea of Tranquility, the area targeted for the Apollo 11 moon landing. The actual landing site, Tranquility Base, is toward the lower left. Did you also know you can see the moon during the day and not just at night? The next several days, look for the moon in the morning and midday sky. Look to the western sky any time after sunrise. The daytime moon can be seen the first few days following any full moon as long as the sky is clear. Happy stargazing!
Having a high temperature of at least 90 degrees is a common occurrence during the warm season in eastern Iowa. Over the past 30 years, Cedar Rapids has had an average of about 12 such days each year. Dubuque averages six, Iowa City has 23, and Waterloo comes in at about 15. However, pumping the temperature up a little further is harder. 95 or warmer happens just twice per year, on average, and there were numerous years that it didn’t happen at all. The same goes for Dubuque, and the average there is every other year. Iowa City comes in at five per year, with Waterloo getting two or three. 100 is a rare feat; it’s happened just five times in the past 30 years in Cedar Rapids. Dubuque has only one. Iowa City has had about a dozen. Waterloo comes in with six in the past 30 years, although five of them happened in 2012 alone!
Think of a heatwave as a set of stairsteps. It starts off easy, but gets more intense through the event. The keys to a heatwave’s impact are trapped air, plenty of sunshine and progressively warmer nights which offer little relief. A day of 90, which is rather common for July, will translate to 95 after a few days, then to possibly 100 near the tail end of an extreme heat wave. By the end, you are ready for cooler weather! It does look like the heat will break by Sunday, with humidity relief by Monday.