KCRG TV9 First Alert Forecast For Dubuque and the Tri-States
KCRG TV9 FIRST ALERT FORECAST FOR WEDNESDAY, MAY 22, 2019
FLOOD WARNING IN EFFECT FOR THE MISSISSIPPI AT DUBUQUE TFN
TODAY: CLOUDY EARLY, THEN BECOMING MOSTLY SUNNY. WINDY AND WARMER.
HIGH 77. SOUTHWEST WIND 15-30 MPH & GUSTY.
TONIGHT: PARTLY CLOUDY. LOW 51.
TOMORROW: PARTLY TO MOSTLY SUNNY. HIGH 74.
EXTENDED OUTLOOK FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY:
A CHANCE OF SCATTERED SHOWERS AND STORMS EACH DAY. HIGH’S IN THE 70’S. LOW’S IN THE 50’S & 60’S.
MISSISSIPPI RIVER STAGE AT DUBUQUE: 17.4-FEET & STEADY
When the wind blows from the east, temperatures are rarely warm. That’s been true so far this month! 14 of 21 May days have featured wind with either an east or north component. Only one of those days made it to 70! The rest of them have struggled. Generally, the stronger the wind is blowing, the warmer (or cooler) you may be depending on which direction it’s coming from. Cedar Rapids’ average temperature for the month so far is around five degrees below normal, with rainfall that’ll likely surpass the normal as well. Cool and wet conditions tend to go hand in hand.
May is two-thirds over, and we haven’t had very many mild days to show for it. So far this month, only four days have had a high temperature of 70 or warmer in Cedar Rapids. That’s the lowest total through this point of the month since 1996! On average, a full half of our days would be at least 70 degrees. In addition, the average temperature of just under 54 degrees makes this the 10th-coolest May through today’s date. The weather pattern we’ve been in has also been a wet one (which doesn’t help out the temperatures). So far this month, Cedar Rapids has gotten 3.77 inches of rain. That’s the 16th-wettest May-to-date on record.
We’re halfway through May, and by this point we’d typically be seeing thunderstorm activity – and severe weather – ramping up across the state of Iowa. That has not really been the case in 2019, though. While the past few weeks have featured above-normal rainfall, they’ve also been cooler than normal. This has helped limit the energy that’s needed to make the types of storms that cause damaging wind, hail, or tornadoes. Through May 15, Iowa has had only 34 severe thunderstorm warnings, and there have been no tornado warnings. These warning records go back to 2008, and this is the fewest since then. In fact, this is the first time since the start of the records 11 years ago that Iowa has been tornado warning free this late in the season. The previous low through May 15 was nine in both 2010 and 2015. For both severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings, the lowest total through May 15 had been 55 warnings in 2013. The highest number of tornado warnings in Iowa through May 15 is a whopping 58 in 2011. For combined severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings, 2017 takes the top spot with 216.
After such a “blah” start to spring with many cool and cloudy days, the generally milder weather is hitting and holding. In time, so will higher dew points and the increasing risk of evening and overnight storms. In Iowa, many of our storm complexes fire up in the evening and overnight hours and typically weaken in the mid-morning hours of the following day. This leads to many dry hours during the day, but can lead to awfully stormy nights. Look for this pattern to kick in later this week!
Monday morning saw temperatures dip into the 30s in many places, but the forecast has many overnight lows in the 50s. With this and what’s happened in the past in mind, the potential for frost is virtually over for the season. We can get patchy frost when temperatures fall to around 36 degrees (since the temperature at the ground may be several degrees colder than where the thermometer is). The average last 36-degree low in Cedar Rapids is May 8; the earliest was April 9, 1896 and latest was June 4, 1945. The average date of the last freeze, 32 degrees, is April 25. The earliest was March 29, 1999 and latest was May 26, 1925. Finally, a hard freeze of 28 degrees has an average last date of April 13. The earliest was March 21, 1895 and latest was May 25, 1925. There are a few rules-of-thumb that all essentially recommend waiting until about the second week of May to plant, and that includes the Czech legend of the Three Frozen Kings. The legend goes something like this: three saints, or kings, were frozen while fishing at sea – Pankrac on May 12, Servac on May 13, and Bonifac on May 14. Then, on May 15, Saint Zofie thaws them from their icy situation. The moral of the legend is that it’s not a bad idea to wait until after May 15 to put in your sensitive plants, just in case a late frost comes along. It turns out there’s a meteorological basis for that! Here are other frost and freeze dates for eastern Iowa: Dubuque 36 degrees: Average last: May 6; earliest: April 10, 1985; latest: June 11, 1972 32 degrees: Average last: April 24; earliest: March 28, 1878; latest: May 29, 1965 28 degrees: Average last: April 11; earliest: February 27, 1878; latest: May 10, 1966 Iowa City (dates may be one day later than the actual date because of when the observation is taken) 36 degrees: Average last: May 6; earliest: April 9, 1955; latest: May 31, 1897 32 degrees: Average last: April 23; earliest: March 24, 1998; latest: May 25, 1925 28 degrees: Average last: April 14; earliest: March 23, 2017; latest: May 11, 1966 Waterloo 36 degrees: Average last: May 11; earliest: April 15, 1985; latest: June 4, 1945 32 degrees: Average last: May 3; earliest: April 7, 1955; latest: May 31, 1897 28 degrees: Average last: April 19; earliest: March 24, 1998; latest: May 14, 1895