Past Features

This page lists out the IEM Daily Features for a month at a time. Features have been posted on most days since February 2002. List all feature titles.

Features for Oct 2018

Mon Oct 01, 2018
Summer of Flooding
01 Oct 2018 05:34 AM
Heavy rainfall and flooding have been quite common over much of Iowa this summer season. As an illustration, the featured map depicts the percentage of time between 1 May and 30 September that the given NWS Forecast Office had at least one Flood Warning (VTEC: FL.W) active. For four out of the five forecast offices serving Iowa, the percentages shown are above 50% over the past five months. Sadly, the very wet and flooding conditions look to continue for at least the first week of October and perhaps longer.
Voting: Good - 14 Bad - 0

Generate This Chart on Website
Tue Oct 02, 2018
Lots More Rain Coming
02 Oct 2018 05:39 AM
The rains just don't seem to want to stop. The featured map presents the forecasted rainfall totals from the Weather Prediction Center over the next seven days. Most of Iowa is shown in the 3 to 7 inch range. All of this rain and humid conditions are conspiring to delay the agricultural harvest in the state. It is going to take a long while to dry out from all this wet weather.
Voting: Good - 11 Bad - 2

Generate This Chart on Website
Wed Oct 03, 2018
Many Heavy Rainfalls
03 Oct 2018 05:42 AM
For Waterloo, September 2018 was the wettest month on record. October has started off very wet as well with over two inches reported on the first. For the year, the site is about 17 inches above average. Is that difference due to receiving many more significant rainfalls or just having many rain days? The featured chart addresses that question. Using the period of record data, the daily rainfall totals are binned into five equal contribution ranges. This year's totals are then placed in those bins. The percentage departure for precipitation amount is then shown by the red values with the number of days represented by the bars. The chart clearly shows that the reason the site is so far above average this year is due to the heaviest bin, daily values above 1.49 inches. There have been 11 such days so far versus an average of 2.7. Sadly, more days with heavy rainfall are expected over the coming seven days.
Voting: Good - 9 Bad - 1

Generate This Chart on Website
Thu Oct 04, 2018
Hot, Humid, and Windy!!!
04 Oct 2018 05:35 AM
Iowa's weather on October 3rd was nothing sort of amazing and exceptional. The day featured a rare combination of heat, humidity, and wind. While windy conditions frequently happen with hot temperatures, the winds tend to be dry and also mix out humidity located near the ground which both tend to lower dew points. Wednesday's setup was aided by tropical moisture advecting our way from the southwest, so strong southwesterly winds which are typically dry were not so for this event. The featured chart presents some selected observations and a count of previous hourly reports with as hot, humid, and windy report. The chart shows that very few analogs exist. This event was very rare and not even to mention that it happened in October!
Voting: Good - 17 Bad - 1

Tags:   2018   extreme  
Fri Oct 05, 2018
Big October Swing
05 Oct 2018 05:37 AM
The temperature swing from Wednesday (3 Oct) to Thursday (4 Oct) was remarkable. In Nebraska, Grand Island tied a record high on Wednesday at 94 and then set a new record minimum high today of 45. The featured map displays the difference between the warmest temperature on Wednesday and the coldest temperature on Thursday based on NCEP Real-Time Mesoanalysis (RTMA). The largest pixel value shown is 61 degrees with Iowa in the 40 to 50 degree difference range.
Voting: Good - 28 Bad - 1
Mon Oct 08, 2018
New Hampton Precipitation Record
08 Oct 2018 05:35 AM
Based on preliminary data, New Hampton (north central Iowa) is already exceeded its maximum yearly rainfall total set just two years back during 2016. The featured chart displays the yearly totals from the site since 1893. A simple linear regression is shown and denotes a rather disturbing increase in yearly precipitation over this period. When the yearly record was set during 2016, it did not happen until the end of the December. This year it is being set with nearly three full months remaining in the year and near term heavy rainfall events forecasted this week.
Voting: Good - 14 Bad - 0

Tags:   2018  
Generate This Chart on Website
Tue Oct 09, 2018
October Gradient
09 Oct 2018 05:35 AM
The rains just won't stop. One of the main drivers of the persistent rainy weather has been a frontal boundary over or near Iowa for much of this time. This boundary delineates the hot / humid air mass to the south and the cooler / drier air mass to the north. The persistence of this boundary can be seen by simply averaging the hourly temperatures so far this October. While southeastern Iowa has an average above 60, northwestern Iowa has been below 50. Iowa is within the battleground of the air masses and thus seen plenty of rainfall events. Hopefully this pattern breaks soon!
Voting: Good - 15 Bad - 0
Wed Oct 10, 2018
Extreme October Dew Points
10 Oct 2018 05:34 AM
The weather this month has been nothing short of crazy. Tuesday saw yet another day of large temperature gradients in the state, heavy rainfall and tornadoes. The humidity levels over the warm side of the state were again at record levels for October. The featured chart presents the hourly extreme dew point observations based on period of record data for Ottumwa (southeast of Des Moines). The chart shows a number of hours this month with tied or set records including the highest overall value of 73 degrees tied with 1954. There is optimism in the forecast that this craziness is about to end after one more day on Wednesday.
Voting: Good - 7 Bad - 1

Tags:   oct18  
Generate This Chart on Website
Thu Oct 11, 2018
Soil Temperature Gradient
11 Oct 2018 05:34 AM
The IEM Daily Feature a few days ago noted that large air temperature gradient that existed over Iowa this October. Today's featured image denotes that the same gradient exists within the top four inches of soil. The map presents a model analysis of four inch depth soil temperatures along with observations from our ISU Soil Moisture Network. Soil temperatures are generally quite warm over most of Iowa, but this looks to change with the arrival of much colder air temperatures and more seasonable weather upcoming.
Voting: Good - 10 Bad - 0

Generate This Chart on Website
Fri Oct 12, 2018
Little Drought Left
12 Oct 2018 05:35 AM
After a frustrating growing season of significant rainfalls consistently missing southeastern Iowa, the fall season has mostly made up the deficits in the area and the most recent US Drought Monitor analysis shows little drought left in the state. The featured chart displays the weekly Drought Monitor coverage over Iowa for the past two years. We are currently at the smallest coverage since late spring 2017. Pretty much the entire state is currently wishing for dry conditions now with the need to make fall harvest progress and allow flood waters to recede.
Voting: Good - 11 Bad - 0

Generate This Chart on Website
Mon Oct 15, 2018
'18-'19 Winter Storm #1
15 Oct 2018 07:55 AM
Well, here we are, the middle of October and already accumulating our first snowfall of the season. This event comes painfully early after a very snowy April making for one of the shortest periods between the last spring snowfall and first fall snowfall. The largest snowfall totals were isolated to far northwestern Iowa and near Omaha. This snow won't last long as soils are still rather warm and sunshine is expected today. Considering that our average high temperatures should be near 60 degrees, this current weather is not typical for mid October!
Voting: Good - 12 Bad - 1

Tags:   winter1819  
Tue Oct 16, 2018
October Precip and Snow
16 Oct 2018 05:33 AM
Getting a bit of snowfall during October is not all that uncommon as shown by the featured chart comparing October snowfall totals with total precipitation for Des Moines. Of course, getting snowfall this early in October is a bit rare and we are already well above average for precipitation amount for the month. The long term average snowfall is just 3 tenths of an inch, so hopefully we stay below average for the rest of the month! The current forecast looks dry for at least the coming week, which is much needed to help farmers again make some progress with the harvest.
Voting: Good - 8 Bad - 1

Tags:   oct  
Generate This Chart on Website
Wed Oct 17, 2018
First Snowfall of Season
17 Oct 2018 05:35 AM
A good portion of Iowa has already experienced its first measurable snowfall this past season. The official report for Des Moines was just two tenths, but made for one of the earliest snowfalls on record for the site. The featured chart presents the first measurable snowfall of the season for the site with the colors and lines representing how many days that snow cover persisted. Most of the events shown last less than three days as typically ground temperatures are still warm early in the cold season. The earliest snowfall shown on this plot happened on 25 September 1942.
Voting: Good - 8 Bad - 0

Tags:   snow  
Generate This Chart on Website
Thu Oct 18, 2018
Dark Brown
18 Oct 2018 05:37 AM
It is always fun this time of year to check in on what the satellites see of our landscape on days with a clear sky as was the case on Wednesday. The featured image is from the Terra MODIS satellite showing a true color depiction. Most of the landscape is brown and will all of the recent rains, the color is a dark brown. The current weather and near term forecast remains mostly dry, which is exactly what is currently needed.
Voting: Good - 10 Bad - 0

Tags:   satellite  

Features for Oct 2018