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Preview: Iowa Environmental Mesonet Daily Feature

Iowa Environmental Mesonet Daily Feature



Iowa Environmental Mesonet Daily Feature



Last Build Date: Tue, 21 Nov 2017 11:38:11 -0600

 



60+ in November
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It took until the 20th day of November to breach 60 degrees for places like Des Moines. Strong south/southwesterly winds helped to push temperatures finally well above normal. The featured chart is a wind rose and looks at wind speeds and directions during November when the air temperature is at or above 60 degrees for Des Moines. The wind rose is a wonderful way to see direction and speed frequencies. The longest bars coincide with what we experienced yesterday, which were winds from the SSW. Of course, not many occurrences of NW winds are shown as that is typically a source of cold air.

Generate This Chart on IEM Website




Been cold since first freeze
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Since the first freeze of the season finally happened for places like Ames in late October, the temperatures have been rather chilly since. The featured chart looks at what we would expect to see after the first fall sub 32 degree temperature. The top panel shows the maximum high temperature following said date. The middle panel shows the combination of first fall sub 32 date and the subsequent max high. The bottom panel shows the number of 60+ degree high temperature days following said date each year. This year's max high is near the lowest on record and we have seen zero days 60+ so far. There are a few warm days in the forecast for this week, so we'll likely see the warmest temperatures since the freeze and maybe even a high above 60 degrees.

Generate This Chart on IEM Website




Fayette Year to Date Precipitation
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The wettest area of the state so far this year has been extreme northeastern Iowa. The featured chart highlights the year to date precipitation for Fayette. Back in mid July, the total was very close to the wettest to date on record for the site. A very dry August put 2017 much further behind the record pace, but a very wet October made up some ground. Getting 7.5 inches over the last 45 days of the year seems extremely unlikely, but there is always a chance!

Generate This Chart on IEM Website




2017 First Fall Sub-32
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The featured chart presents a crude analysis of the first fall sub 32 temperature for climate sites in the state tracked by the IEM. By the end of October, all locations in the state had seen sub 32 degrees. These dates were a bit later than average and needed as the agricultural crops were late maturing this year after some late planting dates and cool end to the growing season. You can generate this map for previous years and thresholds of your choice.

Generate This Chart on IEM Website




November Cloudiness
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Sunshine has been at a premium so far this November. The featured chart displays the frequency of having the noon weather observation reporting "overcast" conditions by month (top chart) and by year for each November (bottom chart). The cloudiness we have seen so far this November has been the worst month so far this year and one of the cloudiest Novembers since 1951 (so far). Of course, there are more days to go this November, so hopefully we can have more sunny days like today.

Generate This Chart on IEM Website




Days with Fog Reported
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Dense Fog was common over Iowa on Monday. The featured chart presents the number of days each month that at least one hourly report of Fog was made for the Des Moines Airport. This is based on the archive of hourly METAR reports from the site. Of course, not all days that report Fog are dense enough to warrant advisories, like those issued on Monday. The blue bars are the simply monthly average for period of record and red are so far this year. For the year, this chart would indicate the number of days with fog reported to be below average.

Generate This Chart on IEM Website




Days with Low Below Freezing
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While temperatures did warm some over the weekend, daily lows for most of the days this November have been below freezing. The featured chart displays the year to date accumulated total of days with a low temperature below freezing for Des Moines. The 2017 total was sitting very close to the minimum on record, but the recent cold weather has lifted the total well away from the minimum plotted. More seasonable weather is expected this week with freezing temperatures only expected for a few of the days for Des Moines.

Generate This Chart on IEM Website




Cold Early November Day
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Yesterday's feature denoted the impact of having snow cover on high and low temperatures. Even without snow cover in Iowa, temperatures were very cold for this time of the year. The featured table presents the hourly temperatures for Des Moines yesterday and how far back into the archives one must go to find as cold an hourly temperature for the period of 1-9 November. The afternoon temperatures were the coldest in about 10 years and evening temperatures the coldest in over 20 years! It will be interesting to put into context the very cold lows observed this Friday morning for a future feature!




Snow Makes Big Difference
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The featured chart displays the average high and low temperature by month for Des Moines partitioned by the presence of snow cover. Placing aside some timing aspects of how the snow depth is reported along with max and min temperatures, the chart shows a clear difference in averages between snow and non-snow covered condition. The presence of snow changes the game for how heat is lost during the night time and what happens to the inbound heating by the sun during the day. Having said all this and even without the presence of snow, today's temperatures will be remarkably cold.

Generate This Chart on IEM Website




Wisconsin is most behind
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The most recent USDA NASS statistics showing corn crop harvest progress was released on Monday. The featured map displays the statewide estimates for corn harvest along with the departure from a simple past 10 year average for the date. Iowa is shown behind average along with almost all other states, but the largest departure is indicated for Wisconsin, which has seen plenty of wet weather this harvest season.




Nearing Two Weeks Below
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Our seasonally chilly weather continued on Monday with highs well below average again. The featured map displays the number of consecutive days that the high temperature has been above (red) or below (blue) average for NWS "CLI" reporting sites. The totals for Iowa are approaching two weeks now with more chilly weather in the forecast. There is some hope for a return to near normal highs next week.

Generate This Chart on IEM Website




Larger Drops Still to Come
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Friday's IEM Daily Feature showed the season to date minimum temperatures so far. Today's featured chart shows the largest daily drop by year for that metric. Rewording, what was the largest temperature drop for setting a new season to date minimum temperature. This year's value is a mere six degrees and the chart would suggest that having a larger temperature drop yet this season would be likely. The forecast does not hint as to when that may happen though as it will likely take our first snowfall cover event to get much colder low temperatures.

Generate This Chart on IEM Website




Recent Drops to Average
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Our recent stretch of very cold weather finally put an end to the frost free growing season for the state. The featured chart displays some statistics on the season to date coldest low temperature for Ames. The time series for this year is shown by the blue line with the black line representing the long term average. Our recent drops have put this year near average for the to date period. The pink area represents the range between the minimum and maximum with this year very close to the top during early October. Of course, the cold weather is only getting started for the season and the chart shows the amount of room to the downside yet to go before the end of the year!

Generate This Chart on IEM Website




Very Wet October
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The featured map depicts IEM estimates of October 2017 ranks for total precipitation. A value of one would signify the wettest October since 1893. Most of Iowa is shown in the top five with northern Iowa all at second wettest. All of this rain has put a damper on fall crop harvest progress and water logged fields create challenges to transverse heavy harvest equipment over.

Generate This Chart on IEM Website




October Range
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October is in the books now and experienced both warm and very cold days. The overall range in temperature for Ames was 59 degrees between a low of 21 and high of 80. This range is just about normal for the month as shown by the featured chart. The chart shows the range between the coldest low and warmest high for the month. The bottom panel shows range between these two values.

Generate This Chart on IEM Website




Cold Halloween High
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High temperatures today are expected to struggle today to reach even the low 40s. This would be rather cold for Halloween as shown by the featured chart. It depicts the high temperature for Des Moines for each previous 31 October. The average high is much warmer than what we will experience today. Only a few years have seen colder highs than today.

Generate This Chart on IEM Website




GDD Maturity Struggle
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The corn harvest in Iowa this year has been a bit behind schedule due in part to wet conditions and a late maturing crop. Thankfully, an early freeze did not happen, so crops were able to eventually reach maturity. The featured chart looks at the period between accumulating 2200 to 2500 Growing Degree Days (GDD) based on the given planting date for a location in northeastern Iowa. These chosen GDDs levels represent maturity of commonly grown corn. Corn that was planted late into May really struggled to reach maturity with the slow GDD accumulation this year.

Generate This Chart on IEM Website




The Gamut of Products
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Our first taste of winter arrived in force overnight with very chilly temperatures and even some snow! Of course, the fall season in Iowa can experience summer-like to winter-like weather. The featured chart presents NWS Des Moines issued headlines since the first of September. While there have not been all that many headlines issued, they do run the gamut of products issued by the NWS. The plot shows Severe Thunderstorm Warning, Dense Fog Advisory, Wind Advisory, Flash Flood Warning, Frost Advisory, and now even a Winter Weather Advisory.

Generate This Chart on IEM Website




El Nino and Winter Weather
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NOAA recently released their winter season forecast. For Iowa, the forecast called for about average temperatures and slightly above normal precipitation. One of the many tools used to make this forecast is the current and forecasted El Nino index. The La Nina conditions have taken a bit longer than expected to develop and the index currently still has a ways to go before getting to La Nina state. Anyway, the featured plot combines the El Nino index along with three month averaged temperatures and precipitation. The two right hand side plots provide the direct comparison and a simple linear fit. Of course, there is no magic bullet here with strong correlations to predict the upcoming winter season. The weather forecast though is more definite over the near term with chances of snow arriving for the weekend!

Generate This Chart on IEM Website




More Cold Air
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For most of the Continental US, this fall season has been rather warm. Cooler temperatures did finally break through for much of the central and eastern US on Tuesday. The featured chart presents the percentage of NWS climate sites that had above or below average high temperatures for each day since early September. Please note that no spatial weighting is done with this analysis, so it isn't a strict areal coverage. It is interesting to see how the warmer than average highs have dominated this season with only yesterday showing something closer to 50/50 split since early September.

Generate This Chart on IEM Website