Friday, January 29, 2010

Freezing Cold Now... Flooding For Spring

The first spring flood outlook was just posted from the folks who keep track of all rivers in the state of Iowa. It does not look good for most of the state.

There is a high risk of significant flooding over all of central Iowa and much of the northwest corner of the state. The Des Moines, Raccoon, Iowa and Cedar River basins are at greatest risk.

All the snow and ice that has accumulated over the state this year is the big problem. If we start to warm up very quickly we will have a great risk of record or near-record flooding. This is so dis-heartening for so many who have survived the floods that have become so common over our area.

Ice jams are very possible this spring. The thick ice on rivers and streams has a real tendency to break up and collect as dams under bridges. We then see major localized flooding when the ice creates those ice walls. The water has no where to go but back up the banks of the river.

On top of all this, we also have a pretty decent chance of above normal precipitation in March and April. I take this from trends of the this winter compared to similar Iowa winters in the past. Also, the El nino event this year is much farther west in the Pacific than other El nino years. That means we have warmer waters farther west in the Pacific Ocean. That explains our high snowfall this year and often means more storms in March and April. January and February snows are usually sent farther south. Right along the track that the current winter storm is moving.

In summary... I'm quite concerned about the extra storm action for March and April. The snow we have now is pretty certain to cause major flooding. Pack on more snow, ice and rain in March and April and we will have monumental flooding.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thursday Brrrrrrr

It sure looks nice out there today. Stay indoors and enjoy the sunshine through the windows.

Highs are only going to bounce into the lower teens today. I think Des Moines will crawl to a high around 10 degrees. The arctic air is really holding onto the thermometer. It is tough to get into the normal range with those morning lows around zero.

The good news is the sunshine. There has been a real deficit of sun lately. We are going to have sunny skies through the weekend. The highs will start to moderate back to the middle 20s by Sunday.

There is another good bit of news with the arctic high pressure over the state. That cold air high is blocking a major winter storm to the south of Iowa today and tomorrow. Ice will take down power lines and trees from Dallas to Little Rock over the next 36 hours. It is going to be heavy snow in southern Missouri through Tennessee.

Another winter storm is setting up for Monday. We will likely see some snow accumulation with that quick moving storm system.

Stay warm....remember the first day of Spring is only 50 days away.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Winter Storm Watch Tuesday Night-Thursday

Here it comes...although you will not be able to see it in the fog this morning.

A Winter Storm Watch has been issued for central Iowa late Tuesday through the day Wednesday. The big concern is for the formation of ice.

By late night Tuesday we will start to see the ice develop with temperatures holding just below freezing and much more moisture coming in from the southwestern U.S. There is a potential for 1/4 to 1/5 inch of ice over the Channel 13 viewing area.

Higher wind speeds will also come along with this storm. Make sure you are prepared for the possibility of power outages and very slick travel.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Fog Now...Freezing Rain Wednesday

Hello everyone... are you out there? Hard to tell with the intense fog over the state.

Dense Fog Advisory will continue through the morning Tuesday. We will have some delays and you need to make sure you take extra time on the drive this morning.

Slick roads are also possible Tuesday. Thick frost will be forming on trees, bridges, fence-lines and that frost could make it rather slick this morning.

The next weather to really watch will be the freezing rain that will move into the state Wednesday. There is a good chance for ice to form over the central Iowa area. We could see a quarter inch of ice accumulation by Thursday morning.

Anyone else feeling like sitting under a sunlamp?

Fog to Freezing Rain

A Dense fog advisory is in effect for most of the state of Iowa today through Noon on Tuesday. The visibilities will drop to less than 1/4 mile by this evening.

The fog will be slow to lift because of a weak area of high pressure that is sitting right on top of eastern Iowa. That is causing the moisture to be trapped at the surface.

Now we have to worry about freezing rain and ice with another low pressure system that is going to move out of the Rocky Mountains tomorrow and give us freezing rain tomorrow night through Thursday.

There is a very good chance for slick roads and ice accumulations. Higher wind by Thursday could also cause power lines to snap under the pressure of the ice and wind oscillating the power lines.

Plan for extra problems on the roads Wednesday afternoon through Thursday.