Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Snow and Slick Roads...Last Night & Today

The roads were still slick this morning after the snow we told you about coming yesterday...came last night. The commute was still pretty sketchy as I took kids to school around 7:30. We all had slippery commutes this morning in the metro.

The snow really did not start coming down until midnight in the Des Moines metro. The temperatures finally were cold enough and the dew point was high enough to give us bursts of snow in isolated areas.

The road pictures were at a stop sign in Clive last night. The tracks in the snow were left behind my car around 1 AM.

The fog and frost slowed traffic to a crawl...and the untreated lanes of roads had drivers skidding and sometimes crashing.

The highs today will quickly climb to the 30s and 40s. The rest of the week is still looking pretty quiet.

Follow all the latest weather and other stuff on twitter. @EdWilsonWX13HD

Monday, December 19, 2011

Snow Possible...Won't Be Here Long

Snow you go. A chance for some snow over the next 36 hours.

The latest forecast map shows a chance for maybe an inch or so of snow over central and southern Iowa tomorrow.

This snow is going to make it now is a good time to remind travelers to take it slow. Expect delays and your brakes to not work when you slam on them as you see the ice or snow on the roads.

Here is the link to the latest road conditions in the state.

The problem for those who want a white Christmas is this.... 40 degrees and mostly sunny skies by Wednesday.

There will be another slight chance for snow late Friday night into Saturday. Check out the forecast tonight at 5, 6 and 10 on 13. You can always watch our live news and get weather updates on your computer or smart phone. for live streaming.

Follow me on twitter @EdWilsonWX13HD

Have a great night.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Slightly Slick ... Snow Totals

The roads were slick this morning...but in our neighborhood we did not see Amy major traffic problems to and from the school commute.

The radar image was from the storm last night as I was watching from the weather center.

Where it was snowing at that time is where the heaviest snow totals are coming from this morning.

Des Moines had 1.2 inches of snow. Up to 2 inches of new snow was reported in SW Iowa.

The extra snow will make it a cold day
In Iowa. We also have that cold Canadian air pushing down on us today.

Highs today will be in the low to middle 20s. Lows tonight will drop back to 12.

The weekend is still looking warmer. We will watch this snow melt away.

Have a great weekend,

Follow the weather with Ed on Twitter. @EdWilsonWX13HD

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Very Slick Roads...Early Snow Reports

These images were from 11:00 tonight. We are hearing about the accidents all over the central Iowa area as the roads continue to be very slick under the light snow that has been falling through the evening.

Earlham in Dallas County had 1.4 inches of snow. northern Polk County was reporting 1.3 inches and .5" was reported in Centerville.

Please take extra time for travel. The icy roads are still going to be an issue through the morning hours. It will clear out..but stay very cold, so we will see re-freeze late Friday.

Over 100 accidents were reported by 11PM. The towing crews and police/state patrol officers are busy.

It will be warmer over the weekend....the snow will go.

Slick Roads Tonight...Snow Moving Through

The light snow continues to fall over central Iowa tonight. We are already watching the slick roads take over central Iowa.

The roads will continue to be icy tonight. The snow will end late tonight. ...but there will be one more round of snow after midnight.

Make extra time for your morning commute.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Umbrellas...Not Shovels for Des Moines

The weekend is going to be messy. The mess will come in heavy rainfall and heavy snow.

The snow is staying to the northwest of the central Iowa area. Des Moines is going to stay warm enough to keep the umbrellas over your head.

In northwestern Iowa 5 to 7 inches of snow will keep the shovels on the sidewalks and driveways.

There is a winter storm watch for the northwest. The snow will be wet and heavy.

Cold and dry air takes over the rest of the weekend...and most of next week.

Sloppy Weekend

There was light snow this morning on the picnic table and back yard of Steve Gardner's home in Norwalk.

We had some of the coldest temperatures of the season with lows around 14 in Des Moines. It will warm up to around 40 today. It will allow us to melt away the light snow before the mess moves in tomorrow.

There is a winter storm watch for the NW 1/3 of Iowa tomorrow. Up to 7 inches of snow will fall in that area of the state.

In Des Moines we are expecting a full day of rain. Up to an inch or so of rainfall will make central Iowa soupy. Heavy snow will cause travel problems for folks in NW Iowa.

This storm system has winter watches and warning from New Mexico to Wisconsin.

The rain will change to snow in Des Moines early Sunday morning. 1"to 2" of snow is possible over the metro before the storm moves east by early Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fly-Over State...Cold Flying In

We know we are a "fly-over" state, but this picture from Drew Sorenson really puts a perspective on the stereotype.

This photolink was taken last Friday. Pretty long as there is safe distance between the folks in the friendly skies.

Cold temperatures are going to make up the morning forecast again tomorrow. Today we had lows in the 20s and teens.

There is a slight chance for light snow this afternoon...basically flurries. It will clear tonight and lows will be in the lower to middle 20s.

More sunshine is on the way for the rest of the week. A few showers are possible with warmer highs on Saturday before we head into colder temperatures Sunday and much of next week.

Still no major storms expected through Thanksgiving.

Have a great day... follow along on Twitter @EdWilsonWX13HD

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

5th Earliest Snowfall!

These two kids could not wait to get out in their Urbandale yard to build and leaf-packed snowman today!

Olivia and Sophia were so happy and excited. Some of the rest of us were not so pleased.

Snow facts for Des Moines. Courtesy our National Weather Service.



1.10-27-1980 7.4 INCHES
2.10-26-1997 6.6 INCHES
3.11-08-1932 5.7 INCHES
4.10-27-1925 4.8 INCHES
**5.11-09-2011 3.7 INCHES**

The anomalous snow will soon melt off with highs back in the 50s over the weekend.

Follow along with Mr. Ed via Twitter @EdWilsonWX13HD

Early snow! Roads over central Iowa are a mess this morning. It will be slow travel for most of the I-35/I-80 cross over the central 1/3 of Iowa this morning.

The storm that brought us so much rain yesterday stalled last night as we had temperatures fall below the freezing point. The wet/slushy mess also had a great amount of wind.

Power lines are down across the area as slush and ice stuck to power lines that were rocked with up to 30 mph hour wind.

The first snow picture is from Waukee. 2 to 3 inches of snow had been pushed off the streets by 6 this morning. The last picture is from Rick Reed in Creston. Rick had 6 inches of snow. That amount of snow and power outages kept school delays running on the bottom of the Channel 13 screen this morning.

Last night we expected around 2 inches of snow...that was true for most of the metro, but many ares of the state had up to 6" ... even 7" of snow.

The better news is the snow is already starting to melt. The temperature at 7AM was 36. We are expecting lower 40s today....mid-40s tomorrow and 50s for the weekend.

Please drive safe and stay updated with us here and on Twitter @EdWilsonWX13HD

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Snow in Earlham Tonight!

Jeff Baker sent us this picture of the snow on the ground in Earlham. This was the scene as of 9:45PM.

Road conditions were just starting to get slick in western Iowa tonight. The rest of the state had wet roads.

There will be slick areas across central Iowa tomorrow morning. We are expecting about 1-2" of snow in the metro...most of the snow will be on grassy areas, but there will be slick condition on roads before the sun comes out by noon.

Remember to follow along on Twitter @EdWilsonWX13HD.

Winter Weather Advisory Update

Heavy rain continues this evening in central Iowa. There will be rain/snow mix tonight.

We have a Winter Weather Advisory that has expanded into central Iowa. It includes Des Moines.

This will be tricky tonight as the rain slides in over 40 degree temperatures...but much colder air is just above the ground.

I expect a total change to snow overnight...but most of it melting as it hits the ground.

Grassy areas will be filled with slushy conditions...but most roads in central Iowa will remain wet.

Follow along on Twitter @EdWilsonWX13HD

Winter Weather Advisory Tonight-Wed. Morning.

A winter weather advisory is still scheduled to begin at 9 tonight for counties west and north of Des Moines.

There is a good chance for rain to switch to snow by early Wednesday morning. We could see about an inch or less of snow in Des Moines. This could make for some slick spots in the metro tomorrow morning.

Heavier amounts of snow are expected from Ft. Dodge to Mason City. Those folks could see 3 to 5 inches of snow by Noon Wednesday.

We are going to update this through the day on Channel 13... 5, 6 and 10 newscasts.

Also follow me on Twitter @EdWilsonWX13HD for frequent updates.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sleet started to fall in Waukee around 2PM today. This picture is from the deck on the back of our house.

We had reports through the early afternoon of ice pellets in Iowa Falls and sleet in Perry and Urbandale.

The metro will see the sleet/flurries through the rest of the afternoon. There may be some light accumulation on patios and decks. The commute this evening could be slick...but more from the rainfall than the chance for ice forming on the warm pavement.

The rain and mix of sleet and flurries will end this evening. It will be cold, breezy and dry tomorrow.

This is probably a good time to give you the location for Iowa road conditions.

We will have complete coverage of this wet and cold Wednesday tonight at 5, 6 and 10PM.

Follow for updates on Twitter.... @EdWilsonWX13HD

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Trending...Kids in Pumpkins?

We love the fall photos that are being sent to our photolinks on Recently, many have sent in pics of their little pumpkins inside real pumpkins.

Is this a new Halloween trend? These pictures are cute, I guess. But the kids do not look particularly happy about the situation. The first kiddo in the gourd is Charlotte "Charlie" Dorsey. She is 7 Months old and is the daughter of Katie and AJ Dorsey from Gowrie.
Next we have Gia. Gia is the 8 and 1/2 month-old daughter of Kaily Defino. The Defino family is from Indianola.
The last kid in the pumpkin pic is from Taylor Breuklander, also of Indianola, showing off her "5 month-old pumpkin."

We do have a picture at the bottom of the page with a kid outside the the pumpkin patch. Maybe little Benjamin is just checking the pumpkins in the Carroll Pumpkin Farm for a perfect fit. Thanks Mindi Blizek of Promise City for that picture.

Keep sending the pictures our way. Photolink upload is...,0,6687110.framedurl

Also follow me on twitter for the latest weather and random news @EdWilsonWX13HD

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wonder Northern Lights Last Night

This picture was taken last night around 9PM just north of Winterset. Donna Rayne had the chance to get away from the city light and capture this great shot.

It was an active night for the northern lights. From : A coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth on Oct. 24th at approximately 1800 UT (2:00 pm EDT). The impact strongly compressed Earth's magnetic field, directly exposing geosynchronous satellites to solar wind plasma, and sparked an intense geomagnetic storm. As night fell over North America, auroras spilled across the Canadian border into the contiguous United States.
Auroras were seen or photographed in more than half of all US states including Alabama, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, Nebraska, Kentucky, North Carolina, Indiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Maryland, New York, Montana, Ohio, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Washington, Minnesota, Maine, Michigan, Oregon, Arkansas and California. Many observers, especially in the deep south, commented on the pure red color of the lights they saw. These rare all-red auroras sometimes appear during intense geomagnetic storms. They occur some 300 to 500 km above Earth's surface and are not yet fully understood. is a great source for checking out the forecasts of northern lights. They even have an app that will call you when there is a good chance to see the Aurora displays in your area.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Winter Forecast! La Nina...Cold Winter Witch

This beautiful graph is the 5-day temperature mean of the waters over the Pacific Ocean. Buoys in the Pacific record the temperatures on the hour. The data is sent to NOAA and recorded.

I took a picture of a similar buoy at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. It is used to collect data of wave heights for tsunami events...but is similar to the floating recorders used to take the water temperature in the ocean.

La What?

Right now we are in a La Nina event. La Nina is Spanish for "the girl". In weather geek terms it means the water in the Pacific is cooler than normal.

El Nino...Spanish for "the child". Means warmer waters over the Pacific Ocean.

What the heck does it all mean for Iowa? Good question.

In La Nina years we usually have colder than normal temperatures during the winter months. Over the southern 1/2 of Iowa wetter than normal winters can be expected. Drier than normal winters are common for the northern 1/2 of the state.

Notice how we are split in half? These mid-latitudes are great for seasonal change, but murder when forecasting who is going to be slammed with snow during La Nina years.

Here are the forecast maps for November through January. (All maps are provided by National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center.)

You can see we have equal chances (EC) of above or below average temperatures or snowfall. There is a slight chance for above average precipitation over the extreme southeastern corner of the state....but just for about 3 or 4 counties in Iowa. It really doesn't look that bad. In fact in La Nina years we usually have a pretty mild end of fall and start to winter.

Now check out the forecast maps for January, February and March. The two lower maps.

For the January through March period we see a mostly equal chance of average snow and a greater chance for below normal temperatures over the northern counties.

Last year we had our 34th coldest winter and 9th snowiest winter. It was the 5th straight snowier than normal winter...and the 4th straight that was colder than normal. We only had about 3 inches more snow than average in Des Moines. It was nothing like the 2009-2010 season that left us with a near record 69+ inches of snow.

The Winter Weather Wrap....Ed's Prediction.

La Nina is not particularly strong this year...but is trending cooler. So I agree with the equal chances of just above or just below the average snowfall this year in Des Moines. So expect to move about 33 to 35 inches of snow. This is better than 69 inches of winter wonderland, but much of the state is under a mild to moderate drought conditions. We could use some rain now and some snow to melt into water tables next spring.

Temperatures are easier to read with a weak La Nina. It will be cooler than normal. The jet stream will be farther south this winter. It will keep us cooler than average and it should send more precipitation south of Iowa. It could be really good news for the drought-ridden states of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

Friday, October 14, 2011

45th Anniverary of Belmond Tornado

Today is the 45th anniversary of the worst October tornado to hit the state of Iowa. Belmond was devastated as a tornado killed 6, injured 172 and wiped out 75% of the businesses and over 100 homes.

This was a major storm that could have taken more people if it would have moved into town about 1/2 hour earlier when 100s were sitting on main street watching a homecoming parade.

That same day a tornado swept over Clive, Urbandale and Saylorville. No injuries were reported in those towns.

The backside of the storm left 4 inches of snow on the ground in Sioux City.

Pretty amazing to see the film of the devastation on Youtube. There are some pretty amazing accounts of the storm in the comments below the video.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

More Rain Needed

The current Drought Monitor shows Iowa is still in a moderate drought over about 1/3 of our 99 counties. This includes the city of Des Moines and most of our viewing area.

In southeastern Iowa the condition is considered severe.

We had some pretty nice rainfall today. It was great to wake-up to thunder this morning. This was the first time since September 3rd that Des Moines reported thunder in the current conditions.

This picture was sent to our photolink file yesterday. It shows the cracks in the ground at the Ada Hayden Park near Ames. This pic was taken in one of the parks wetland areas.

It is hard to believe that last year at this time this same area was covered in water.

There is a chance for more thunderstorms this afternoon and evening...but that will be about it for rain the rest of the week.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Foggy This Morning!

The fog is a real problem for travel this morning. You can see the foggy roads from the Iowa D.O.T. camera at I-235 and 22nd street in Des Moines this morning at 8AM.

The Dense Fog Advisory is in effect for much of central and western Iowa until 10AM. The little rain we had yesterday and the light wind allowed for the fog to form.

Several deer vs. car accidents were also reported this morning. Please drive safe.

More heat on the way later today. Highs will be in the upper 70s.

More updates here...and follow me on twitter @EdWilsonWX13HD

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fires in the Fields

Low humidity, high temperatures and gusty wind is the combination farmers do not need today. You can see the smoke from a fire in this photolink picture from Humboldt County this morning.

This is going to be a huge concern through the next several days. We are not expecting a chance for showers until early next week. There is a red flag warning for high wind and special weather advisory for the high risk of agricultural land fires.

Highs will remain in the lower to middle 80s through Thursday. It will be breezy.

Burning leaves and yard debris is banned in many counties and cities across the state. Even the heat from farm machinery or car exhaust systems can easily spark a fire.

Do not throw lit cigarettes from cars. The brush and weeds in the ditches are perfect tinder for fires.

Monday, October 3, 2011

More Hot/Dry Weather This Week

A good friend of mine lost this combine in the wild-fires that swept through the state last week. The fire was in north central Iowa. It is just amazing how one spark from the machinery can cause a fire that can quickly sweep across a field of beans or corn.

I love the weather this week. We are set up for very dry conditions with temperatures getting into the 80s each day.

The records for Des Moines are all in the 90s. We should be shy of those highs.

On the other side of seasonal swings...the Sierra Nevada Mountains are under winter storm watches. They could see a foot of snow or more this week.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Gme Day Forecast

It is less than 24 hours from the big game. Iowa at Iowa State and we are going to have some great weather for the event.

There will be some clouds early in the day. There might even be a light shower or two very early Saturday morning to the south and east of Jack Trice.

Tailgating will be will the game.

We are looking for a light ENE wind to start the day. By Kick-off that breeze will be around 10 mph. By the end of the game the wind will be out of the northeast around 15 mph.

Partly cloudy skies with a temperature of 70 for kick-off. By the time the last play is made on the field we will have a temperature of 78 and it will be mostly sunny.

Enjoy the day and have fun.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hogs 4 Dogs RIde Sunday Sept. 11

This Sunday the great folks with Hogs 4 Dogs in Ottumwa will hold their annual motorcycle ride to benefit area pets.

This is a great time and fantastic charity that provides assistance to humane societies and emergency vet care around the Ottumwa area.

The pictures show the large number of cycles along the streets and rural roads through beautiful southeastern Iowa. I had the chance to ride along and can tell you the event is one of the best organized and well attended motorcycle rides for charity in the state.

The cost is only $20. There are prizes and a great Scrabble game that involves collecting letters along the 140 mile route. You can win big! But the pets in the area are the big winners. The money raised assists the animal care facilities including low-cost spay and neuter programs.

There is a big Hogs 4 Dogs party Friday night at Courtside Bar and Grill. 7Pm-10PM. The ride is Sunday and starts at RJ Performance at the Ottumwa Airport Exit on Highway 163. Registration starts at 9:30.

The ride starts in Ottumwa and includes stops in Eddyville, Bussey, Knoxville, Chariton, Albia and back to Ottumwa. The progressive Scrabble game along the way is a blast.

Your ride can be a Harley, Victory, Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki....any motorcycle that is safe and road-ready. The weather is going to be perfect for a ride through some of the most beautiful roads of central Iowa.

Check out the complete information and down-load the registration form at:

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Severe Drought Improvement Over SE Iowa

Highs are near records again today and we all need to be reminded of the severe drought that has been going on over southeastern Iowa the last several months.

This maps shows the drought areas over the country and forecasts some improvement for the southeast corner of the state.

We did have rainfall Tuesday. Only .75" of rain fell in Ottumwa. That .75 is all that city has seen in 3 months.

There are a few chances for showers tomorrow and again late Friday night into Saturday morning.

Those showers tomorrow could give some relief...but the better chance for heavier rain comes overnight Friday into Saturday morning. There is a pretty decent chance for storms to move through central and SE Iowa.

That will also make for some soggy conditions for Hawkeye tailgaters early Saturday morning. The rain should be out of the area by the 11AM game.

I'll have Football Friday and ISU/IOWA forecasts coming up on the news tonight and tomorrow.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hurricane Irene Forecast to Hammer East Coast

This morning's Hurricane Irene update brings the track of the storm closer to the east coast.

Previous forecasts suggested Irene might be farther off the the storm is expected to make landfall on the on the islands off N. Carolina. It is expected to be a cat. 3. The high storm surge could forever change the landscape of the very popular and populated shorelines.

Irene is expected to hug the coast and hit New England as a cat. 1 or 2 on Sunday. Long Island could see a direct hit with storm surge of 8 to 10 feet above sea level. Roughly 3 million people live on Long Island. Evacuations may already be underway. I hope that is the case.

Check out this live web camera off North Carolina.

Many folks were hitting the beach early today to catch the bigger waves as Hurricane Irene already was kicking up the surf.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

WEather Geek Alert! Heat Burst Tuesday

This is picture of trees knocked down in Brayton, IA yesterday. Michael Johnson sent it to our Photolink file.

The downed trees are not that unusual for a severe thunderstorm wind gust...but this time the damage was a result of a Heat Burst.

Basically a heat burst occurs when there is a big drop in the dew point as temperatures rise and gusty wind are created. It is kind of like a down burst. The phenomenon comes as fast moving storms suddenly end.

From the Des Moines NWS....

"A heat burst is characterized by a sudden rise in temperature, a drop in humidity, and strong winds that can approach or exceed severe levels. They are associated with high based decaying thunderstorms with a substantial dry layer beneath the base of the storm. As rain from the thunderstorm falls into the underlying dry air, it cools the air immediately around it, which becomes denser than the surrounding air and begins to sink. As this air sinks, it drys and compresses adiabatically, which results in the hot and dry readings recorded with heat bursts."

The temperature in Atlantic hit 102 yesterday when the hot air hit the base with the gusty heat burst wind.

Here are the other damage reports from the event.



0705 PM NON-TSTM WND DMG 1 S BRAYTON 41.53N 94.93W