KCRG TV 9 First Alert Forecast
KCRG TV9 FIRST ALERT FORECAST FOR FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2017
TODAY: MOSTLY CLOUDY AND WARM WITH SCATTERED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS
DEVELOPING LATE THIS AFTERNOON. HIGH 74. SOUTH WIND 10-20 MPH.
TONIGHT: CLOUDY WITH SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS LIKELY. LOW 47.
TOMORROW: CLOUDY WITH SHOWERS LIKELY. HIGH 50.
EXTENDED OUTLOOK SUNDAY THROUGH TUESDAY:
DRY SUNDAY AND TUESDAY, ISOLATED SHOWERS POSSIBLE MONDAY. HIGH’S IN THE 50’S. LOW’S IN THE 40’S.
MISSISSIPPI RIVER STAGE AT DUBUQUE: 10.5-FEET & FALLING
Many people have taken note that Iowa City is almost always warmer than Cedar Rapids. When comparing the airport temperatures, this is the case nearly every day. Actually, when looking at the graph, the difference is usually about 2 degrees. Sometimes more! Special thanks to the Iowa Environmental Mesonet for this graph. However, the difference in latitude between the two cities isn’t very much, so that’s likely not a full explanation of this. It may be part of it, but probably not the whole story. The rest of the story can be explained most likely by the airport location. Take note of the Eastern Iowa Airport location. It’s a wide open area, away from city limits generally, and will run cooler both day and night. The Iowa City airport resides within the city itself. Cities tend to be warmer by their nature, so the fact that the airport placement is a bit different between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City may help explain this as well.
Scattered showers and a few storms will be likely this afternoon and evening as our next system pushes closer to eastern Iowa. Heavy rain will be likely throughout the overnight and into Saturday. Rainfall totals when this system is all said and done, looks to be roughly around one inch. Locally higher amounts are possible. Temperature wise with this system, we’ll warm into the upper 60s and 70s across eastern Iowa this afternoon thanks to a warm front. The cold front will pass through late this evening and into Saturday allowing for temperatures to drop into the upper 40s and low 50s Saturday afternoon. Sunday the gloominess continues with cloudy skies and temperatures topping out into the low 50s. More sunshine and warmer weather will arrive Tuesday.
As the weather gets warmer we have more comfortable nights to get out and view the heavens. Our Friday will certainly be mild, but clouds could interrupt that view. For most of next week we are looking at highs in the 50s with lows in the 40s, so a light jacket will do for you beyond the weather opportunities. Check out the western sky in the evening. As spring begins this is where we find the constellation Orion. Orion is known for its winter appearance in the southern sky. Evenings in the eastern sky you can locate the constellation Leo. A cluster of stars can also be found to the northeast of Leo, slightly lower on the horizon. With the naked eye it will be hard to distinguish, but a pair of binoculars should do the trick. Three planets that are harder to find can been seen in the western horizon, about one hour after sunset. Mars will be the highest planet and have a bit of a reddish color. Much closer together and near the horizon we see Mercury and Uranus pairing up. Binoculars or even better a telescope will aid in seeing this planetary gathering. Happy Stargazing!
Eastern Iowa is gloomy today with cloudy skies and an isolated shower possible throughout the afternoon and early evening. Temperatures will be cool once again, topping out in the low to middle 40s across most of the TV9 viewing area. As a warm front lifts through the area temperatures will warm. Overnight lows are expected to stay in the 40s and skies will be partly to mostly cloudy. The start of Friday will be dry and temperatures will be warming quickly! High temperatures will top out into the upper 60s and low 70s. As the system moves closer to eastern Iowa rain chances will become more likely. Expect showers and storms Friday late afternoon and evening as a cold front pushes closer. A few storms may be stronger at times with heavy rain. Once the front pushes through high temperatures will drop back into the 50s and a few showers will be likely on Saturday. Rainfall totals at this time look to be around a half inch to an inch, with locally higher amounts possible.
The exceptionally mild weather last month probably got a lot of people thinking of spring, and the official start of spring earlier this week has kept that thought going. However, as much as your green thumb may be itching, it’s too early to get overly excited about getting your garden going. The average last hard freeze – a temperature of 28 degrees or colder – in the Cedar Rapids area is around April 12. That’s still a few weeks away! The earliest date of the final hard freeze of the season was March 22, 1963. The latest fell on May 10, 1966. The average last freeze of 32 degrees is around April 24, a full month from now. The earliest was March 29, 1999, and the latest was May 22, 1963. We still have frost concerns when the temperature falls to 36 degrees, although covering plants or bringing them indoors offers protection and is a pretty routine thing to have to do in the spring. The average last date for a 36-degree low is May 6. The earliest was April 15, 1985 and the latest was May 27, 1992.