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KCRG TV First Alert Forecast

KCRG TV9 FIRST ALERT FORECAST FOR FRIDAY, AUGUST 18, 2017                           

TODAY:  PARTLY SUNNY WITH ISOLATED SHOWERS POSSIBLE THIS AFTERNOON.

                HIGH 81.  WEST WIND 5-15 MPH.              

TONIGHT:  PARTLY CLOUDY WITH A SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS.  LOW 60. 

TOMORROW:  MOSTLY SUNNY.  HIGH 82. 

EXTENDED OUTLOOK SUNDAY THROUGH TUESDAY: 

DRY SUNDAY, A CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS MONDAY AND TUESDAY.  HIGH’S IN THE 80’S.  LOW’S IN THE 60’S.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER STAGE AT DUBUQUE:  8.6-FEET & RISING

KCRG Weather Blog

Rain chances may put a damper on the solar eclipse

Much needed rain chances will be working their way back into eastern Iowa by the beginning of the work week. Unfortunately the rain chances are moving in during the time we’ve all been waiting for; the solar eclipse. You all want to know when, I’m sure. Here’s what we know at this time. The chance for showers and storms will move in early Monday. That will be the first round of activity. Luckily we’ll catch a short break during the afternoon with partly cloudy skies. At this point in time there may be a chance you could see the solar eclipse. Even though there will be partly cloudy skies, you will still notice the sky get darker. Another round of rain and storms will be likely throughout the evening on Monday. Storm chances will even continue through early afternoon on Tuesday.

Impact of heat on state fair attendance

Given that the Iowa State Fair is almost exclusively outdoors, it figures that poor weather conditions will tend to impact the overall experience of fairgoers. Excess heat seems to be the biggest driver of people not going to the fair, as opposed to rain or cool air. The following graph shows Iowa State Fair attendance since 1904, and there are several big weather events over the past 30-40 years that have contributed to dips in attendance. Thanks to the Iowa State Fair Marketing Team for providing this graph. The 1983 Iowa State Fair was the hottest on record, and did cause a dip in attendance by nearly 10% compared to 1982. The hot, dry year of 1988 took just a small amount out of attendance. Originally, I thought that the flood of 1993 caused the big dip in the 1990s, but in looking closer, the heatwave of 1995 is the culprit. That was the 4th hottest fair on record with unusually high humidity levels to boot. There were some very wet years, but, if they created a dip in attendance, it didn’t appear to be significant. The coolest fair of 2004 only had minor impacts on attendance, but the fair still exceeded 1,000,000 visitors that year. So far, so good this year. The weather has been mainly dry and mild – the sweet spot it seems for ideal attendance!

Shadows of the eclipse

Just a little something to note; not only will looking up at the sun be absolutely stunning during the solar eclipse, but so will looking down at the ground. Wait what? I know you’re thinking well that’s not cool, but really it is a sight to see. Plus, you don’t have to be in the path of totality to enjoy this phenomenon. During a partial solar eclipse, look for “eclipse shadows”. You’ll notice hundreds of projections of the solar eclipse all at once. Say what? You can do this by looking at the filtered sunlight through the leaves of trees. Light can also be projected through a pinhole within a piece of paper or even through your own two hands. If you are lucky enough to see the path of totality, you will also be lucky enough to experience a rare phenomenon called “shadow bands”. These bands are tiny wavy lines of light and darkness which occur in the seconds before and after the total eclipse.

Beyond The Weather – Check out Venus

The next two nights we have a fantastic opportunity to see the planet Venus. Right now the waning crescent moon appears in the eastern sky about one hour and 15 minutes before sunrise. Friday morning look for a bright object to the lower left of the moon where you will find the planet Venus. At the same time on Saturday morning, the moon will appear to the lower right of Venus. Venus is the second brightest nighttime object in the sky and is currently found in the constellation Gemini. You can also see Gemini’s two brightest stars Castor and Pollux. Of course, a reminder that the solar eclipse is on Monday, August 21st. I encourage you to download the KCRG First Alert Weather App where we have a short video with eclipse details, specifically for eastern Iowa. Don’t’ miss the chance to watch a partial solar eclipse, as our next chance is 7 years away. Happy Stargazing and Eclipse watching!

Next chance for rain?

When is the next chance for rain? I know that question is running through your mind. At least for those who are in severe to extreme drought. An area of low pressure will move into eastern Iowa late day Friday and into the evening hours. This will bring the chance for a few storms. Rainfall totals at this time look to be around a quarter of an inch. Locally higher amounts are possible under heavier storms. Rain chances will be very scattered throughout the late day hours Friday and into the evening. However, any rain we see will be beneficial at this point.