Iowa’s governor has assembled a task force that’s planning for possible drought this summer. Rather than hiring one state official to focus on water usage issues, Iowa Department of Natural Resources director Chuck Gipp says it makes more sense to have people from a variety of state agencies involved. “We’re not here to scare anybody about what the water usage available is, but we want to caution people that we are still in the middle of a drought and we have stream segments that are way below normal flow,” Gipp says. “In fact, if you look up at Ames to see the Skunk River, you won’t see a Skunk River.”
The state climatologist, the state geologist and a handful of other state officials are part of the “Hydrology Work Group.” “They issue a report about every other week about water flows and streams that are in drought condition here and severe drought condition,” Gipp says. Current state law already lays out the protocol for which water users should be cut off first if the water supply dips. “It says that out-of-state water users get it cut off first. Then it’s lesser priority things like crops and then organic crops and then it’s livestock,” Gipp says. “And, obviously, the last entity that gets cut off of the use of water is people.” Gipp’s agency — the Department of Natural Resources — has the authority to order “lower echelon users” to give up their water supply if it’s coming from a river with a water level that’s dangerously low.
“We are required to allow enough water to go past that particular user to make sure there’s sufficient for the downstream user, so minimum flows we have to maintain, if we can,” Gipp says. “If there’s enough water coming from the top side, we have to maintain that for users all the way down the river system.” According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, much of the northwest third of Iowa is suffering through “extreme” drought. “Severe”drought conditions are reported in 58 percent of the state. A federal report issued last week concluded 60 percent of the entire country is in a drought, including the entire state of Iowa.
Here’s the Freese-Notis (podcast) weather forecast for the KJAN listening area, and weather data for Atlantic…
343 AM CST WED JAN 23 2013/National Weather Service, Des Moines
TODAY…PARTLY SUNNY. WARMER. HIGH AROUND 30. WEST WIND 5 TO 10 MPH SHIFTING TO THE NORTH 10 TO 15 MPH WITH GUSTS TO AROUND 25 MPH IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT…PARTLY CLOUDY. LOW ZERO TO 5 ABOVE. NORTH WIND 10 TO 15 MPH. GUSTS UP TO 25 MPH THROUGH MIDNIGHT.
THURSDAY…PARTLY SUNNY. COLDER. HIGH 15 TO 20. SOUTHEAST WIND 5 TO 10 MPH.
THURSDAY NIGHT…PARTLY CLOUDY. NOT AS COLD. LOW AROUND 15. SOUTHWEST WIND 5 TO 10 MPH. GUSTS UP TO 20 MPH AFTER MIDNIGHT.
FRIDAY…PARTLY SUNNY. BREEZY…WARMER. HIGH AROUND 30. NORTHWEST WIND 10 TO 20 MPH.
FRIDAY NIGHT AND SATURDAY…PARTLY CLOUDY. LOW 5 TO 10 ABOVE. HIGH IN THE MID 20S.
SATURDAY NIGHT…MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A 30 PERCENT CHANCE OF SNOW. NOT AS COLD. LOW IN THE LOWER 20S.
SUNDAY…CLOUDY WITH A 40 PERCENT CHANCE OF RAIN AND SNOW. HIGH IN THE MID 30S.
Here’s the Freese-Notis (podcast) forecast for Atlantic & the KJAN listening area, and weather data for Atlantic.
342 AM CST TUE JAN 22 2013
TODAY…CLOUDY. VERY LIGHT SNOW LIKELY IN THE MORNING…THEN A CHANCE OF LIGHT SNOW EARLY IN THE AFTERNOON. SCATTERED FLURRIES LATE IN THE AFTERNOON. SNOW ACCUMULATION UP TO 1 INCH. HIGH AROUND 20. EAST WIND NEAR 5 MPH SHIFTING TO THE SOUTH IN THE AFTERNOON. CHANCE OF SNOW 60 PERCENT.
TONIGHT…PARTLY CLOUDY. LOW 10 TO 15. SOUTH WIND NEAR 5 MPH.
WEDNESDAY…PARTLY SUNNY. HIGH IN THE UPPER 20S. WEST WIND 5 TO 10 MPH SHIFTING TO THE NORTH IN THE AFTERNOON.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT…PARTLY CLOUDY. LOW AROUND 10. NORTHEAST WIND AROUND 10 MPH.
THURSDAY…PARTLY SUNNY. HIGH IN THE MID 20S. SOUTH WIND NEAR 10 MPH.
THURSDAY NIGHT AND FRIDAY…PARTLY CLOUDY. BREEZY. LOW AROUND 15. HIGH AROUND 20.
FRIDAY NIGHT…PARTLY CLOUDY. COLDER. LOW ZERO TO 5 ABOVE.
Much of Iowa is waking up to brutally cold temperatures this (Monday) morning. A wind chill warning is in effect until noon today for a wide section of north-central Iowa while an area north of Interstate 80 is under a wind chill advisory. Rod Donovan is a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Johnston. Temperatures are 5 to 10-below in northern Iowa as increasing north winds knock wind chills down to 25 to 35-below, which will last much of the morning.
Donovan says the cold weather will be hanging around for several days. Tuesday will see a slight warm-up into the teens with 20s on Wednesday, but he’s expecting temps below freezing all week. Donovan says Iowans will have to wait until next weekend for daytime highs in the 20s and 30s.
(at 5:30-a.m., it was 1 degree above zero in Atlantic, with winds NW @ 15-25 mph, creating a wind chill factor of around -21.)
Here’s the Freese-Notis (podcast) forecast for Atlantic and the KJAN listening area, and the weather data for Atlantic…..
**Wind Chill Advisory until Noon for Audubon, Guthrie, Crawford, Carroll and Greene Counties**
M.L.King Day: Scattered flurries before 9am. Mostly sunny and cold, with a high near 10. Wind chill values as low as -20. Northwest wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.
Tonight: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 1. Wind chill values as low as -10. North northwest wind 6 to 9 mph.
Tuesday: A chance for flurries, then a slight chance of snow showers between noon and 3pm, and then a chance for flurries again. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 19. Wind chill values as low as -10. Northwest wind around 6 mph becoming calm in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Tuesday Night: Scattered flurries before midnight. Partly cloudy, with a low around 10. Wind chill values as low as zero. Calm wind becoming south southeast around 6 mph in the evening.
Wednesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 28. South southwest wind 5 to 9 mph becoming north in the afternoon.
Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 12.
Thursday: Partly sunny, with a high near 26.
348 AM CST MON JAN 21 2013
DANGEROUSLY COLD WIND CHILLS WILL CONTINUE THROUGH THIS MORNING. A REINFORCING SHOT OF ARCTIC AIR IS DROPPING INTO THE STATE EARLY THIS MORNING. INCREASING NORTHWEST WINDS OF 15 TO 25 MPH COMBINED WITH TEMPERATURES FALLING DOWN TO 10 TO 15 BELOW NORTH AND ZERO TO 5 BELOW OVER CENTRAL IOWA WILL CREATE DANGEROUS WIND CHILLS.
AREA COUNTIES: CRAWFORD-CARROLL-AUDUBON-GUTHRIE- DALLAS:
A WIND CHILL ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON CST TODAY.
WIND CHILLS WILL DROP TO 20 BELOW TO 25 BELOW WITH LITTLE IMPROVEMENT OCCURRING THROUGH THE MORNING HOURS. FROSTBITE CAN EASILY OCCUR IF YO U ARE EXPOSED TO THE ELEMENTS FOR MORE THAN 30 MINUTES WITHOUT PROPER WINTER WEATHER CLOTHING.
A WIND CHILL ADVISORY MEANS THAT VERY COLD AIR AND WIND WILL COMBINE TO GENERATE LOW WIND CHILLS. THIS WILL RESULT IN FROST BITE AND LEAD TO HYPOTHERMIA IF PRECAUTIONS ARE NOT TAKEN. IF YOU MUST VENTURE OUTDOORS…MAKE SURE YOU WEAR A HAT AND GLOVES.
…Including the City of Atlantic; 345 AM CST SUN JAN 20 2013
TODAY…MOSTLY CLOUDY. MUCH COLDER. SCATTERED FLURRIES IN THE LATE MORNING AND AFTERNOON. HIGH IN THE LOWER 20S. NORTH WIND 5 TO 10 MPH.
TONIGHT…MOSTLY CLOUDY THROUGH MIDNIGHT THEN BECOMING PARTLY CLOUDY. BITTERLY COLD. BREEZY. LOW ZERO TO 5 BELOW. NORTHWEST WIND 15 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS TO AROUND 30 MPH. WIND CHILL READINGS 15 TO 20 BELOW.
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR DAY…PARTLY SUNNY. VERY COLD. BREEZY. HIGH AROUND 10. NORTHWEST WIND 10 TO 20 MPH. LOWEST WIND CHILL READINGS 15 BELOW TO 25 BELOW ZERO IN THE MORNING.
MONDAY NIGHT…PARTLY CLOUDY. LOW ZERO TO 5 ABOVE. NORTHWEST WIND NEAR 10 MPH.
TUESDAY…MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A 20 PERCENT CHANCE OF LIGHT SNOW. HIGH 15 TO 20. SOUTH WIND NEAR 5 MPH.
TUESDAY NIGHT…MOSTLY CLOUDY. LOW 5 TO 10 ABOVE.
WEDNESDAY THROUGH THURSDAY…PARTLY CLOUDY. HIGH IN THE UPPER 20S. LOW AROUND 15.