June 16 Evening Update

I’m currently sitting in my office monitoring tonight’s severe weather potential over the state and as of the moment I’m writing this there are no warnings in effect in Iowa, however severe thunderstorm watches remain in effect for northern and western Iowa until 10 PM tonight. (details below) The storms that prompted warnings across north central Iowa have all moved into Minnesota and the next round is still in Nebraska yet, prompting Tornado warnings for the area around Norfolk. These storms are currently moving southeast at around 30-35 MPH.

Omaha, NE  Radar – 5:32 PM CDT

Severe Thunderstorm Watches (yellow shaded counties)

Severe Thunderstorm Watch 339 until 10 PM CDT
Iowa Counties: Pottawattamie, Harrison, Shelby, Monona
Threats: Widespread large & isolated very large (3″) hail, widespread damaging winds & isolated gusts to 75 MPH, tornado or two possible

Severe Thunderstorm Watch 340 until 10 PM CDT
Iowa Counties: Crawford, Carroll, Woodbury, Ida, Sac, Calhoun,  Plymouth, Cherokee, Buena Vista, Pocahontas, Sioux, O’Brien, Clay, Palo Alto, Dickinson, Emmett, Kossuth, Humboldt, Winnebago, Hancock, Wright, Worth, Cerro Gordo, Franklin, Mitchell, Floyd, Butler, Howard, Chickasaw, Bremer, Winneshiek, Fayette, Allamakee, Clayton
Threats: Scattered large hail, isolated very large (2″) hail, scattered damaging wind gusts to 70 MPH, tornado or two possible


Sitting here watching some videos on the Microsoft Virtual Academy and wondering what I would like to have for my PCs. A start of the list is below but I doubt I’ll be crossing anything off anytime soon.

Weather Software
GR2Analyst 2.0
WeatherStudio v3

PC Hardware
New/2nd video card for my primary desktop –

I currently have 3 Acer 18″ LCD monitors on my desktop machine, with one of those being driven by a USB-to-DVI type adapter. Unfortunately, it has a habit of freezing up from time to time, and while trivial to reset is rather annoying. However due to the age/configuration of my machine, finding a compatible card may be easier said than done. At one point I thought I was going to need a different video card to support one of my games and another app I had downloaded but the game apparently runs on my other desktop and the other app seemed to have some issues as a result of bad cached data rather than the video card. I have noticed though I’m unable to capture video from one of my weather apps that I currently use on this machine, yet the capture works fine on my laptop. I’m assuming its a weakness of the chipset on the current card (Quadro FX1500)

New monitors w/ multi-monitor stand

I currently have 3 ~18″ LCD monitors on my desk, I’m thinking of replacing them with something slightly larger and maybe adding a 4th if supported with a video card addition (see above). My work machine has 2 19″ and my machine at  the previous job had 3 20″ (which were nice) if I recall.

New(er?) Laptop

My current laptop is a bit dated as it’s the same one I’ve been using since college.. Dell Latitude D630. Still works pretty decently after minor upgrades (memory swap with the other college laptop – Gateway E265, and replacing the internal hard drive with a SSD.

UPS Units

I think that about does it for the moment..


Quiet few days

Not a lot going on in terms of weather around here, pretty much just your typical Iowa summer. The next few days look to be sunny and in the mid 90s so if you are spending time outdoors then it would be wise to take precautions as the heat index is likely to be in the low triple digits. There looks like there may be a chance for rain midweek but its too early to tell.

SNAP Tester

this is the test of the Social Networks Auto-Poster…
test only disregard…
test for Saturday June 3rd 2017…
test only disregard…
Clear at 0824…..

Tornado Watch 231


   Tornado Watch Number 231
   NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK
   1205 PM CDT Wed May 17 2017

   The NWS Storm Prediction Center has issued a

   * Tornado Watch for portions of 
     much of western and central Iowa
     parts of northeast Kansas
     portions of northern Missouri
     parts of eastern Nebraska

   * Effective this Wednesday afternoon and evening from 1205 PM
     until 700 PM CDT.

   * Primary threats include...
     A few tornadoes and a couple intense tornadoes possible
     Isolated very large hail events to 2 inches in diameter possible
     Isolated damaging wind gusts to 70 mph possible

   SUMMARY...Thunderstorms have begun to develop early this afternoon
   across parts of north-central Kansas and into the mid-Missouri
   Valley area, and should continue expanding/spreading northeast
   across the WW area over the next several hours.  Large hail and
   locally damaging winds will be possible, along with a few tornadoes
   this afternoon and into the early evening hours.

   The tornado watch area is approximately along and 115 statute miles
   north and south of a line from 5 miles west northwest of Beatrice NE
   to 5 miles east northeast of Knoxville IA. For a complete depiction
   of the watch see the associated watch outline update (WOUS64 KWNS


   REMEMBER...A Tornado Watch means conditions are favorable for
   tornadoes and severe thunderstorms in and close to the watch
   area. Persons in these areas should be on the lookout for
   threatening weather conditions and listen for later statements
   and possible warnings.

Round 3

Sorry this is a short post. Parts of the state have seen severe weather the last two days including a short lived EF-0 tornado in Winneshiek County on Monday evening. I have only looked over a small amount of data but it looks like there is potentially yet another round to come through the state this afternoon & evening. The SPC is currently highlighting part of the state for an Enhanced risk of severe storms with all modes possible (see graphic). I’ll try to make another post later with an update but we shall see, otherwise check for the latest on the Iowa Weather Network  website or the website of your local NWS office.


In a case of strange timing, we just released a newly redesigned website this week as well.



A few weeks ago I glanced at an article in one of the local papers about county officials being sworn in and their thoughts on issues. I noticed both of the new county supervisors and the re-elected county sheriff all brought up the radio system. I realize the supervisors are inheriting a problem from their predecessors here but why are we still talking about this? The system has had issues since it went live over three years ago yet so far nothing has been done to solve the problem. Given that part of it seems to be the result of corner-cutting by the county, had they just built it right the first time then maybe there would not have been an issue in the first place.

Rumor is the latest idea is to jump onto the State of Iowa’s new system when Motorola gets it built out in the area. This would necessitate replacing every radio in the county yet again as the current radios are incompatible with the state system. However based on what I’ve read, based on the specifications that will not solve the problem. The state system is being built to provide 95% mobile coverage. The requirement for the Boone County system was 98% however officials never stipulated if this were mobile or portable. (Portable would require more tower sites as portable radios have less range.) Even converting the existing Boone County sites to the state system, this would likely result in basically the same problems we currently face as the physics (and tower locations) don’t change.

There was talk of a property tax levy to pay for the new equipment, one city official was quoted as saying “the City of Madrid will oppose the levy if funds paid to RACOM Corporation for a non-working radio system are not recovered.” (Council minutes 1/3/17, fixed for spelling)

I’m no lawyer, but pretty sure the city & county have zero case here. The departments have been using the system for years, and I have a hard time seeing them being able to prove the coverage requirement was not met given how vaguely it was written.

Unfortunately it seems we keep spinning our wheels and not actually getting things fixed, since neither the County 911 Board, Boone County Board of Supervisors, or city councils seem to have the leadership to actually get things done.

First Big Snow of 2017?

I think the system moving through the state today & tomorrow is our first major snow of the new year although only the north side of the state will see snow, the southeastern side will see mainly rain. I put up a short post on the Iowa Weather Network site with a few details. A good portion is under a Winter Storm Warning while the counties on the southern fringe of the snow are under a Winter Weather Advisory as there will likely be a sharp cutoff to the snowfall amounts.


Ice Storm 2017

As the first storm of the new year begins to hit the state I posted a short blog over at Iowa Weather Network which you can read here. Things are beginning to ice over here in Madrid so please stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary, and if you must go out then be careful. Roads will likely continue to deteriorate overnight.

AMBER Alert out of Des Moines

This is basically a repost of what I originally wrote for Iowa Weather Network earlier this morning.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety has issued an AMBER Alert for two brothers abducted from Des Moines, Iowa on December 28th. Landon Griffin, 12, and Morgan Griffin, 11, were abducted by their non-custodial mother Mary Andrea Purcell, 35. Purcell may be driving a Gold or Brown 2003 Chevrolet Suburban with Iowa plates C R Y 3 7 1. She may be heading to Oregon or Minnesota. If anyone has information on the whereabouts of Purcell or the children contact your local law enforcement or the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at 515-286-3333.

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