The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

January 14, 2014

Where did Tuesday's ice come from?

OTTUMWA — Tuesday’s school closures and delays came as a surprise to many in southeast Iowa.

There was snow, but nothing new. Official measurements showed just four-hundredths of an inch of mist overnight. But there was the ice, glazing roadways to the point that hills were a challenge.

But the confounding thing, the thing that threw even experienced observers, was that the air temperatures when the ice formed were never below freezing. They were in the mid-30s.

What the heck happened?

Kurt Kotenberg, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Des Moines, said southeast Iowa saw an unusual confluence of events. The air was warm enough, but the ground was still frozen. That’s not uncommon at this time of year, but last week’s deep freeze was.

“Even though the temperature was above freezing, the temperature of the earth could have been below freezing,” he said.

When you think about it, it makes a bit of sense. The ground takes a while to freeze in the fall. Why shouldn’t it take some time to warm up, especially after temperatures plunged last week?

The wind didn’t help. Winds blew at 28 mph just before 7 a.m., with gusts to 38 mph. Winds were constant all night and are expected to pick up today. The warmth the air might have given to prevent freezing was literally blown away.

The good news is that snow will continue to stay away this week, but the blustery conditions will continue through Friday. Daytime highs will bounce from the mid-20s Wednesday to the mid-30s on Thursday, only to fall to the mid-teens on Friday.

Text Only
Southeast Iowa
  • County attorney requests an assistant Monday morning the Appanoose County Board of Supervisors in the Courthouse boardroom moved to table a request from Appanoose County Attorney Susan C. Daniels to hire an assistant county attorney and amend her budget by $38,833.60 to cover the cost. T

    July 28, 2014

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Auditor: state budgeting better, relies on surplus DES MOINES (AP) — The state auditor in her annual review of the state budget says Iowa's political leaders have improved spending practices but Iowa still spends more than it takes in and covers the difference by dipping into a budget surplus. Audito

    July 28, 2014

  • Navy and Gold Gala photo Navy & Gold Gala proceeds support transportation needs

    The third annual Navy & Gold Gala had a wild west theme this year, part of an effort to keep things fresh and attract new people

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Seusical 261.JPG Summer Fun for Families: Seussical the Musical

    Need a Dr. Seuss fix? Or just to get out of the house with a younger child for a few hours? Pella will be staging "Seussical the Musical."

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Darth Vader is polling higher than all potential 2016 presidential candidates

    On the other hand, with a net favorability of -8, Jar Jar is considerably more popular than the U.S. Congress, which currently enjoys a net favorability rating of -65.

    July 25, 2014

  • Taking a look at Iowa's rural bridges and roads

    OSKALOOSA — National statistics indicate that Iowa roads and bridges are in desperate need of repair.According to the Rural Connections: Challenges and Opportunities in America’s Heartland report, 22 percent of Iowa’s rural bridges are deficient.Maha

    July 25, 2014

  • 0726 OTT cedar creek Gone in a flash

    BLOOMFIELD — Bob Parker got about as close to lightning as you can Friday morning, and came out of it without injury. A line of thunderstorms started moving through southeast Iowa in the early morning hours. Parker was heading to work at about 7 a.m.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Southeast Iowa's Lake Darling State Park reopens BRIGHTON, Iowa (AP) — Lake Darling State Park has reopened after around six years of restoration work in southeast Iowa's Washington County. The $16 million project began in 2008 and included draining the 300-acre lake and replacing a dam. The park n

    July 25, 2014

  • Honey Creek Resort recognized for recycling MORAVIA — Honey Creek Resort State Park on Rathbun Lake has been selected as having the best government recycling program by the Iowa Recycling Association.“Iowa’s Greenest Resort” received the award July 17 during the Iowa Recycling Association annu

    July 24, 2014

AP National