Winds stay strong on a warm afternoon, cooler times ahead

Windy conditions stick around and keep things warm today.
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 5:42 AM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - This could be the last day in the 60s in eastern Iowa for quite some time as a cold front approaches.

We’ve seen a mix of sun and clouds so far today, and that should continue through early afternoon. Expect those clouds to continue to thicken as the day goes on, likely turning fairly overcast by sunset. Temperatures have already hit the 60s in many spots, with the rest of us catching up. Winds from the southwest providing an assist to that warmup.

Those winds could be fairly strong at times today, with gusts of at least 30 to 40 mph likely until about 6:00 p.m. The strongest gusts are expected in our northern zones, where a Wind Advisory is in effect for much of the day. Winds ease up a bit this evening, but expect breeze conditions to continue even then into the day on Friday.

Windy conditions continue for much of the day.
Windy conditions continue for much of the day.(KCRG)

The cold front arrives later this evening into the nighttime hours, providing a shift in the winds and only a very slim chance for a sprinkle or shower as it moves through. It also ushers in a cooler air mass, though the coldest core of that air mass stays to our northeast in the Great Lakes area. We’ll still wind up with highs on Friday a lot closer to normal for this time of year in the mid to upper 40s, despite a lot of sunshine. Saturday looks to start off chilly in the mid to upper 20s as skies stay clear and winds turn lighter.

The rest of the weekend stays warm during the day, with highs in the mid 50s and fairly light winds. For those hoping to attend a football game at one of the three big state schools, conditions should be pretty great for this point on the calendar.

Things will be a bit more active early next week, with a storm system that develops on the Plains and moves through the eastern half of the United States. At this point, we’re still facing a decent chance for some rain showers to start off the shortened work week, some of which could linger into parts of Tuesday. A secondary cold front moves through on Tuesday, too, which will lead to another drop in temperatures.

That drop will limit highs to the mid 30s to low 40s from Wednesday into Black Friday, with lows in the 10s and low 20s. Fortunately, the busy travel day on Wednesday looks dry around the viewing area, and much of the Midwest, with similar conditions on Thanksgiving. A disturbance may develop and move through the central U.S. on Friday, though this potential is highly uncertain at this point. At this time, our forecast remains dry and cold.