Rainfall actually was quite impressive in Eastern Iowa both north and west of Burlington…
1 mile southwest of Davenport: 6.53” measured
4 miles west, northwest of Bettendorf: 6.50” estimated
2 miles south, southeast of Fairfield, Iowa: 5.35” measured
1 mile northwest of Davenport: 5.13” measured
1 mile east, southeast of New London, Iowa: 5.01” measured
1 mile south, southeast of Davenport: 4.80” measured
3 miles north, northwest of Davenport: 4.52” measured
Clark County, Missouri: 4.41” measured
1 mile southeast of Davenport: 4.14” measured
Davenport Municipal Airport: 3.83” measured
Walcott, Iowa: 3.60” measured
2 miles southwest of New London: 3.49” measured
Eldridge, Iowa: 3.38” measured
1 mile east, southeast of Muscatine: 3.25” measured
3 miles east of Davenport: 3.02” measured
4 miles west of Mount Pleasant, Iowa: 2.58” measured
Moline Quad City Regional Airport: 2.26” measured
2 miles east, southeast of Keosauqua, Iowa: 2.00” measured
Cantril, Iowa: 1.90” measured (biggest rainfall of the year)
Washington, Iowa: 1.80” measured
Burlington Regional Airport: 0.09” measured – West Burlington along with the far northern and far western parts of Burlington certainly had more rainfall than this.
Drastic rainfall differences, and how does such a significant rain come together so quickly like that?
It can be hard to believe just how much rainfall amounts end up varying from just a few blocks or a mile away – let alone a few miles away in a neighboring town. During our spells of hot, unusually muggy weather, we’ve actually seen a number of these types of events nearby this summer – but, particularly for much of Burlington and points eastward, the trend of the rains fading away before they reach us continues.
This type of rain is fueled by something called a low-level jet. A low-level jet is a big push of air that brings moist and mild conditions northward from the Gulf of Mexico. This wind, when it occurs around here, is generally 2,000 to 4,000 feet off the ground and often blows in the 30-to-60 mile-per-hour range. This phenomenon develops at night over the Plains/Midwest when our higher elevation air cools more than the higher elevation air located east of us. Those temperature differences higher in the atmosphere create a pressure difference that, combined with the Earth’s rotation (Coriolis Effect), cause lower elevation air to be drawn in from the south. Cutoffs are often sharp over which neighborhoods then see the best convective processes unfold — there’s only so much water available. Absent appreciable rain – many of the non-rain areas last night still had hours worth of thunder and lightning from all the action to the immediate north and west, making sleep impossible or close to it.
Please feel free to share below how much rain you had where you live and whether you were able to sleep through that one! Even in Burlington, I didn’t sleep worth 2 cents. If you have any weather photos, please share those as well.
How bad is the drought and did last night’s rain help any?
It depends on exactly where you live. Around here, places in Henry, Jefferson, Washington, Van Buren, and Clark Counties tended to score the decent rains, and these were the areas that needed it the very most. It’s a start! We would still need plenty of area-wide rains to dig out of our drought. The weather looks dry again through the weekend.