Wednesday, July 16, 2008

RAGBRAI weather

I had to chuckle the other night when I saw the first RAGBRAI weather forecast on the local news. I know meteorology is an imperfect science, but the forecast for Sunday in Cedar Rapids really has no bearing on the weather in Missouri Valley.

So, now that we're within the 10-day window of every stop, I did at little research at weather.com. Here's what I learned:

Saturday, July 19 in Missouri Valley -- High 87, Low 68 with scattered thunderstorms. 40% chance of precipitation. UV index -- very high. Fitness comfort index -- moderate.

Sunday, July 20 in Harlan -- High 86, Low 66 and partly cloudy. 20% chance of precipitation. UV index -- very high. Fitness comfort index -- high. Wind from the southwest at 7 mph. Sounds like a good first day, as long as we don't wake up wet.

Monday, July 21 in Jefferson -- High 87, Low 65 with scattered thunderstorms. 40% chance of precipitation. UV index -- very high. Fitness comfort index -- moderate. Wind from the west/northwest at 7 mph. If the wind switches to further north and east, this day could rival day two of 2006, when I rode the last leg in a cattle truck as sag wagons were overwhelmed.

Tuesday, July 22 in Ames -- High 87, Low 63 with scattered thunderstorms. 40% chance of precipitation. UV index -- very high. Fitness comfort index -- moderate. Wind from the west/southwest at 8 mph. This needs to NOT be a day that tests our resolve.

Wednesday, July 23 in Tama-Toledo -- High 86, Low 63 and partly cloudy. 20% chance of precipitation. UV index -- very high. Fitness comfort index -- COMFORTABLE! Glorious tailwinds at 10 mph. We should be in good shape when we take the kickball field against the Wartburg College Knights. Anyone bringing steel-toed boots?

Thursday, July 24 in North Liberty -- High 88, Low 66 and SUNNY! 10% chance of precipitation. UV index -- haven't you figured it out by now? Fitness comfort index -- COMFORTABLE AGAIN! Wind from the west/northwest at 9 mph. I predict this will be the best ride of the week.

Friday, July 25 in Tipton -- High 83, Low 61 and SUNNY AGAIN! 20% chance of precipitation. UV index -- see last paragraph. Fitness comfort index -- still more comfort. Wind from the southwest at 10 mph. The route from North Liberty to Tipton by way of Mount Vernong makes wind a relative non-factor here: at some point we're sure to face headwinds. Regardless, I'm so looking forward to the parade of Coe jerseys slicing through the heart of Cornell.

Saturday, July 26 in Le Claire -- ok, so I lied. We're not 10 days out. But here's the Le Claire forecast for Friday. High 82, Low 64 and more glorious sunshine. 20% chance of precipitation. Another good day on the fitness comfort index, whatever that is. I'm not even mentioning the UV index. Wind from the west at 9 mph.

So as a darn near lifelong Iowan, what do I conclude from all of this? Not a whole lot, but some. It's encouraging that the chance of precipitation never exceeds 40%, but those days will be humid and it may well rain -- or storm -- at some point. On the 10-20% days, of which there are many, we should be good. Apparently, the temperature will never exceed 90, which would probably be a RAGBRAI first.

Further proof, that global warming is a misnomer. It should be called climate change. Plenty of evidence of it here in Iowa.

1 comment:

Doug said...

"If the wind switches to further north and east....." I love your optimism. Just think if in addition to the wind switching to the north, the temperature dropped 70 degrees.....

All-in-all the weather forcast sounds similar to last year, without except no 90 degree days. See you soon.