RAGBRAI riders will have to endure hot, muggy weather as they begin their trek across the state, meteorologists said.
An air mass bringing warm, moist air will start moving into Iowa on Sunday, said meteorologist Rod Donavon of the National Weather Service office in Johnston.
The weekend will have mostly sunny skies and highs in the 80s, but muggy conditions will emerge with highs reaching into the 90s on Monday and Tuesday. Temperatures may even top 100 in spots.
These temperatures will come after a week of below-normal temperatures. Most of the state saw highs in the 70s Monday through Thursday. The normal highs for this time of the year are in the 80s.
Two spots in Iowa – at the Ottumwa airport and the Lamoni airport – even recorded record-breaking lows Wednesday morning. The temperature at the Ottumwa airport was measured at 49 degrees and the temperature was recorded at 52 degrees at the Lamoni airport.
In addition to warmer temperatures, the air mass will also bring the threat of storms to the state. The air mass will “certainly have a lot of moisture to fuel thunderstorms and heavy rain possibly,” Donavon said.
The best chance of storms will be Monday night into Tuesday. Donavon said there is a slight chance of severe weather for these storms, with the primary concern being strong wind gusts.
These storms may roll over the RAGBRAI route in northern Iowa. Meteorologists become concerned “whenever there’s a large amount of people camping in any one spot” during a storm that could bring strong winds, Donavon said.
“That’s certainly one thing we’ll be keeping an eye out for,” Donavon said.
Chances of rain linger into Wednesday, with meteorologists forecasting dry conditions Wednesday night into Thursday. The possibility of rain returns Thursday night and lasts into Friday.
Temperatures will return to seasonal-normal levels Thursday and Friday. Highs will be in the 80s and high 70s.
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