Clouds May Hinder Viewing of Perseid Meteor Shower Peak in Iowa

The Perseid meter shower is ongoing each night right now and will continue to ramp up in the number of meteors per hour until the shower hits its peak on Saturday night into Sunday morning. For a review of what the Perseid meteor shower is as well as how to view it and camera settings for the photographers please check out my previous blog post on the meteor shower at the following link Perseid Meteor Shower 2017: Where & When to View Them & How to Photograph the Show.

Viewing conditions in Iowa based on the latest weather forecast models are calling for less than ideal on the peak night of Saturday night with a good chance of extensive cloud cover. However it does appear that Friday night into Saturday morning will be better with mostly clear skies at least early on in the night, under the influence of high pressure. Here’s a break down of the forecast models. 

GFS

The GFS calls for clear skies on Friday night to start the night with clouds on the increase very late into the night Saturday morning. Saturday night on peak night the GFS calls for extensive cloud cover for most of the night. The times shown in the graphic below are 1AM Saturday morning and 1AM Sunday morning. 

 

NAM

The North American Model calls for mostly clear skies across Iowa on Friday with only some scattered off and on clouds through the night. Clouds will be on the increase through the day Saturday with clouds across most of the state by Saturday night. The times shown in the graphic below are 1AM Saturday morning and 1AM Sunday morning. 

3km NAM

The high resolution NAM also calls for mostly clear skies across Iowa on Friday night with a few scattered clouds very late. Clouds will be on the increase Saturday afternoon with extensive cloud cover by Saturday night. The times shown in the graphic below are 1AM Saturday morning and 1AM Sunday morning. 

Bottom Line

As of this blog posting Friday night looks to be the best viewing night for the meteor shower across the state of Iowa. Of course the forecast can change so keep an eye on the weather and sky conditions this weekend for other possible viewing opportunities Saturday and Sunday night. If you go out Friday night the sky will be completely dark at 10PM with moon rise at 10:40PM. The moon will be bright so that will impact visibility of the fainter meteors. Brighter meteors will still be visible. Again read my previous blog which is linked early in this blog writing on viewing tips. I hope you get a chance to get out and enjoy the show!

© Willard Sharp

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