New Way of Forecasting


Many of you know that we listen to your comments, whether they are positive or negative. One of the things that we have been noticing is that many of you are confused by what we mean of “northeast Iowa” or “southwest Iowa.” Mainly, which counties do we have in mind when we say northeast or the northeast half of Iowa. Well just the other day, one of our followers emailed us and gave us an idea. This viewer sent us a map of the state of Iowa with different zones, made up of 10 or 11 counties. This map that our follower sent us, was what we had in mind already but our team liked the idea of posting it and explaining how we will break up the state so that way our forecasts are a little more clear.


The state will be broken up into 9 zones. These zones are made up of 10 or 11 counties, this way each zone is similar in size. The goal of this is to make it more clear to you our followers on how the state is broken up in our eyes. We will now also be more specific. Before the image at the top of the page is how we use to describe the state in our forecasts. We use to break the state into northeast, northwest, southwest, and southeast Iowa. We will now use more descriptive zones as shown in the 9 zone map above. The following terminology is what will now appear in our forecast discussions.

Zone 1: Northwest Iowa
Zone 2: North Central Iowa
Zone 3: Northeast Iowa
Zone 4: West central  Iowa
Zone 5: Central Iowa
Zone 6: East Central Iowa
Zone 7: Southwest Iowa
Zone 8: South Central Iowa
Zone 9: Southeast Iowa

We will still continue to use the interstates as dividers. Northern Iowa will still be referred to north of interstate 80, southern Iowa will be south of I-80. Western Iowa will be west of interstate 35 and eastern Iowa will be east of interstate 35. We hope that this will bring more clarity to our followers and less confusion.

Zach Sharpe

My name is Zach Sharpe. I am the president and forecaster for the Iowa Storm Chasing Network. You can find me on Twitter @Stormchaserzach and on Facebook at:

One Comment

  1. I like the new version of the new 9 section/zones for a more targeted areas. This would help those who are not directional orientated. Maybe if there is a darkened outline of the 9 sections with the number while forecasting the weather added-just a suggestion. Thank you for doing a good job.

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