We’ve just taken a look at the latest data from the Storm Prediction Center late this morning. So far there’s been little deviation in the current thinking as everything appears to be moving forward just as we thought. A cold front in western Iowa is beginning to track to the east-southeast, bringing it closer to the areas where we are seeing the most instability.
At this hour, an atmospheric cap is preventing thunderstorms from developing along and ahead of this cold front. But this particular frontal boundary should be strong enough to punch through an eroding cap later this afternoon, especially over the eastern half of Iowa.
This is where the greatest threat for severe weather lies today. Storms should fire and could back build to the west in southern Iowa as this severe weather event unfolds. Much like the last couple days of analysis, it appears the ingredients for tornado development are not taking shape.
In this latest update the risk for tornadoes was increased slightly for eastern Iowa, but I still believe any tornadoes seen today in Iowa would be brief and on the weak side. You can see the tornado risk in the graphic to the right. Saying that, I want to stress that ANY tornado is dangerous and we will take this threat, even thought it’s small, seriously. Overall, the biggest threat from these storms will be strong, damaging winds and large hail.
After a 4-6 hour window for severe weather, the front should stall out either in northern Missouri or southern Iowa. This are would then become most at risk for “training” storms that could producing very heavy rainfall and flash flooding. This could become a dangerous situation depending on where the rain falls and we will monitor that closely. Right now our best guess is the area most at risk for flash flooding is along and south of Interstate 80.
We continue to monitor updates from the SPC and we expect additional updates within the next 1-3 hours. If and/or when severe weather develops, we plan to launch our live coverage here on the website. With our live coverage you’ll get up to the second warning information and the latest radar image. Our chat is also interactive. You’ll be able to ask questions about the severe weather event and get expert analysis from our team.