A warm and windy setup is taking shape across portions of eastern Iowa today, bringing with it a brief window of strong storms late this afternoon and early this evening. As you can see in the graphic to the right, the Storm Prediction Center has outlined a slight risk area for primarily southeast Iowa. A warm front is passing through the state this morning, followed by a cold front later today. As a surface low passes across the northern portions of Iowa, showers and thunderstorms should fire along that cold front.
A cap set to develop during the day, preventing the development of thunderstorms until the system is already through much of the state. In fact, this could prevent any strong storm development in Iowa until the 4pm to 7pm timeframe. The erosion of this cap is crucial for the development of severe weather before the dynamics cross the Mississippi River.
Once storms develop, all modes of severe weather are possible. Strong wind gusts, hail of 1” in diameter or larger and a few tornadoes. This severe weather threat should quickly move east of Iowa after sunset.
To the left you can see the risk for tornadoes today. As you can see the greatest risk includes extreme southeast Iowa. The highest threat area extends into potions of Missouri and Illinois where evening tornadoes could develop. This is especially dangerous for these areas as night time tornadoes can be EXTREMELY dangerous and hard to track. Behind this storm, things should quiet down here in Iowa before another storm system brings the threat of rain to the area late this week.
One other thing to watch out for during the day today is the fire danger in Iowa. Ongoing dry conditions along with strong winds today and tomorrow could magnify the threat of area grass fires becoming further out of control. It’s something to keep a close eye on especially in rural areas.
We’ll continue to monitor updates in the forecast and will launch our live coverage if needed later today.