A July Storm Chase in the Making

day2otlk_1730This time, it looks like northeast Iowa’s turn, but the rest of the state stands to see some strong to severe thunderstorms tomorrow as well.  The Storm Prediction Center is maintaining its slight risk for much of the state on Wednesday.  But it doesn’t tell the whole story.

A cold front will sweep through the state during the afternoon/evening hours tomorrow, slamming into a hot and humid air mass over Iowa.  Showers and thunderstorms should have little trouble firing after 3:00pm.  Of most concern is northeast Iowa, where boundaries will run into a favorable environment for supercells.

day2probotlk_1730_anyTake a look at the graphic to the right, a 45% risk area is highlighted for northeast Iowa, southeast Minnesota and western Wisconsin.  This area is prime for tornadic development tomorrow and this storm system might take advantage of that.  I expect the SPC to boost this area to a moderate risk when the next outlook is posted early tomorrow morning.

This a storm system that could produce strong winds, large hail and isolated tornadoes over much of the state, but right now the focus in our area is the setup in northeast Iowa tomorrow afternoon.  That’s likely where we will begin the day tomorrow as we analyze and determine the best place to go.  Once storms develop, the trick will be tracking down that one lone supercell that breaks away from the pack and could produce a long-track tornado.

All of this can change in the final hours but that’s where we stand right now.  In these hours, it’s time for us to check our equipment, make sure it’s all in working order and ready to go.  Tomorrow, we hit the road.

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