Yesterday I talked about the Storm Prediction Center issuing its first moderate risk of the season. Now we have multiple days with that risk, all because of one storm system. Here in Iowa, marginal risks for severe weather are set for both today and tomorrow.
But for now I want to look at the bigger picture. Today the thinking is the highest tornadic threat resides in two different areas. The first paints a near perfect bulls eye on the state of Arkansas. This is where most chasers will focus their attention today for the threat of strong tornadoes.
The second focal point rests just southeast of Iowa, in Nebraska and Kansas. But southwest Iowa is at risk for tornadoes late this afternoon and into the evening hours. There is a small corridor southwest of Iowa where instability and shear look favorable for tornadoes. In the first hours of today’s outbreak, the SPC believes a few discrete supercells will take shape with tornadoes the primary threat.
As the evening wears on the development is expected to become more widespread, threatening to produce large hail and strong damaging winds. At this time that appears to be the primary threat for much of southern Iowa. It’s possible that threat could linger through the overnight hours over a good portion of the state.
Moving on to Saturday very quickly, with a number of boundaries in the area and good atmospheric recovery from tonight’s storms could spark another round of severe weather. The low should track somewhere around central Iowa by this point. At that low, wind profiles could be sufficient for a brief window of tornadic development.
At this time it appears the southern half of the state should clear out in time to support this threat of severe weather on Saturday. Both toady and tomorrow, for much of the state, are minimal threat days. Chase teams are focusing to our west and well to our south and rightfully so. We’ll stay in contact with them throughout the day today and pass along any info they can share.
As for tomorrow, we’ll ready out gear for the potential of a chase beginning somewhere in central Iowa. If conditions warrant we’ll deploy sometime in the early afternoon to the I-35 area depending on the exact track of the low.
As for the chasers out today, safety is a major emphasis. After nearly three dozen reports of tornadoes yesterday, the potential of a major outbreak is even higher today. Our first major severe weather producer will wreak havoc through the weekend before it’s all said and done.
There are a couple storm systems to watch out for late next week and weekend, but with those so far out and prediction very unreliable, we’ll keep our focus on this weekend’s danger. Stay with us for the latest throughout the day and tomorrow.