Temperatures will be on the rise this week as warmer air will begin filtering into the state. Monday will be sunny but the winds will be on the increase throughout the afternoon as they will be gusting up near 25mph. On Tuesday, the only differences will be the winds will be calm, and the temperatures will be a few degrees warmer. Wednesday, the warming trend will continue but a cold front will quickly be approaching the state by Wednesday night, and this will trigger the potential for thunderstorms, and possibly a few severe.
The set up: The NAM has temperatures soaring up into the 70’s for highs on Wednesday, with the potential for a few 80 degree readings. The winds on Wednesday will be strong out of the south at 20mph to 25mph. The models have dew points climbing into the upper 50’s to lower 60’s by Wednesday afternoon.
One main thing we look at when forecasting severe weather is the amount of CAPE, or convective available potential energy in the atmosphere. By Wednesday afternoon, the 12z NAM has a swath of 2,000-2,500J/KG of CAPE. This is a sufficient amount of CAPE for severe thunderstorms to feed off of.
It is still early in the game on determining timing and location of this risk, but it something that our team will be keeping an eye on over the coming days. Right now it appears a line of storms will form along the cold front across northeast Iowa late in the day on Wednesday and will advance off to the southeast throughout the evening hours. If any storms do become severe, the main risks at this time appear to be damaging wind gusts and large hail. Continue to check back here for all of the latest information.