This is the time of year when every chaser in the Upper Midwest starts to wonder. We wonder, “when will the severe weather return?” The answer at this point could be days… weeks.. or maybe just hours. To put it simply, this is not March. This is late April or early May. No I haven’t lost my mind, but the weather conditions are certainly not what we normally see this time in March. Here in Iowa, record highs will be in jeopardy over several days this week and the moisture is beginning to return. Put it all together and strong storms can’t be too far behind.
Is there anything in particular that’s caught my attention? Not really. There are chances of storms the next could of days which could produce an isolated strong storms or two. But these are very minimal chances and by no means are anything worth chasing. Even so, the fact that rumbles of thunder are returning to Iowa in mid-March is a strong sign the atmosphere is begin to return to its volatile spring-time setup.
A storm system set to enter the region this weekend could trigger some strong storms. At this time it does not appear any ominous ingredients will be in place, but we’re monitoring trends in the expected wind shear Friday into Saturday. That could play a big role in whether any organized storms could get their act together.
The weather pattern is expected to stay active as we move into the latter half of March. And as long as that continues, it is only a matter of time before our number is called. Yesterday, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad urged Iowans to prepare for the severe weather season. I couldn’t agree more. It’s a reminder of the big things (making a disaster plan, putting together an emergency kit), and the smaller things (always keeping up with the latest forecasts and never being out of touch with what’s going on) that can save lives.