Let’s be clear, there is still plenty of winter ahead of us. But this week, Iowa and the rest of the country is getting a quick reminder of what lies ahead during the spring and summer months. A strong storm system is moving through the central United States. Coming with this complex system, a lot of warm air to Iowa. In fact records could fall in some parts of the state Tuesday as temperatures soar into the 50’s.
Before that, the warm air is bringing a precious commodity to Iowa, rain. And for this time of year there is a potential of a lot of it. Perhaps a half inch or more. On top of that, there is enough instability that we’re seeing lightning in these storms. The radar image to the left taken from earlier this evening shows a handful of lightning strikes detected between Des Moines and Cedar Rapids. This is something that could persist well into the nighttime hours.
All of this, however, pales in comparison to the severe weather wake up call in store for our friends to the south. There, a tornado outbreak may develop Tuesday afternoon and evening. There is also the special threat of fast moving storms capable of producing tornadoes well after dark in this area. You can see the areas most at risk in the graphic to the right.
Of course with many strong systems this time of year, there’s a lot of cold air surging in behind it, and many parts of Iowa won’t have to wait long to dip back below zero. For now though we get a taste of more transitional weather, and a reminder that severe weather can strike… any time of the year.