In what is shaping up to be the biggest severe weather threat of the year, a high-end moderate risk is in effect for a large area of the state of Iowa. With a low pressure system draping a warm front over the state as large amounts of warm and moist air flow up from the south, all the ingredients are there for a downright terrible day.
The key threat is, of course, the tornadic risk. Take a look at the probability map from the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK. What this graphic means is there is a 10%-15% chance of a tornado at any given point within a 25 mile radius. The area with the small blue lines also indicates an increased risk of strong tornadoes within any given point.
This is easily the largest tornadic threat we’ve seen in Iowa this year. I need to quickly mention that another dangerous threat of severe weather already exists for Friday as well, but we need to keep the focus on today. CAPE values are expected to reach their highest levels of the year, around 5,000. That coupled with very moist air and an expectation of little convective inhibition (CAP), a violent and explosive severe weather day could take shape over the state, especially in northern Iowa.
Chase teams are assembling and emergency managers are preparing for what will likely be a couple of VERY busy days. We will, as always continue to monitor the situation throughout the day. If the situation continues to worsen, updates could be limited on this site and our facebook fan page as we’ll be focused on capturing the storms themselves. I urge anyone in the risk area to keep any eye on our information but to get the most up to date information from local media. Today is not a day you want to forget about the threat from above. Stay safe!