OCTOBER SURPRISE: Iowa in Crosshairs for Tornado Outbreak

It’s been many months since our last post.  Part of that reason has been a few changes behind the scenes.  Another part of that has been focus and preparation for the winter season.  But all of that is now on the backburner as Iowa finds itself in the crosshairs for a potential tornado outbreak, right smack in the middle of October.

day48probThis might all sound a little weird but I can assure you this can and does happen.  All computer models are pointing towards a particularly interesting setup this weekend.  But what I want to focus on right now is the danger of inaction.

I bring this us because right up to the morning of this potential severe weather outbreak, conditions will not feel like storms are on the way.  Temperatures will remain cool across the region.  But on Saturday morning, it’s expected that a powerful warm front will push through, bringing a sudden and brief warm up that could send temperatures back into the 70’s across the state.   This is really all that’s needed for enough instability to trigger strong to severe thunderstorms.

With good parameters in place, and enough instability to maintain a severe weather outbreak, ALL modes of severe weather are possible Saturday afternoon and evening across the state.  The final timing and placement of this outbreak is still uncertain but there is reasonable information to believe areas of central and eastern Iowa could face the brunt of this outbreak.

Besides tornado, the other large threat from this storm system will be a widespread wind event.  However, for now we’re going to focus on the tornado impact.  The National Weather Service in Des Moines likened this setup to another recent event.  The severe weather outbreak in central Iowa back on November 12, 2005.  That outbreak produced tornadoes in the Ames are that caused significant damage.

Again I stress the biggest danger from these storms is ignorance.  Many have put severe weather far behind them and begun focusing on snow and ice.  Tack on the fact this comes during a weekend and you’ve got a severe recipe for disaster.  I cannot stress this point enough…  If you have any plans this weekend, or if you know someone who does, please make sure they are aware of the impending situation and take the necessary steps to prepare or to at least stay informed as this situation develops.

We plan on deploying chase teams across Iowa and bringing you live video as this all happens. Stay tuned!

(2) Comments

  1. While you are “chasing” in Iowa – remember also that this is harvest time and there is a lot of large machinery out on ALL the roads. They cannot stop quickly and often cannot see you. Please keep this in mind, especially in rural areas.

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