QUICK TRANSITION: Storm Systems Set to Launch the 2011 Severe Weather Season in Iowa

day2otlk_1730Well that didn’t take long at all.  As we continue our way through the second half of March, Iowa faces multiple rounds of storms that could produce severe weather.  Before we get into the specifics I want to stress there is a lot of uncertainty in the forecast but there is also plenty of time to monitor the threats now facing the state.

Let’s begin with Sunday’s threat.  The Storm Prediction Center has posted a slight risk for areas of southern Iowa.  A frontal boundary is expected to be the focus for shower and thunderstorm development Sunday afternoon.  These storms could produce large hail and some brief gusty winds.  At this time there does appear to be a strong threat for tornadoes.  Overall this severe weather threat is rather minimal but still needs to be closely monitored in the hours ahead.

day48probWith that said, a more significant severe weather event could take shape Tuesday afternoon across the state.  At this time, forecast models bring a low pressure system into the northwest part of the state.  Bringing with it a “triple point” that could be the focus for severe thunderstorm development.  Current indications are that shear profiles and instability will be sufficient for ALL modes of severe weather on Tuesday.  This includes large hail, strong damaging winds and tornadoes.

While it is a little premature for such organized storm systems this far north, it is not all that uncommon.  There have been many instances of severe weather outbreaks in Iowa during the month of March and this one is no different.  Even so it does paint an ominous sign for the rest of the spring as severe weather gets an early jump on the state this year.

We expect to issue a new discussion Sunday morning with updates to follow when needed both for Sunday’s severe weather threat as well as Tuesday’s.  And just like last year we’ll launch our live coverage of the events if needed so be sure to stay with us tomorrow and Tuesday.

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