With about 30-36 hours to go before Saturday’s forecasted outbreak of severe weather, we’re beginning to get a more refined idea of the track, timing and ingredients in place for Saturday afternoon and evening. Because of that, we’re going to try and spell all of this out and what you can watch out for during the day and night tomorrow.
Beginning with the track. The current placement and behavior of the storm indicates it will track slightly further south and west than previously thought. This could limit the threat for severe weather in the northern portion of the state. However this area still needs to be closely monitored. Attention at this time is focused more on the southern half of the state. This is where the best position and dynamics appear to be setting up for tomorrow. A strong amount of shear will develop, aiding any storms’ efforts to produce strong damaging winds and tornadoes.
Now to the timing and the sun that comes with it. A complex of showers and thunderstorms is expected to develop Friday Night and push across the state. This could linger into the morning hours of Saturday. There are also indications that the storm system is slowing down, which could delay the start of the severe weather threat in Iowa. Of concern with this scenario is regardless of timing, the stage will be set for large hail, strong winds and tornadoes. Having any of these occur in the dark of night only makes them more dangerous.
And finally, the ingredients. The wild card in all of this is the clouds left behind from the early morning storms on Saturday. If Iowa remains shielded from the sun it will limit the amount of instability in the atmosphere. If the sun managing to poke out for a few hours, the final ingredient will be in place.
All of this is subject to change and we’ll be closely following it. We hope to provide an update later this afternoon and continue to monitor any changes in the storm’s track. Our Ben McMillan will take his team out into the storms as they develop tomorrow afternoon and evening and we hope to provide you with as much live coverage as possible.