This is shaping up to be a day that could go down in the weather history books. To give you an idea of the life threatening situation that could unfold, the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Ok has already posted a HIGH risk for severe weather over parts of the Great Plains more than 36 hours before the outbreak even begins. It’s a rare move, but one justified with the near-perfect setup taking shape over a very large area.
Now as you can see in the graphic above, the greatest threat for a deadly tornado outbreak lies well to the south of Iowa. But that doesn’t mean we will be spared from what will be a very long day for a lot of people. A warm front surging up from the south will bring a threat for tornadoes in Iowa as well. The current thinking is that storms will being to develop either in eastern Nebraska or southwest Iowa. This is where instability will be greatest in the mid to late afternoon hours.
Once storms develop, additional development may take place further east, into central and eastern Iowa. These storms will all have the capability of producing large hail, strong winds and a few tornadoes. If a discrete supercell or two forms, we could see a slightly enhanced tornado risk. Storms will continue across the state into the nighttime hours as the warm front continues its push north before eventually stalling out. Heavy rain will also need to be monitored during this time frame.
Getting back to the bigger picture here. This is a POTENTIALLY LIFE THREATNING SITUATION. The strong likelihood of a large severe weather outbreak and the potential for several strong, long-track tornadoes produces a strong change that life and property will be in great danger. Although Iowa may miss the worst of it, it’s important to stay advised of the latest forecast throughout the weekend, especially if you are traveling or you have loved ones in affected areas. The best way to stay safe from severe weather in prevention, and that lesson will ring especially true on Saturday. For more on the risk of severe weather in Iowa on Sunday, click here.