I have held off posting a breakdown of this weekend’s severe weather threat because, even now, it is all very muddled. There are a lot of differing opinions out there and I know I’m just one voice but I’m going to try and break down all possibilities of this “Magic 8-Ball” forecast.
First let’s get the easiest part out of the way. A lack of instability, cloud cover, cool temperatures and lack of support could easily prevent any major severe weather from developing over the state this weekend. Or…. the exact opposite will happen.
So if the opposite happens here’s how I think it will go down. Severe weather has broken out tonight (Thursday) in the tri-state vicinity of Colorado/Kansas/Nebraska. These storms are not expected to impact Iowa tonight at all. However, an area of showers is pushing through the state but should not produce any severe weather tonight or Friday Morning.
After that, things get a little tougher to nail down. We start with Friday, when severe thunderstorms are expected to develop to the south and west of Iowa. Additional storms could fire, especially in southwest Iowa after midnight. The primary threat from any storms late Friday Night into Saturday morning would come in the form of large hail.
Then, attention turns to Saturday. At this point all bets are off. A warm front will set up shop almost exactly in the middle of the state, say, the Highway 30 corridor. This front represents the barrier between the warm and moist air to our south and the cool, more stable air to our north. This is where another round of severe storms could fire Saturday afternoon and into the evening hours. At this time, current projections show a favorable environment for all modes of severe weather if this setup were to actually happen. This is the first substantial threat of a widespread outbreak and we will certainly keep a close eye on it.
As if that wasn’t murky enough for you, Sunday we could see another round of strong storms as the low pressure center passes through the state. This will be monitored but it’s too soon to pin down the overall threat on this day with so many rounds of precip set to arrive before it.
With ALL of this bearing down on Iowa this weekend, storm chaser Ben McMillan will be out in the elements from Friday all the way through Sunday. His chase will likely take him out of Iowa to begin with. But if things get going here, We’ll be out there to track it. When that happens, be sure to check back here for live video from Ben’s chase.