Small Window of Opportunity

day1otlk_1200 Doubts over the exact placement of the storm system and the overall instability have Iowa in a marginal risk for severe weather Saturday.  This morning’s outlook from the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK show a slight risk for much of the state.

The primary threats for Iowa appear to be large hail and a tornado or two.  Strong, damaging winds are also a possibility.  All this depends on where the low sets up this afternoon, how much sun we see and the overall dynamics that take shape with this storm system.

day1probotlk_1200_torn Taking a look at the tornado risk to the right, the setup does not appear promising according to the SPC.  But I would be quick to point out of the few tornadoes on Friday, most occurred in an area many didn’t expect.  Now today could be Iowa’s turn.  However today’s scenario is different and I wouldn’t be surprised to see large parts of this slight risk pushed out of Iowa.

This morning’s model runs show the low to our west will dissipate rather than track across Iowa, setting the stage for a new low to develop to our southeast.  If the event plays out like this, we will see a good chance of showers and thunderstorms over much of the state tonight, but little if any severe weather.

We’ll continue to monitor the latest model trends and discussions throughout the morning and afternoon and will pass along any information we get as we decide whether or not to pull the trigger on a Saturday chase.  But as of this morning the prospects anywhere near Iowa are not looking good.

day1otlk_1200 Further to the south, the SPC is forecasting its first high risk threat for the season.  Storm chasers are expected to focus on an area from Arkansas and Louisiana all the way east to Alabama.  The potential for the biggest outbreak of severe weather this year is possible.  Of course this also presents a very dangerous situation for folks to our south today.  You can see the moderate risk stretches out over a large area as well.  Not only are forecasters concerned about an all night tornado threat, but the potential for a long duration destructive wind event exists as well. 

Long story short it looks to be a very bad day across the southeastern US.  There are more threats in the offing for Iowa, we’ll talk about that in our next post.

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