March may have come in like a lamb, but the official start of spring will come in roaring like a lion here in Iowa. Several chances for strong storms begin today as the state enters a very active stretch of weather activity. Let’s begin with today. Thunderstorms developing during the overnight hours could produce reports of small hail during the AM hours but little if any severe weather is expected. As storms move off to the north, a warm front will set up shop over Iowa as a cold front begins to drag behind it. You can see the area under a risk for severe weather today in the graphic to the right.
There is a possibility of one or more lines of strong to severe thunderstorms that take shape this afternoon. These storms could produce large hail, strong damaging winds and an isolated tornado or two. Overall the threat of an organized severe threat does not appear to be all that high, but if enough instability takes shape in the vicinity of the warm front, it will certainly be something that bears watching for the southern half of Iowa, especially along the border with Missouri.
We’ll continue to monitor this threat throughout the morning and bring you updates when/if needed during the day on Sunday.
Now let’s take a look at two more rounds of potentially severe weather in the offing, beginning with Monday. Most of the day should be quiet, but an approaching storm system could bring severe weather with it late on Monday, especially in western portions of the state. /You can see the area at risk on Monday in the graphic to the left.
As this second storm system approaches, a warm front could bring in a risk of late night storms capable of produce gusty winds and some large hail. Once again we’ll keep an eye on this but it appears to be a preview of this particular storm system’s “main event.”
That comes on Tuesday when the common storm chaser’s target, the “triple point” threatens to cross somewhere over the state. If this happens with enough instability in the atmosphere, an explosive afternoon and evening of strong storms could take shape over parts of Iowa. This is the specific period where we could see our best chance of tornado development in the area. I’d like to go into more detail about this particular event but it’s still a long way out and we have two other rounds of severe weather that could come before it.
So for right now we’re going to keep our focus on today. With the possibility of strong storms later this afternoon we’ll provide you updates when warranted this morning and afternoon and will launch our live coverage if needed later today.