An enhanced risk of severe weather remains in place over southwestern Iowa this afternoon, including Council Bluffs and Shenandoah. A look at the surface analysis this afternoon shows our primary area of low pressure over north central Kansas, with a cold front extending from southern Ontario towards the central Plains. This is quasi-stationary, aka: it’s not moving much at all. A boundary is in place over southwestern Iowa and northwestern Missouri. These synoptic features will set the stage for severe weather today. Radar continues to show showers and thunderstorms propagating eastward through east central Iowa; some of these were strong this morning with small hail. Further to the west, clearing was more evident, with temperatures in the low 70s and dew points in the low 60s, which has allowed up to 2,000 j/kg of SBCAPE to develop in southeast Nebraska. Expect this trend to continue and further destabilize the region.
The latest run of the HRRR is showing storm development in the Central Plains around the 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. hour, initially in the form of discrete cells before clustering into a bit more of an organized line in southwest Iowa. The primary threat we are looking at is very large hail to two inches in diameter and the potential for damaging wind gusts to 70 MPH. The latter threat will become more of the issue as we go later into the evening. Those in southern Iowa should be on the look out for potential weather issues tonight and be prepared to take action should watches or warnings be issued, which will probably occur in the next few hours. A tornado or two also cannot be ruled out.
Additional risks are in place for tomorrow and Wednesday. We will have more information on this later tonight as we watch the evolution of the current system. The bigger issues for tomorrow look to be farther to the south, but as always, this can change. Check back for updates. Southeastern Iowa may be under the gun more on Wednesday, but this look to be more in the idea of a hail/wind threat as opposed to a tornado threat. Flooding may also become an issue with the frequent storms that we are seeing this week.
Stay tuned to the Iowa Weather Network for the latest information!