Thursday, August 30, 2007

Beautiful Football & Weekend Forecast

Iowa State begins its' football season tonight against Kent State here in Ames, IA. The forecast for the game should be nearly perfect with temperatures near 70 and winds fairly light. The rest of the night should feature lows in the upper 40s to mid 50s and some foggy conditions by morning in lower lying areas. Friday will warm up slightly once again, highs ranging from the upper 70s in northeast Iowa to the mid 80s throughout western Iowa. Some moisture will also be returning to the state, not allowing the lows to slip quite as much at night. Friday night lows should range from the mid 50s to near 60 in the west.

The weekend forecast is just as good if not better than the past couple of days. We'll stay dry throughout the whole weekend with highs in the low to mid 80s on Saturday, warming a few degrees on Sunday with ranges from the mid to upper 80s. Lows will also be warmer with a little more moisture in the air; upper 50s to mid 60s throughout. Finally the Labor Day forecast will continue the streak of warmer weather. Highs in the mid 80s to near 90 from northeast to southwest; lows in the lower to mid 60s.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

August 28 Severe Weather

8:50 PM Update: Severe thunderstorms as well as brief tornadic thunderstorms have worked across the state this evening and are currently stretched over a good portion of the state. Only one warning currently in effect for Marshall county, for damaging winds. Other warnings have been issued with that storm for some time now since it entered the state back at 6:30 PM. The tornado warnings were issued in response to spotter or public reports of tornadoes on the ground, although these storms weren't classic tornado producers they did have signs of strong rotation due to their interaction with different boundaries. Whether or not any of these tornadoes will be confirmed on what their rating will be will come tomorrow. For the most part, it was damaging winds that swept through from Monona & Harrison eastward through Marshall county currently... Expect additional heavy rains throughout the eastern and southern portions of the state overnight.

4:35 PM Update: Severe weather has begun to threaten the state, as storms continue to develop ahead and along the cold front. Severe thunderstorms in eastern Nebraska have been ongoing for the past hour, with a new thunderstorm recently becoming tornadic now in northwest Iowa. Plymouth county is under a tornado warning until 5 PM, this storm will be near the towns of Hinton and Kingsley over the next 30 minutes. No reports have came in with this storm, however radar has shown good signs of rotation within the cell for a while now. Expect additional storms to become severe with mainly damaging winds and large hail as the threats over the next several hours...

12:00 PM Update: Looking at latest satellite/radar, thunderstorms already developing along leading edge of cold front over northwest Iowa. Cherokee, Clay, Dickinson & Emmet counties all have isolated thunderstorms currently working to the northeast. Although none of these storms are severe at this time, expect gradual strengthening into severe storms by mid-afternoon over portions of the northwestern quarter of the state.

11:50 AM Update: Latest update from the Storm Prediction Center has raised probabilities over the northwestern half of the state. Indicating that several lines and clusters of thunderstorms should develop late this afternoon into this evening along a cold front that is moving southeastward over the state. These thunderstorms may become severe and be capable of large hail and especially damaging winds. The best threat is defined along the location of the cold front during the evening hours, which is currently forecasted to be 50 miles northwest and southeast of a S. Sioux City, NE to Albert Lea, MN line. Additional Updates are likely this afternoon as storms evolve.

Thunderstorms Tonight

Yesterday morning had the only thunderstorms of the day for the state, with only the northeastern quarter of the state being affected by them. A few severe reports came in of marginally severe hail during the morning thunderstorms. The afternoon was filled with hot and humid air, but the hot air extended will up into the atmosphere essentially capping it to the point of no thunderstorms. That capping however isn't expected to hold on this afternoon as thunderstorms become likely over much of the northwestern half of the state.

Highs today expected in the upper 70s for northwest Iowa to mid 90s in southeast Iowa where the cold front will have no effect today. Expect thunderstorms to develop late this afternoon or this evening over northwest Iowa and continue to spread southeastward into the overnight hours and through extreme southeastern Iowa early Wednesday morning. Lows tonight will range from near 60 to near 70 from northwest to southeast. Thunderstorms could do quite a bit of 'training', where they follow the same path along the cold front as it moves to the southeast. This is why several counties across the state are once again in a Flood Watch. The possibility is also there for a few severe storms, currently the best risk is over the northeastern quarter of the state where damaging winds is the likely threat. More information on that threat as it develops this afternoon...

Expect cooler temperatures on Wednesday with highs only in the mid 70s to lower 80s across the state and lows becoming chilly from 50 degrees in the northwest to near 60 in the southeast. Thursday & Friday both finish off the week with highs in the mid 70s to lower 80s and lows in the 50s on Thursday, warming slightly into the mid 50s to lower 60s for Friday night.

Monday, August 27, 2007

A New Week... New Thunderstorm Chances...

We begin the work week with something that not a lot of places need to see, thunderstorm chances. In fact, extreme northwestern Iowa is under a 'slight' risk for severe weather this evening and into the early nighttime hours. Threat for large hail and some damaging winds are the main threats as storms will fire along a cold front that is slowly moving southeastward.

This storm system is already responsible for some thunderstorm activity that is making its' way across northeastern and central Iowa this morning. Once those storms clear, expect the sun to shine and high temperatures warm up nicely with an increasing southerly wind over the state. Mid 80s for the northeastern part of the state where clouds will hang around for some of the day, otherwise upper 80s for central Iowa and low to mid 90s across the western third of the state. Thunderstorm chances tonight over northern Iowa; lows in the mid 60s to lower 70s across the state. Once again there is a chance that a few storms tonight could reach severe limits over extreme northwestern Iowa.

Thunderstorms chances should overtake much of the northwestern half of the state by Tuesday afternoon, with some potential for severe weather across the state as well. Details on the severe threat for tomorrow will be better defined and explained during tomorrow mornings' update. Highs in the upper 80s and lower 90s in the southeastern half of the state ahead of the cold front; while behind the front expect highs only in the upper 70s and lower 80s. By Tuesday night expect thunderstorms stretched across the state from LaCrosse, WI to Omaha, NE moving southeastward with the chance of a few severe thunderstorms and the possibility of more heavy rain over the state. Lows during the overnight will range from the lower 60s to lower 70s from northwest to southeast.

Rain/thunderstorm chances continue over the southeastern half of the state on Wednesday, mainly during the morning and early afternoon hours before exiting the state. Highs on Wednesday will be in the mid 70s to lower 80s from northwest to southeast once again as the state should be behind the cold front. Lows on Wednesday night in the mid 50s to lower 60s as well, making for a near chilly night.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

A Dry Weekend!

After over a week of rain throughout parts of the state and seeing nearly two dozen different counties put under flood warnings the rain is finally gone. Monday night looks like the first time where more rain comes into the forecast, however this rain should only stay in the forecast for 36 hours or less.

With a dry forecast, any kind of temperatures should be suitable. Todays' highs should range from the mid 70s to near 80 from north to south. Lows tonight will be quite nice and nearly chilly for some people, mid 50s to lower 60s from northeast to southwest over the state. Lows in that range signify that the moisture that has hung out over the state for the past week is finally on its' way out with that system that is now effecting portions of the eastern US.

Sunday will be much the same, dry with warming temperatures. Highs in the lower 80s in the north, to some mid 80s in south-central Iowa and possibly a few upper 80s in the southwest portion of the state. Lows will signify the return of moisture, with lower 60s over northeast Iowa to near 70 along the Missouri River.

A quick look at the beginning of the workweek will show off the return of the heat as well to go with the moisture. High temperatures expected to be in the mid 80s over eastern Iowa to the lower 90s across western Iowa. That heat and humidity will also begin the next chance of thunderstorms over the state, too early to tell about the severe threat, but I'd put on a likely chance that we will see at least another 'Slight' risk day or two over the state by the Storm Prediction Center.

Friday, August 24, 2007

August 23 Lightning

Got the chance last night to head out just before a storm came through Ames and catch some lightning pictures. Several of the previous days have featured great electric storms, but they had all been wrapped up in the massive amounts of rain that were coming down with them. Last nights' storm was finally able to put off some good bolts out in front of the rain and here they are:

Click on image for larger picture...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Showers & Thunderstorms Continue...

7:20 PM Update: Severe Thunderstorm Watch #646 has been issued for portions of southeast Iowa and is in effect until midnight. Thundrestorms currently over Keokuk, Jefferson & Wapello counties are severe warning and should continue to pose a threat of damaging winds and marginally large hail over the next couple of hours as the move eastward.

6:15 PM Update: Severe Thunderstorm Watch #644 was issued for portions of southern Iowa and is in effect until midnight tonight. Already thunderstorms have became severe and tornadic over south-central Iowa; Tornado warning for Mahaska county and severe thunderstorm warnings for Marion, Decatur & Wayne counties. No reports as of yet, but that'll likely change as the storms continue to move to the northeast. Expect more thunderstorms to move into the state during the nighttime hours as they move into the state from Nebraska and continue to develop due to the strong low level jet. Those in and near the watch should keep a close eye on storms as they will rapidly develop and have severe potential; those counties next in line for a possible tornadic storm will include Keokuk.

7:30 AM Update:Showers and thunderstorms continued to work across the state this morning and currently are weakening in response to morning inhibition. Central Iowa is currently experiencing the rainfall, north of highway 30 mainly showers exist while south of highway 30 isolated thunderstorms are continuing to develop. Expect the showers in the north to slowly dissipate, however thunderstorms in the southern portions of the state should continue to develop and expand as they move northeastward. The severe weather threat looks to be fairly minimal today for Iowa, although eastern Iowa is under a 'moderate' risk by the SPC. This is due to the expectations of the storms to organize into a linear line or bow echo capable of damaging winds. Reading through the SPC text it appears that the current convection is going to be responsible for the linear storm system early this afternoon and into this evening. However, it does not show signs of organization at the moment.

Expect thunderstorms to continue to fire throughout southern Iowa this morning, until upper trough that is currently over SD/NE makes its' way into the state. This feature should lead to the organization of thunderstorms, and subsequently increasing the severe threat over the central and eastern portions of the state. Damaging winds are the main threat today with the storms as they are likely to be more linear in nature. More updates are possible this afternoon as thunderstorms begin to organize...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Severe Weather (Aug. 22)

7:30 PM Update: Thunderstorms continued to develop across south-central Iowa late this afternoon and have now moved into eastern Iowa this evening. Another round of thunderstorms is now entering the state from Nebraska, showers more notable north of I80 while thunderstorms dominate south of the interstate. Expect those storms and showers to continue off to the east/northeast this evening and into tonight. It does not look like the severe threat is of much concern anymore as continued rainfall and cloud cover has limited its' potential. A stray severe thunderstorm could still be possible over southern Iowa before midnight, but the main threat with thunderstorms should once again be heavy rains & flooding potential.

3:25 PM Update: Severe Thunderstorm Watch #637 has been issued for areas of northern Kansas, central/eastern Nebraska and southwest Iowa. Thunderstorms are expected in increase in coverage & intensity over KS/NE along boundaries this afternoon/evening. These storms should move eastward with several other lines/clusters of thunderstorms and move into the remainder of NE/IA by this evening. Isolated large hail is the main threat with these thunderstorms, although some damaging winds may also occur.

3:00 PM Update: Scattered showers and thunderstorms have continued across much of northern Iowa this afternoon and are still working their way through northeastern Iowa currently. Additional thunderstorm development has occurred south of the previous convection, much of southwest and southcentral Iowa are seeing these scattered storms develop. Currently only one of those storms has been able to reach severe limits, capable of marginally severe hail, over Fremont & Mills counties. Other storms may be able to reach severe limits for a short period of time this afternoon, with the main threat being marginally severe hail. The SPC has issued a Mesoscale Discussion for this reason, mentioning that a severe thunderstorm watch is possible.

10:30 AM Update: Once again the state is under the 'slight' risk for severe weather today, already thunderstorms are continuing to fire along a stationary boundary over northwest Iowa. These thunderstorms continue back to the west into Nebraska and with storms moving in an eastward direction this doesn't bode well for the flooding concerns. Flash Flood Warnings currently are in effect for Woodbury, Plymouth, Cherokee, Ida and Buena Vista counties; expect more rainfall over the next couple of hours and other counties to the east could also be included.

The severe weather threat is likely to be best off to the west of Iowa, over areas of central Nebraska for the most part. However, portions of western Iowa will likely see some isolated severe storms work into the area early tonight and continue through the nighttime hours over the remainder of the state. Currently, Sac county is under a severe thunderstorm warning for the possibility of nickel sized hail. Although a few storms might reach severe limits late this morning into early this afternoon, do expect another round of thunderstorms tonight. More details on the next round of thunderstorms and possible severe weather later today...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Severe Weather (Aug. 21)

10:15 Update: Thunderstorms moving into northeast Iowa have increasingly become severe with the potential for damaging winds. Floyd, Butler & Chickasaw counties are currently under warnings. Counties to the east of those should keep an eye/ear out to local information as the storms head their way. Another storm in Sac county has also became severe with the potential for damaging winds and large hail. Expect the next couple of hours to feature pulses of severe storms, while a majority of the storms say below severe limits. Nonetheless any storm could be capable of some small hail and wind gusts to 50 mph, dangerous cloud-to-ground lightning and torrential rains capable of causing flash flooding.

9:45 PM Update: A line of thunderstorms over Iowa continues to move to the east, mainly non-severe at the moment. It extends in from MN to Mason City to Hampton, then back to Ida Grove where the line then becomes less defined. Storms may pulse up and become severe for the next couple of hours, mainly capable of moderate sized hail and damaging winds up to 70 mph. The main concern with these storms is now the flash flooding, especially over parts of central Iowa where storms are beginning to 'train' or follow the same path. Several counties are already under Flash Flood Warnings, several more may be added as the night continue.

8:10 PM Update: Severe Thunderstorm Watch #635 has been issued for portions of northeastern Iowa. Thunderstorms will continue to develop and spread eastward into the overnight hours. Expect mainly damaging winds and large hail as the severe threats as the storms will be mainly linear or multicellular in nature.

7:50 PM Update: Warnings continue to be issued in northwest Iowa as storms eastward, now beginning to enter portions of north-central Iowa. Severe thunderstorm warnings are issued for Woodbury & Palo Alto counties; more recently a Tornado Warning has been issued for Humboldt and Pocahontas counties. The towns of Rolfe, Bradgate and Ottosen are in the path of this storm and possible tornado. Currently only radar has detected rotation, no on-site reports have been received.

7:00 PM Update: Tornado Watch #634 has been issued for much of the northwestern quarter of the state. This watch is in effect from 6:50 until 2 AM tonight, thunderstorms have already initiated ahead of storms in NE/SD over northwestern Iowa. Cherokee county is currently under a severe thunderstorm warning as a storm is capable of nickel sized hail. Expect storms to continue to strengthen over the next couple of hours as the cells move northeast. Storms should congeal into more linear segments capable of damaging winds and large hail, possible tornadic condition could still exist late tonight, but not likely.

4:45 PM Update: A Severe Thunderstorm Watch & a Tornado Watch have been issued for portions of Nebraska and South Dakota. The tornado watch is in effect until 10 PM for the counties included, hugging the northwestern Iowa county lines. Thunderstorms should develop in the watch area within the next couple of hours and move to the east/northeast into the state just after sunset. Expect that a severe or possibly a tornado watch will be issued later this evening for some portions of the state as storms begin to threaten the area. Later updates will continue to reveal any information on possible storms & severe weather.

10:15 AM Update: More severe weather is possible this evening and overnight tonight across the state. Thunderstorms expected to develop over central Nebraska once again, moving eastward into Iowa this evening. There is once again a highlighted area that may see a better chance at some of the individual cells capable of large hail and perhaps a tornado. This area stretches from about Norfolk, NE through Sioux City to around the Storm Lake, IA area; 30 miles north and south of that line. Other portions of the state may see thunderstorms as well, but there is no enhanced threats and the main concern may once again be damaging wind and some smaller sized hail. Updates on the severe weather tonight are possible once again...

Monday, August 20, 2007

Severe Weather (Aug. 20)

10:40 PM Update: Severe thunderstorm warnings stretch across much of central Iowa as a line of thunderstorms mainly capable of damaging winds has developed. I previously was just outside of Ames in attempt of some lightning photos, however a majority of the strikes were within the rain core and thus the attempt was futile. Expect these storms to continue off to the east/northeast with some severe warnings continuing into the nighttime hours. Wind damage will be the main threat, with heavy rains also being a problem for several areas. This may be the last update for the night; for now if you are west of a Spencer to Des Moines to Leon line you should be in the clear for severe weather.

8:15 PM Update: Warnings continue to spread over southwest Iowa; Audubon, Guthrie, Cass & Adair are the latest to go under severe warnings for the bow echo line of storms that is capable of gusts up to 80 mph. Reports have been received with winds of at least 80 mph in other counties previously warned and these storms are likely to at least maintain intensity for the time being. Severe Thunderstorm Watch #626 has been issued, covering much of western & central Iowa until 2 AM.

7:45 PM Update: Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been issued for Pottawattamie & Mills county for damaging winds between 60 and 70 mph; Harrison county now also included. Additional watches are likely to be issued in the next couple of hours, Mesoscale Discussion #1823 discusses the potential for areas north and east of the current tornado watch; MD #1824 discusses the increasing damaging wind threat to the east of the current watch.

7:30 PM Update: Severe & Tornadic thunderstorms are currently moving through southeastern Nebraska and will soon cross the border into Iowa. Harrison, Pottawattamie, Mills and Fremont will be the first tier of counties that will be under the gun from these storms. The storms are currently moving east, on an average speed of 45 mph and should work their way further into the state as the evening turns to night. Other scattered thunderstorms are also developing over northeastern Nebraska & southeastern SD and they may also have some potential of becoming severe. These will also work eastward and make it into the state during the early nighttime hours. Those in the path of storms be ready to take immediate action once warnings are issued, continued updates are possible throughout the night.

4:00 PM Update: The Tornado Watch has been issued for portions of southwest and west-central Iowa. Tornado Watch #623 is in effect until 10 PM; thunderstorms should continue to develop in eastern Nebraska and move into the state this evening. Expect that additional watches may be issued later tonight as storms congeal into line segments and pose more of a wind and hail threat.

3:30 PM Update: This morning saw round 1 of severe weather make its' way through western Iowa. This morning a line of thunderstorms entered the state from SD/NE moving southeastward and became severe soon after entering the state. 3 large hail reports and 4 damaging wind reports came in from those storms, the strongest wind being 70 mph from Storm Lake. Other damage included trees and even a house roof was partially blown off near Charter Oak. Hail reports were fairly minimal, all reports an inch or less from this mornings' storms.

Another round of severe weather is expected over the western half of the state this evening and overnight. The Storm Prediction Center has indicated the thunderstorms with the potential for large hail, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes are likely to develop this afternoon and a watch will be issued shortly. This watch will probably be a tornado watch that covers the western couple tiers of counties and last into the early nighttime hours. Continued Severe Weather Updates Likely this Afternoon...

Heavy Rains & Thunderstorms

The last several days and potentially the next several have been filled with rounds of thunderstorms. Creating flooding concerns and the potential for severe weather during every event, luckily so far there hasn't been any truly dangerous situations. This morning we have thunderstorms developing in northwestern Iowa as well as moving into the area from SD/NE. These thunderstorms will likely work across the northern portions of the state throughout the morning hours, with some clearing taking place behind them. This clearing will potentially set the stage for more severe weather this evening over areas of northwestern Iowa and adjacent areas of NE/SD/MN. The western half of the state is in a 'slight' risk for severe weather this afternoon/evening; with the potential for large hail, damaging winds and an isolated tornado. The best tornado chances are currently forecasted to occur 50 miles east/west of a Omaha to Sioux Falls line. With any thunderstorms that train over the state, it is likely that flash flood warnings or flood warnings may be issued. Several counties in northwest Iowa and even central Iowa are currently under flood or flash flood warnings this morning. Additional updates on today's severe risk may be posted later...

Highs for Monday ranging from 80 degrees in the northeast to the lower 90s possible in the southwest. Lows tonight from the mid 60s in the north to the lower 70s in the south. As mentioned, thunderstorms chances exist for a majority of the state both today and overnight.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Severe Weather Possible

Severe weather is in the forecast for the state this evening and tonight, as well as tomorrow, Monday and possibly Tuesday once again. For this evening, thunderstorms developing near a warm front that is draped across the state may become severe with damaging winds, large hail and isolated tornadoes. A Tornado Watch has been issued for portions of northwest Iowa until 1 AM due to this risk. Additional watches may be issue for the rest of western & central Iowa as the risk expands overnight. Lows overnight tonight should be in the 60s throughout the state; with lower temperatures expected in northeast Iowa and the warmer temperatures in southwest Iowa.

Tomorrow will see the storm system continue to stay in the vicinity of the state, putting most of the state under a severe risk area. Thunderstorms should be ongoing at the beginning of the day, with some clearing taking place during the afternoon. High temperatures in the low to mid 80s across the state; Lows in the mid 60s to lower 70s. The severe risk will be defined on how much sunshine the state receives and how much moisture continues into the state; more details in later updates are possible.

Another day with a severe risk for a majority of the state on Monday; with a weak 'warm' or stationary front over the state and a cold front off to the west. Severe weather seems to likely be in a damaging wind threat as storms fire off of the cold front and sweep across the state in the form of an MCS. Highs during the day in the upper 70s or lower 80s in northeast Iowa with temperatures rising into the lower 90s possibly in southwest Iowa. Lows overnight in the upper 60s to lower 70s from north so south...

Tuesday may see somewhat of a severe threat ahead of the cold front that will move across portions of northern Iowa. The extended severe outlook does have a portion of northern Iowa included. Despite the severe weather threat, highs for the day will be quite warm; mid 80s in the northern third with lower 90s and maybe even a mid 90 temperature in the southern third. Lows will be dramatic across the state with the cold front influencing temperatures; lower 60s in northwest Iowa to lower 70s in southeast Iowa.

Continued severe weather updates are possible throughout the next couple of days.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Trumbull Lake Photography

Don't have much time tonight, as I awake early tomorrow morning to begin a move down into my apartment in Ames for another year of college. Several thunderstorm chances in the forecast and it'll likely be raining when I awake with a possible MCS working across the state. For now I'll leave you with a post of my recent photo shoot out at Trumbull Lake in Clay County Iowa.

Pelicans Close-Up & More Pelicans

Butterfly #1 & Butterfly #2

Frog & Frog Swimming

Trumbull Lake Sunset

Monday, August 13, 2007

August 13 Severe Risk

3:15 PM Update: New SPC outlook has increased potential for southwest Minnesota once again, this time in the tornado probabilities. Now looking for thunderstorm development this evening south of the warm front, these storms would likely quickly become severe and have the potential for large hail and tornadoes. The problem thunderstorms are likely to run into is the cap or extremely warm air between the 850mb and 700mb layers. If this cap can be broke, expect those thunderstorms to quickly develop and expand.
I've currently not yet decided on plans for storm chasing, this increased tornado risk does tempt me. However, quite a bit of work to be done to prepare for the move to college and not sure about how much it is worth to travel with such a stout cap.

11:45 AM Update: The latest outlook from the SPC has shifted the threat further west to cover all of southern MN, northeast Iowa and northcentral Iowa as well as portion of northwest Iowa. The severe potential is already growing south of the warm front which is located from near Aberdeen, SD to Jackson, MN to near Cedar Rapids, IA... Along and likely just north of the front is where storms are expected to develop this evening. Updates will continue this afternoon on the position of the warm front and any changes to outlooks, etc.

11:20 AM Update: The Storm Prediction Center issued a 'Moderate' risk of severe weather for portions of MN/WI and northeastern Iowa this morning. The moderate risk was issued for the possibilities of a damaging wind event during the evening/overnight hours through this area. A warm front that is currently draped over the northern plains is the main trigger for these storms. Previously it was forecasted to make it well into MN and initiate storms near and east of Fargo, ND while it is currently much further south than that and morning forecasts have shown the warm front might not be on the move as much as previously thought. If the warm front does not make a large move to the north, I expect the risk area to be highlighted further west over portions of western MN into central Iowa. A new outlook from the SPC is expected shortly and should shed some light on the possibilities of a more widespread severe risk for the state of Iowa this evening/tonight.

I'm prepared for a possible chase this evening if things do arise nearby, but not willing to make a large trip anywhere due to the likelihood of the storms being linear in nature. I'll keep updates going through the afternoon on the potential for severe weather and my chasing possibilities.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A Nice August Week

Temperatures in the 80s and 90s with mostly clear days, a few thunderstorm chances in the forecast as well to help out the slight drought that part of the state is in. With another potential for a few severe storms through midweek as well. Overall it looks to be a nice August week...

Highs today will range widely from north to south, mid 80s expected in the north with mid 90s in the south. The sun will be out throughout the state, making conditions feel nice and warm no matter what the air temperatures is. Some thunderstorm development possible tonight, leading to some chances in the forecast for western and central Iowa overnight tonight. A few of those storms may reach severe limits with some large hail and damaging winds possible. Cloudy conditions will help keep warm temperatures trapped in those areas as well, leading to upper 60s in the northwest quarter of the state; lower to mid 60s in the northeast quarter of the state and lower 70s in the southern half of the state.

Monday morning will have some thunderstorm chances in the eastern third as they diminish coming in from the west. This will lead to some lower high temperatures in the east, but the west/central begin the heating up. Highs in the mid to upper 90s for the western third, possibly seeing that elusive triple digit heat once again. Expect lower 90s in the central third of the state; upper 80s and lower 90s in the eastern third. Redevelopment of thunderstorms possible over northeast Iowa during the evening hours on Monday, some of which may be severe with a damaging wind threat for the most part. Lows during the night in the upper 60s to mid 70s throughout the state.

Tuesday continued the trend of warm temperatures during the day and developing thunderstorms during the overnight. Highs in the upper 80s to mid 90s for most of the state, the southwest portion may see some upper 90s. Lows expected to range from the upper 60s to lower 70s with those isolated thunderstorms developing. The severe risk with those storms is still up in the air, however I expect the potential for a storm or two to reach severe limits.

Continued thunderstorm chances on Wednesday for the entire state with highs widely ranged due to clouds/storms; lower 80s to lower 90s could be seen. Lows during the overnight on Wednesday in the lower to upper 60s over the state with continued thunderstorm chances in the southern two-thirds of the state.
Thursday and Thursday night have slight showers/thunderstorm chances for the southeast portion of the state. Highs in the mid 80s to near 90 in the south; Lows mid to upper 60s throughout the state.
Highs mid 80s to lower 90s from east to west on Friday; Lows range from the mid 60s to lower 70s from the east to west as well. Some thunderstorm chances creep into the northwest portion of the state as well during the overnight.
Those thunderstorm chances spread to the remainder of the state on Saturday and Saturday night. Highs to end the week are close to where they begun, in the upper 80s and lower 90s. Lows in the upper 60s to mid 70s are expected as well to begin the next week of August.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

More Thunderstorms?!

A great August day today will be followed up by several more over the weekend and into midweek next week. However, there are a few small chances of thunderstorms in the mix and the potential for some severe thunderstorms moving into the northern portions of the state late night on Friday. Despite those chances, everybody should be enjoying the weekend as the summer is on its' final stretch...

Friday will be mostly clear across the state, with little in the way of morning clouds or fog that as of late hindered the highs for the day. Highs on Friday are expected to be in the upper 80s over northeast Iowa; while low 90s should be over a majority of the state, a few mid 90s could be seen over southwest Iowa even. By Friday night expect lows to fall into the mid 60s to mid 70s across the state from northeast to southwest. Thunderstorms are expected to move through much of southern Minnesota and may also clip the northern tiers of Iowa counties. These storms may have some severe potential as they reach the IA/MN border, damaging winds as the main threat as the storms are likely to be in linear form.

The clouds and storms should be clear of the state by Saturday morning, allowing for a very warm, or hot, day over the state. Highs near 90 in the northeast, with mid 90s in central Iowa and upper 90s over western Iowa. In fact it looks as if we may even see some of the first triple digit marks of the year in parts of western Iowa. Dewpoints during the day will also be quite high, allowing heat indicies to be well above 100 in much of the state; so while you should enjoy the weather, be sure to keep hydrated and safe in such warm weather. With the high dewpoints, lows during the night on Saturday may be uncomfortable; with mid 70s in southwest Iowa to upper 60s in eastern Iowa. During the nighttime hours there are some small chances of developing thunderstorms in the northern third of the state.

Those thunderstorm chances will remain for Sunday as well, with some hot and humid conditions the atmosphere is setup for 'pop-up' or popcorn showers/thunderstorms. The severe threat is minimal with these storms, but an eye on the sky when these occur doesn't hurt. Highs for Sunday will give some relief as partly cloudy skies exist. Near 90 over the northern third of the state, with upper 90s in the southern quarter of the state; the general spread in between.
Sunday night has a continued risk of developing thunderstorms, with the eastern and northern thirds of the state getting the best probabilities currently. Lows during the night in the upper 60s for the northeast half of the state, with low to mid 70s for the southwestern half of Iowa.

The extended forecast for the work week continued the warm temperatures; upper 80s to upper 90s from northeast to southwest should be the consensus for most days. Lows in the upper 60s to mid 70s across the state during the nights as well. There does seem to be some small disturbances in the forecast, combined with the warm/humid temperatures that may allow for more thunderstorms. Those chances can be straightened out in the next update which is likely to come on Sunday as I'll be in Minneapolis over the weekend.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Wednesday Thunderstorms

11:00 PM Update: Thunderstorms continued to develop in areas of southern Iowa this evening, a tornado watch was issued and is still in effect until Midnight tonight. However these storms have become linear in nature and are no longer severe, in fact no severe reports originated from the state of Iowa tonight.

At this time there are scattered thunderstorms throughout eastern Iowa; essentially east of a Decorah, to Waterloo, to Knoxville, to Leon, IA line. Although none of those storms are severe, there is significant cloud-to-ground lightning occurring in many of the storms south of I80. Heavy rains are also a threat with those storms as they move east during the overnight hours.

4:30 PM Update: Showers and the occasional thunderstorm have been working across the state this morning and now re-firing this afternoon in several areas in the Plains. Severe Thunderstorm watches have been issued for areas of ND/SD/MN and MO/IL for thunderstorms that have developed there and already become severe. Another watch may be issued within the next couple of hours for portions of NE/IA/KS/MO, where the greatest potential for isolated tornadoes seems to exist.

Expect thunderstorms to continue in western Iowa this evening, some moving in from eastern Nebraska and others firing along boundaries in southwest Iowa. Some of these storms may be able to become severe, especially in southwest portions of the state. During the overnight hours, thunderstorms may continue into the central/eastern thirds of the state as well. These thunderstorms will likely be in linear form, meaning the only severe threats if any will be damaging winds or heavy rains. Widespread severe weather is not expected, but isolated severe storms are possible through tonight. More updates possible as the evening progresses...

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Hot... Humid... Rainy?

Scattered thunderstorms have been occurring over the state since the weekend, including some severe weather that once again moved over the state last night. No significant damage reports were received from the possible damaging winds with those storms, however heavy rains were once again a concern and prompted Flash Flood Warnings to be issued for 6 counties.

Today should give us a small break from some of the thunderstorms, highs today in the mid 80s to low 90s from northwest to southeast. The southern and eastern half of the state will be more likely to see thunderstorms this evening, a few of these storms may be capable of high winds, but the heavy rains will be the main concern. Tonights' lows in the upper 60s to mid 70s over the state, with a good chance of storms moving into the southern half of the state. That round of storms moving in from NE/KS are likely to pose a heavy rain threat, with a small chance of a warning or two.

Wednesday brings another complicated forecast, with thunderstorms likely to affect the area during the afternoon hours. Highs will be decided on where those storms occur and how late in the afternoon they begin. For now expecting mid 80s in the northwest where storms are likely to first occur; upper 80s and low 90s for a majority of the state with a possible mid 90 temperatures mixed in for the southeast. Those thunderstorms should move across the rest of the state, blanketing the state in precipitation by the end of the night. Lows of upper 60s to mid 70s from north to south across the state with those continued thunderstorms.

We should finally clear the thunderstorm chances by Thursday afternoon, allowing for full heating over the state. Portion of southeast Iowa have been put under a Heat Advisory for this reason, indicating heat indices above 105 degrees. Lower to mid 90s are expected for most of the state with humid air also in place making it feel quite warm. Thursday night lows in the upper 60s north and lower 70s south with the humid air. Friday also expected to be dry, with highs in the 90s once again; Lows expected in the upper 60s for northeast Iowa while the rest of the state looks at 70s for lows.

The weekend looks to keep the hot air in place over the state, with some relief as another storm system clips the area. Small chances of thunderstorms have been entered into the forecast for this reason, mainly for northern Iowa. Those details as usual will come into better focus in later forecasts...

Sunday, August 5, 2007

More Severe Storms Possible

Saturday night saw a severe threat move over the state, but without much commotion. Only one warning was issued out of the tornado watch that was issued for portions of western & central Iowa. That warning was for parts of Buena Vista and Cherokee counties from 7:15 PM until 8 PM; it was a tornado warning as a rotating wall cloud was reported near the Linn Grove area.

After a lull in the action today, another system that is expected to slowly make its' way across the northern plains may give us more chances at thunderstorms and severe weather. Tomorrow evening/overnight will be our first chance with this system, low pressure centered in SD with a weak trailing front to its' south should be able to spark off some storms over central SD/NE during the evening hours. With the low level jet increasing towards evening, expect those isolated thunderstorms to possibly congeal into an MCS, (convective system), and move eastward. This line of thunderstorms may likely present the threat of damaging winds as it moves into southern Minnesota and northern Iowa during the early nighttime hours.

On Tuesday, the system doesn't make it much further to the east; putting Iowa in a risk of severe weather once again. Weak front(s) likely to be stretched across the plains states, with an intersection possible in Nebraska. This will likely lead to thunderstorm development in central/eastern Nebraska once again during the evening hours, moving into Iowa in late evening or early nighttime hours. Although a few isolated storms may be possible, especially in western/northern Iowa; the most likely scenario would be another line of thunderstorms (MCS) to move over the state with a threat of severe winds and heavy rains. The forecast is complicated by the events of previous days and thus some changes in location of the fronts and how well the atmosphere is setup for severe weather is likely. But, just keep the eyes out for a continued severe weather threat through mid-week.

Despite the severe weather threats, a warm summer day is in store for the beginning of the work week. Monday highs should be in the upper 80s and lower 90s; lows in the upper 60s to lower 70s. Tuesday highs in the mid 80s to mid 90s from northwest to southeast; some cloud cover and frontal position may change that forecast. Tuesday night lows in the mid 60s to mid 70s... Expect both days to be fairly humid with dewpoints nearing the 70 degree mark.
Next update possible Monday evening, updating the severe threat for the night and Tuesday.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Weekend Severe Chances

With thunderstorm chances on the increase and severe weather possible out west in SD/NE today, what are our chances for the weekend in catching some of the action?

A low pressure system that is currently near the Nebraska panhandle will lift to the northeast tonight and into tomorrow. Trailing this low is a cold front and just ahead of it a warm front that is likely to setup over southern MN tomorrow. These features are likely to cause thunderstorm activity over the area as early as tonight. Tonights' storms however will be out ahead of this system and mainly be capable of heavy rains along with some gusty winds. Tomorrows' storms that may redevelop over portions of eastern SD/NE into MN and Iowa will have the ability to become severe. However, they must be able to develop first and that is currently a large question in the forecast. How strong is the cap, or warm air aloft, in the warm sector ahead of the cold front and south of the warm front. Most cases during August over the state doesn't bode well for seeing thunderstorm activity develop ahead of these features during the evening hours and thus I'd expect the best chance for thunderstorms to be in the early nighttime hours when the cap has eroded and the cold front begins its' trek over the state. Those storms may still have some severe potential, with damaging winds being the highest risk.

Thunderstorms should move over central Iowa Saturday night along with the cold front. Sunday will once again put the state in a risk of thunderstorms and possibly a severe storm or two. The risk on Sunday however is highly dependent on the outcomes of Saturdays' events and the positioning of other features from those storms. Tomorrow may allow a better defined area and threats to this area.

For now expect risks of thunderstorms tonight over western/central Iowa with little severe threat. Redevelopment of thunderstorms over areas of SD/NE/MN and northwestern Iowa tomorrow, especially in the early nighttime hours, with some severe storms possible. Storms continuing over central/eastern Iowa on Saturday night with little severe weather threat once again. Sunday could be another active day over the state, however the potential is yet to be defined as it is dependent on other features from previous days convection and the positioning of fronts, etc.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Stormy Weekend & Beyond

Recent forecasts have begun to enhance the thunderstorm potential over the state this weekend and into early next week as well. The storm predication center (SPC) upgraded their day 2 outlook for areas of the Dakotas dramatically this afternoon; this same system will begin to effect the area late tomorrow night into Saturday. Beyond this system, another front looks to setup over the state and stall out early next week and could once again be the focus for thunderstorms, some of which may be strong.

Tomorrow will be another warm and nice day with temperatures and moisture increasing; highs in the mid to upper 80s. Late tomorrow night should have thunderstorms move into western Iowa in the likely form of an MCS or large cluster or line of thunderstorms. These thunderstorms are currently not expected to hold much of a severe threat, but stronger winds along with heavy rains are a definite possibility as they move across the state.

Those storms may be able to hold on through the morning hours, otherwise more development is likely in the afternoon hours. Northern Iowa currently holds the better chance of thunderstorms, although all of the state has at least a slight chance inserted into the forecast. Highs will be highly dependent on cloud cover from the thunderstorms, where the sun shines expect temperatures in the upper 80s, otherwise highs in the upper 70s & lower 80s where cloud debris remains. By Saturday night the thunderstorms should move off to eastern Iowa; lows in the upper 60s over the northern 2/3rds of the state while the southern third will see lower 70s. Currently forecasts indicate that the thunderstorms during the afternoon/evening hours on Saturday may hold some potential for severe weather, but there are several questions that need to be answered on how things play out for severe weather development. The biggest wrench in things is the warm temperatures aloft, the cap, that may hold off storms from developing over the state. Tomorrows' update should be able to shed more light on the severe possibilities...

Next week continues an active weather pattern, with thunderstorm chances in the forecast for Sunday night through Wednesday as several waves make their way through the northern plains. These waves will all travel along a front that is likely to stall from west to east across the state. Temperatures through the first half of the week will likely be in the upper 80s to mid 90s; humidity levels also likely to be fairly high as moisture continues to feed into the area. The SPC has indicated in their extended severe weather forecast that some of the thunderstorms that occur during the Monday through Wednesday time frame may have the potential to become severe. Exact threats will have to be determined as the system comes into shape and later updates will hopefully be able to expand on them.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Thunderstorm Chances

After highs in the upper 80s and lower 90s today, a weak frontal system will make its' way towards the state. This is going to be the provider of some thunderstorm chances this evening and tonight over areas of northwestern Iowa. Lows tonight will be in the upper 60s for the most part, although some areas that experience thunderstorms may drop into the mid 60s.

Expect those thunderstorms to continue into the morning hours across central and northeastern Iowa; keeping temperatures cool through the morning and early afternoon hours. Highs should range from the upper 80s in southeastern Iowa, to the mid 80s across the rest of the state; some isolated lower 80s may be possible if showers & clouds can stick around for a while during the afternoon hours in central/eastern Iowa. The thunderstorms should be out of the state by nightfall, allowing lows to range from the lower 60s in the northwest to upper 60s in the southeast with cloudy skies.

Another storm system looks to target the state by Friday night, but not before a nice day once again on Friday with highs in the mid to upper 80s. Isolated showers & thunderstorms are then possible over western Iowa during the night; temperatures in the mid 60s over northeast Iowa, upper 60s and lower 70s over the remainder of the state.

The weekend forecast is also in question with a more active weather pattern. Slight chances of showers and thunderstorms remain embedded in the forecast for northern Iowa on Saturday night; then the entire state for Sunday and Sunday night. Expect highs to be warm, upper 80s to low 90s on Saturday and low to mid 90s on Sunday. Lows during the night should only drop into the upper 60s and lower 70s on both nights. Beyond the weekend the active pattern may hold in place for a couple more day, with isolated thunderstorms and showers possible; high temperatures in the 80s & 90s also look to stay.