Tuesday, July 29, 2008

No Thunderstorms?!?

Last nights' threat for thunderstorms was minimized as despite cooling aloft, a strong cap continued to be in place. With the lack of strong lift, the thunderstorms in southern South Dakota during the early nighttime hours could not continue further eastward. Some scattered storms did develop, however, these were not severe or widespread in nature like previous forecasts indicated. The large MCS that was forecasted for areas of southwestern Minnesota and adjacent areas did form, but this tracked further north across portions of central Minnesota during the nighttime hours.

We'll continue the trend of warm and humid air, as temperatures ranged around 70 this morning across the state with some scattered fog due to the humid air. Expect the fog to burn on once the sun begins to heat us up, with highs today in the upper 80s throughout the state. Some scattered thunderstorms are possible this afternoon and evening over the southeast half of the state, a few of these storms may be severe capable of large hail and damaging winds in the northeast. Lows tonight in the upper 60s with a lingering storm or two in southeast Iowa.

Wednesday's highs will continue to be in the mid to upper 80s, lows overnight should range from the upper 60s to near 70 from northeast to southwest. Thunderstorms look to enter the forecast on Wednesday night again with the approach of a weak system. The best chances for any thunderstorms will be over the western third, with even better chances in the northwest portion of the state.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Severe Weather: July 28

9:25 PM Update: Strong inhibition/capping is continuing ahead of the current activity in both North Dakota, and South Dakota. This is currently suppressing, and disorganizing the convection in southern South Dakota. Some cooling is taking place, that may allow the thunderstorms to continue to develop as they move eastward. Still expecting that the thunderstorms will continue into western Minnesota and western Iowa during the overnight hours. The severe weather threat with these thunderstorms is questionable, but still deserves to be watched as we continue through the overnight hours. The timetable for storms entering portions of northwest Iowa looks to be around midnight for extreme northwest Iowa.

9:20 AM Update: A continuing threat of severe weather is likely late this afternoon/evening and into the overnight hours for a portion of the state. Current radar shows lingering thunderstorm activity in southern Iowa this morning, but with weakening trends given strengthening inhibition/capping. Other thunderstorms are ongoing this morning over central North Dakota, which continues to be severe warned for multiple cells. The progression of this MCS is expected to continue east/southeast, with the eventual growth of several individual cells or multicell clusters rather than the previous MCS condition that it was in. Some of this isolated development is already being noted on latest radar trends on the southern periphery of the cluster.

Ahead of this thunderstorm complex, and associated shortwave, clearing skies will allow a warm front to move northward throughout the day. Areas along and south of this warm front will see temperatures rising into the upper 80s and 90s, with dewpoints in the 70s. This will provide a large area of the Dakotas, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Iowa with extreme instability values throughout all levels. Despite this extreme instability, and overall strong lift, thunderstorms shouldn't develop until the later afternoon or evening hours due to strong capping. The most likely areas to be able to breach this strong cap will be along or just ahead of the current cluster and shortwave that is expected to move east/southeast throughout the day. This additional development is likely to occur across the eastern half of South Dakota, as well as southeastern North Dakota where the instability will be present to aid in rapid thunderstorm development. The storms may initially be supercellular in nature, capable of both very large hail, damaging winds, and an isolated tornado given decent shear values and extreme instability.

As the thunderstorms continue into the evening and early overnight hours, expect the evolution into a strong MCS, possible derecho as the storms enter extreme eastern Dakotas, and western Minnesota/Iowa. The tornado threat should decrease, however, the threat for both large hail and damaging winds will continue. The potential for a strong damaging wind threat is there, thus the SPC has issued a moderate risk for portions of the eastern Dakotas, stretching into parts of southwestern Minnesota.

The threat for Iowa should mainly be confined to portions of western Iowa in the early overnight hours. The potential for damaging winds, very large hail, and a potential for a tornado or two is being slated for mainly the northwest quarter of the state. Expect thunderstorm to continue throughout the nighttime hours, affecting a large portion of the state with the potential for mainly large hail and damaging winds. The threat may be enhanced dependent upon the MCS evolution and if the potential derecho does indeed take form. Later updates may alter forecasts slightly to increase the severe weather threat.

Otherwise, enjoy the hot and humid day throughout a majority of the state with temperatures in the upper 80s and 90s and dewpoints in the 70s. Clear skies for a majority of the afternoon will make conditions feel like the 100s in some areas though.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Severe Weather: July 27

Recap: A round of storms made their way through portions of central and southern Iowa yesterday afternoon/evening. Storms developed during the early afternoon hours in response to an old MCS entering portions of northwest Iowa. As this continued, additional development occurred as this lingering MCS pushed a stationary boundary, and outflow further to the south. The intense storms began roughly around the Pocahontas to Fort Dodge areas where they continued to expand and strengthen as they headed towards the Des Moines area. As the storms entered Boone/Story counties a tornado warning was issued for the storm, as well as significant damaging winds. The storms continued to expand throughout the afternoon and evening hours as they entered southern Iowa, creating a large span of damaging winds and large hail reports over the state. Overall, a total of 5 tornado reports were received yesterday in Polk county (near Elkhart and Ankeny), Jasper county (near Valeria and Newton), and lastly in Monroe county (near Lovilia). Large hail was also a threat, the largest size in Iowa being baseballs on a few occasions, other areas with storms in northern Missouri reached up to 5 inches in diameter! Damaging straight line winds were also definitely present and the most widespread, typically 50-70 mph winds were common. However, a few measured gusts over 80 mph were also received yesterday with the storms.

A large collection of pictures, radar, etc. can be found on the Iowa Environmental Mesonet.

2:15 PM Update: The previously severe warned storm has since continued eastward and congealed into more of a linear line of storms. This line has entered, and now passed through, portion of Cerro Gordo and Franklin counties in Iowa where it became severe warned for the potential for winds greater than 60 mph. The line of storms is continuing to move east around 35 mph. Both Floyd, and northern Butler counties are now under a severe thunderstorm warning for winds greater than 60 mph and some small hail.

12:40 PM Update: The NWS has issued a statement indicating that the public reported pea sized hail with the storm as it moved through northwest Palo Alto county. This is likely going to be the largest hail size seen with this storm in its' current state, as it does appear to be weakening as it continues eastward.

12:25 PM Update: A broken line of thunderstorms moved into the state late this morning, affecting mainly extreme northwestern Iowa. This line strengthened as it entered areas that held some instability in place with broken clouds earlier in the morning. It has since passed through areas of Dickinson and Clay counties before becoming severe warned as it entered Palo Alto county. This warning continues for northern Palo Alto county until 1 PM, the storm continues to stretch from the east of Wallingford, IA south/southwestward to the west of Ruthven, IA. The main area that may be impacted by some small, and potentially severe hail, is located to the southwest of Graettinger, IA. This storm is moving to the east/southeast at approximately 35 mph and will continue to move through Palo Alto county for the next half hour.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Ahh... Summer

Spent the first half of the week traveling from California into Las Vegas, NV; and then was in Vegas through Wednesday morning. Had a flight back into the plains of Iowa early Wednesday morning, and then drove back home during the afternoon hours. Finally back home and was able to see some of the wind damage that occurred on Monday morning across central Iowa. I will add on pictures from the last few days of Vacation, mainly Vegas pictures, later on this weekend. Started up another job today, working in the corn fields for Monsanto out of Spencer, IA. Also have two photography jobs that need to be done this weekend, so that will keep me quite busy for the next few days.

As for the weather in Iowa, it seems like you were stuck in a warm, humid, and stormy pattern for the week I was away. That has continued into today, and will likely stick around for a little while longer. Today's highs will range from the upper 70s to lower 80s depending on where you are with the breaks in the clouds. Some thunderstorms will be possible overnight across the state, lows should range from the mid 60s to near 70 from northeast to southwest. Lingering thunderstorms are possible across a majority of the state on Friday, with highs in the mid to upper 80s.

The thunderstorm chances should be minimal on Friday night, however, still there. Lows should range in the 60s throughout the state. The weekend looks nice, with highs in the mid 80s to near 90 on Saturday; lower to mid 80s on Sunday. Lows should range in the 60s throughout the weekend. Scattered thunderstorms are possible, mainly Saturday night and Sunday, and especially over the southern two-thirds of the state. These continued chances of precipitation have prompted several flash flood or flood watches, as well as some warnings, over the southern portions of Iowa. Expect the saturated and some flooding to continue through the weekend.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Vacation (Days 3 & 4)

The vacation continues, with a visit to a few more places on Friday morning in Sedona, AZ. Grabbed a few more panoramic images that can be stitched together later... We then continued south into the 'hot' portion of Arizona, Phoenix, spending the rest of the afternoon in a pool in Scottsdale. Went to the Arizona Diamondbacks and LA Dodgers on Friday night, a great 11 inning game which saw the Dodgers coming out on top. Was also treated to some nice fireworks after the game, which was viewable from a portion of the upper deck at Chase Field. (Images below)

Saturday (Day 4) was spent traveling from Phoenix, AZ to Anaheim, CA. Arrived there and went to see the Pacific Ocean at Huntington Beach, where the water was very chilly. Only spent a few minutes grabbing some pictures there and wading in the water. California really didn't seem like that great of a place to me, the weather was cool which wasn't too bad, but the overall conditions there including the terrible smog that ruins all sorts of scenery were definitely not something that I could spend time looking at.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Vacation (Day 2)

Left Flagstaff, AZ in the morning en route to the Grand Canyon, drove through a large portion of the National Forest that is located throughout northern Arizona. A lot of scenic views, so plenty of pictures yesterday... A view from the Grand Canyon:

After the visit to the Grand Canyon we headed south to view areas of the Oak Creek Valley and Sedona, AZ. Found ourselves a nice view of Oak Creek off of the highway to take some pictures, etc. Nice spring fed creek that was clear as can be! Explored the town of Sedona and its' views last evening and this morning... A lot of panoramic pictures that will have to be stitched together once I get back home. A last couple pictures of the creek that we found, and just one of the many great red sandstone formations that make up Sedona and its' views.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hello from Arizona!

Left for vacation yesterday morning, driving from northwest Iowa to Des Moines, IA Airport. From there, flew into Las Vegas, NV during the afternoon and picked up the rental car to make the way into Arizona. Went over the Hoover Dam, and then drove through Arizona to arrive at our nighttime destination of Flagstaff, AZ.

A visit to the Grand Canyon today, and then dropping south to view Sedona, AZ and all of its' natural features. Throwing on a few images of yesterdays' visit below...

Severe Weather: July 17

Just a quick update on the severe weather threat for Iowa, although I'm in Arizona (see post above). A line of thunderstorms capable of some damaging winds and large hail is making its' way into the state as we speak. A severe thunderstorm warnings has been issued for portions of Lyon and Osceola counties...

Once this round of severe thunderstorms is over this morning, another round is possible this afternoon that will bring with it the threat of large hail and damaging winds once again. Keep an eye out as thunderstorms are possible through much of the northern half of the state. No further updates are likely today...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

More Lightning!

I made myself get up this morning so I would have time to edit at least a portion of the photos from last night. I have a dozen of the 'best' images from last night online in my gallery pages for you to enjoy now. There are nearly 50 images that at least have some sort of lightning strike in them, but quite a few are of nearly the same type of strike so I kept it down on the repeats. Two of the best ones are shown below, otherwise enjoy all of them in the July 15 Lightning Gallery.


I finally managed to do it! A storm at night, that was actually isolated cells instead of a huge line, that put off a decent lightning show. I was out taking photos from around 11:20 PM until 12:45 AM, managed nearly 120 images over that time with at least half of them with some type of strikes. Getting ready for vacation, and editing the 90 pictures from tonight's Estherville-Lincoln-Central vs Storm Lake baseball game.

I did put one image online as sort of a teaser to what some of the images may hold. This image is completely unedited, it was converted to jpeg and then resized for website upload. The image is one of many that contains the storm, its' lightning, and the clear sky and its' stars above. Hope you enjoy the teaser image, and I'll be sure to update the blog when I do get all of the images edited and online (may be awhile!).

Check out the next posting to see some of the photos!

Monday, July 14, 2008


With hot and moist air filtering into the state, the chances for thunderstorms are going to as well. This afternoon should see thunderstorms develop along a nearly stationary surface boundary from northern Minnesota into portions of central Nebraska. A majority of thunderstorms should not be severe, although some of the clusters in extreme northern Minnesota, and central Nebraska may become severe during the evening hours. By 10 PM these thunderstorms should begin to fall apart given the waning instability.

The chance of thunderstorms will once again develop tomorrow afternoon/evening along the surface boundary that will draped across the plains states. The best chance for severe thunderstorms during the afternoon/evening should once again stretch from central Nebraska into the northern Peninsula of Michigan. The threats with storms will mainly be large hail and damaging winds, with the potential for these threats to continue into the nighttime hours. A small portion of northwest Iowa may see the potential for severe weather during the early overnight hours.

The potential for severe weather will also exist on Wednesday as a surface boundary continues to linger over parts of the northern plains. More weak shortwave troughs will also work into the northern plains, expanding the thunderstorm potential. The severe weather threat at this time is questionable, and limited. But, thunderstorms can be expected across much of the northern plains including northwest Iowa once again. It is likely that at least a few isolated severe thunderstorms will be possible over this area of thunderstorm risk.

Long range forecasts continue to show this surface boundary draped over the northern plains, as zonal flow continues with shortwave troughs. With this boundary over the area the chances for thunderstorms will likely continue to threaten portions of the state. Severe weather threats during this time are unknown, but at least isolated severe weather chances should exist.

An update tomorrow will detail the severe weather threat for northwest Iowa. Later updates may touch on the severe weather threats for Iowa, when updates are possible.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Chilly Morning... Warmth will Return

After seeing temperatures in the upper 80s to mid 90s, combined with overnight lows in the mid 60s to lower 70s, this morning felt kind of chilly for many areas of the state. Lows ranged from the lower 60s in southeast Iowa, to the lower 50s in northwest Iowa. These temperatures with the brisk breeze from the west felt very cool when I walked outside just before 8 AM this morning.

Highs today will range from the upper 70s to mid 80s from northeast to southwest across the state. With mainly clear skies and the westerly wind from 5-15 mph, little moisture is in the air as well to make it nearly feel like a spring or fall day outside. Lows tonight will drop into the mid to upper 50s throughout the state, once again with clear skies and winds beginning to shift more southwesterly.

Tuesday will see strong southwesterly winds during the afternoon, bringing up both moisture and warmth to the state. Highs will range from the mid 80s in northeast Iowa to around 90 along the Missouri River. Southwesterly winds from 10-20 mph in the eastern half of the state, southerly winds 15-25 mph in the western half. Overnight lows on Tuesday will be in the mid 60s to near 70 once again as the moisture returns to the state. Thunderstorm chances also come into the forecast for Tuesday night, mainly over the northwestern half of the state.

Thunderstorm chances continue over at least some portions of the state Wednesday into the weekend. Southerly winds continue to keep both the heat and moisture into the state until a cold front comes in on Friday. Highs beforehand in the mid 80s to lower 90s, by Friday and the weekend some cooling to the 80s throughout the state is expected. Lows overnight in the mid 60s and lower 70s Wednesday and Thursday, Friday night lows should be into the 60s throughout the state. The chances of severe weather look to be isolated Tuesday and Wednesday, Thursday may become more widespread given storms develop. Friday's thunderstorms with the cold front passage should be widespread across the state, with thunderstorms likely being severe. More details on the threat will become available in later forecasts.

Iowa weather updates may continue through Tuesday, whereafter I get to take a vacation to the hot southwest. Wednesday, July 16 through the 23rd may be spent with updates from the southwest!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Welcome Home!

The National Guard First Battalion 194th Field Artillery Battery A stationed out of Estherville, IA got a welcome home celebration yesterday, July 11. They found themselves 'home' shortly before 2 PM yesterday, as they entered the Estherville-Lincoln-Cenral High School football field at that time. A few general speeches were made by the local mayor, and other officers, before the troops were finally given their 'dismissed' orders. Upon that, families and friends of the troops were rushing onto the field to give their soldiers the greetings' that they deserved.

Oh, almost forgot one special event, just before the end of the ceremony, Angela Stewart was proposed to by Sergeant Dotson of Pocahontas, Iowa. You can see a couple of those images below, given the second one of the set, I think it was safe to assume it was a 'yes'. More images besides the ones below can be seen online, National Guard Gallery.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Severe Weather: July 11

After yesterday's severe weather in eastern Iowa, it looks like both western and central Iowa will get their turn today. A cold front associated with a low pressure system in southern Canada, will continue to slowly work eastward this afternoon. Thunderstorms are expected to develop along this front in northern Minnesota as early as 3 PM this afternoon, capable of large hail, damaging winds, and tornadoes. As the afternoon progresses, storms should begin to fire further and further south along the cold front. Current model forecasts have the front entering extreme northwest Iowa around 6 or 7 PM this evening, with storms firing along the front by 8 PM.

As storms fire along the front in extreme northwest Iowa, they may be able to stay isolated for the first hour leaving them capable of large hail despite very warm temperatures. However, current forecasts look to make this into a fairly large line of thunderstorms as they progress. Leaving more of a damaging wind threat for areas of western and central Iowa. Storms should move eastward, allowing them to reach the I35 corridor in northern Iowa sometime before midnight. Other storms, possibly severe, should be trailing to the southwest along the front as well back into portions of west-central Iowa.

Besides the thunderstorm risk this evening, be prepared for a hot July day! Temperatures soaring into the 90s across nearly the entire state this afternoon, with some mid and upper 90s possible in western Iowa. Dewpoints will also be high, upper 60s and lower 70s, leading to very humid/muggy conditions for those outside. Be sure to keep hydrated as heat index values may break the 100 degree mark later this afternoon. Today would definitely be the day to hit the beach!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Severe Weather: July 10

3:50 PM Update: The thunderstorm threat has diminished for the state of Iowa as of latest radar updates. The extreme northeast corner of Iowa may be affected shortly by a strong bow echo storm that is tracking out of southeastern Minnesota. The SPC has also stated in discussions that portions of northeast and north-central Iowa may also be put under another severe thunderstorm watch later this afternoon. Additional development is likely and the risk for severe weather if storms develop is fairly high.


3:05 PM Update: The Iowa State Patrol has reported a tornado that was located west of Elvira, IA as of 3:01 PM. This tornado is moving to the southeast at ~30 mph.


3:03 Update: Severe and Tornadic thunderstorms are moving east/southeast near and just north of the Davenport, IA area. Large hail and damaging winds are likely, from Clinton through Scott counties. The tornadic threat is currently limited to an area near the highway 30 corridor in Clinton county to the east of DeWitt. The towns of Low Moor and Camanche are both in the path of the potentially tornadic storm. These storms should move east out of Iowa within the next half hour.


2:46 PM Update: A tornado has been reported to be on the ground, just north of DeWitt, IA associated with the storm that is going to continue to effect Clinton county. This storm will move to the southeast at 25 mph...


1:20 PM Update: The tornado warning for Jones county continues to be in effect, here is the latest from the NWS:



12:40 PM Update: Shortly after stating that this storm doesn't appear to be tornadic, Davenport NWS has issued a tornado warning for Jones/Linn/Delaware counties in eastern Iowa. Rotation has been noted on radar, along with a small reflectivity hook has prompted this warning. Currently, no reports have been received from this storm other than large hail.


12:25 PM Update: A severe thunderstorm capable of producing up to golf ball sized hail was located over Delaware county. This storm is moving to the east at 20 mph, and should begin to enter portions of Dubuque county shortly. This storm is a supercell, thus will likely continue to threaten the areas with large hail and damaging winds. This storm has shown characteristics of possible rotation in the lower levels, however, at this time it does not appear that the storm will be tornadic.


10:45 AM Update: Although not completely expected, a severe weather threat is likely to affect a large portion of the state this afternoon/evening across Iowa. Currently, thunderstorms are still lingering over parts of eastern Iowa after morning convection in northwestern Iowa. The clouds are now clearing in western Iowa behind this system, which should provide this area with plenty of instability for this afternoons potential round of thunderstorms. North of the state, thunderstorms associated with a weak wave are ongoing with a severe thunderstorm watch until 1 PM for portions of the eastern Dakotas and western Minnesota.

These thunderstorms that are in eastern Iowa should continue to move off into portions of southern Wisconsin and Illinois. Expect them to clear the Iowa border by mid afternoon, with the cloud cover exiting shortly after given no other convection or cloud cover is moving in.

The main severe threat for the state will come this afternoon with upscale development of storms along the current wave in Minnesota. Those associated thunderstorms are struggling to continue, however, with the large scale features it should continue to expand east/southeastward for the remainder of the morning and early afternoon. As these storms reach southward they should begin to enter a better environment, with more moisture and heating allowing for substantial instability. This will allow storms to post a threat for both large hail, and damaging winds through the mid and late afternoon hours. The SPC has already issued a discussion stating such an evolution, and that a severe thunderstorm watch may be needed for portions of northern Iowa, and southern Minnesota, in the next few hours.

Future updates will address the potential severe threat and storm evolution as it enters Iowa. Radar updates are being shown on the Iowa Chaser Homepage.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

True Summer Week Ahead...

As the cold front that has lingered across the state the past couple of days finally moves to the east/south, we'll be left with more of a typical July week. Warm temperatures, increasing humidity, and some occasional pop-up thunderstorms will take hold through Friday and the next storm system.

Temperatures today should range from the mid to upper 80s throughout the state, with a little less humidity than the previous couple of days. Isolated thunderstorms are possible in extreme southern Iowa, as the cold front lingers there during the early afternoon hours. Tonights' lows should from the upper 50s to mid 60s from north to south across the state, and showers/thunderstorms should be focused in Missouri/Illinois.

Wednesdays' highs will be in the 80s throughout the state under partly cloudy skies, and increasing moisture. Currently the Sioux Falls NWS is hinting at some isolated thunderstorms that may be possible, mainly for northwest Iowa. Wednesday night lows in the lower to mid 60s throughout the state with a few of those isolated thunderstorms lingering in northwest Iowa for the early overnight. Thursday shows much the same, with highs in the mid and upper 80s, a few 90 readings also possible. Partly cloudy skies, and fairly humid conditions will give way to a fairly nice summer day, with those occasional pop-up thunderstorms once again possible across the northern third of the state. Thursday night lows in the mid 60s to near 70 from east to west across the state.

The end of the work week, and the next system approaching will give way to strong southerly winds pumping both heat and moisture into the state. Friday's highs will reach into the 90s throughout the state, mid 90s even along the Missouri River. Friday nights' lows will represent the increase in moisture, as they only fall into the mid 60s to lower 70s across the state. With the aid of a surface front, and its' features, will lead to thunderstorms possible across much of the state Friday evening through the overnight. These thunderstorms are expected to yield a potential severe weather threat where they do develop. More details on some of the pop-up thunderstorms, as well as Friday's severe weather threat will be available in later updates.

Monday, July 7, 2008

July 7 Severe Weather

5:10 PM Update: A line of thunderstorms, some severe and tornadic, continue to occur along a line from near Decorah, IA southwestward to near Council Bluffs, IA. These storms should continue to be able to produce damaging winds and large hail up to one inch in diameter. At times throughout the evening, some storms may be able to become tornadic within the line segments. Currently one such storm is occurring near Stratford, IA or within Webster and Hamilton counties. Those along this line or to the southeast should continue to monitor conditions as the storms will work their way towards them this evening and into the early overnight hours.


3:30 PM Update: Severe thunderstorm watch continues for portions of northern Iowa until 9 PM. Thunderstorms have continued to travel into portions of southeastern Minnesota as a bow echo, with damaging winds in excess of 60 mph. The tail end of this line of storms near Mason City has since also became severe, and tornadic with a warning now issued for Cerro Gordo county. Ahead of this, a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for portions of Floyd and Mitchell counties for the threat of damaging winds. Continued development of storms is likely throughout the afternoon, with the best potential over northeastern Iowa.


12:05 PM Update: Another interesting and potentially complex situation for severe weather across the state of Iowa again today. A subtle surface boundary currently exists across northern Iowa, which combined with a low level jet increase this evening, along with additional lift created by subtle low pressure near the IA/MN border this evening should create a situation for severe weather. Currently, abundant cloud cover and scattered showers/thunderstorms exists over northwest Iowa. Behind this, clouds are clearing and will allow temperatures to warm rapidly created a strong unstable environment.

Expect thunderstorms to initiate across southern Minnesota, and northern Iowa along/near the frontal boundary during the later afternoon and evening hours. These storms could rapidly become severe, capable of both large hail and damaging winds. The slight difference between yesterday's and today's event will be the additional shear that is present today. This may allow storms to remain more discrete today, thus increasing the tornado potential along the boundary from western IA/MN into Wisconsin. More updates on the severe weather potential is possible later in the day as the threat becomes defined.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

July 6 Severe Weather

7:40 PM Update: Continued thunderstorms across portions of extreme northeast Iowa, with showers and an embedded storm or two over the remaining northern third of the state. The severe weather threat seems to have been diminished, and the severe thunderstorm storm watch will likely be canceled within the next hour. Once again, the biggest reports of the day will come from two state parks. The first from Stone State Park where a brief tornado touchdown was reported, luckily in an open area near the park. The second comes from Lewis & Clark State Park near Onawa, IA where trees were uprooted and fell onto campers. Unfortunately injuries were reported from this park, more details are not known at this time. No other updates are likely for today/tonight...


5:06 PM Update: The NWS in Sioux Falls has received reports of a brief tornado touchdown near Stone State Park, that is ~4 miles northwest of Sioux City. This does appear to have occurred in an open area, and was very brief.


5:00 PM Update: A tornado warning has been issued for portions of Plymouth and Woodbury counties in Iowa. This storm has produced several funnels and recent reports indicate that a tornado did touch down on the northwest portions of Sioux City at 4:55 PM. It does appear on radar that the strongest rotation is north of Sioux City, between the towns of Jefferson, SD and Hinton, IA. This storm is moving the east/northeast around 25 mph and should continue to effect portions along the Plymouth and Woodbury county lines.


4:30 PM Update: Severe storms continue to develop/move into the state this afternoon. Currently a cluster of severe storms exist from west of Pocahontas, IA to the north of Ida Grove, IA to just south of Sioux City, IA where the line then extends north/south. The north/south line extends from Dixon county Nebraska to the south of Onawa, IA.

Another segment of thunderstorms exist north of the severe line, from near Primghar, IA through Winnebego county Iowa.

Expect thunderstorms to continue over western and northern Iowa this evening, slowly making their way into portions of central Iowa for the late evening/overnight hours. The main severe threats will be hail to the size of quarters, and winds 60-70 mph.


3:00 PM Update: A cold front is positioned across Minnesota, extreme northwest Iowa, and into eastern Nebraska. Showers and thunderstorms have lingered throughout the morning and early afternoon, however, with continued heating these isolated showers/storms should continue to expand and increase in intensity. Other storms should also initiate along this boundary, likely overcoming any inhibition they are facing within the next couple of hours. The Storm Prediction Center has also noted this and have indicated that a severe thunderstorm watch will likely be issued in the next hour or two for parts of NE/IA/MN/SD.

Currently isolated thunderstorm development is taking place near the Missouri River, with several rapid thunderstorms now south of Sioux City. One such storm has now went severe with large hail and damaging winds in northeast Nebraska. Expect this to continue throughout the afternoon hours, with storms moving mainly northeast at 15-30 mph. Watch should be issued soon for portions of northwest Iowa, expect severe thunderstorms to move/develop into Iowa within the next hour.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Thunderstorms, Some Severe?

Thunderstorm chances will once again creep into the forecast for the start of the new week, with the potential for some of the thunderstorms to be severe. A cold front will begin to enter the state on Sunday afternoon, sparking thunderstorms along it from the Great Lakes into the plains of Nebraska and Kansas. This cold front will continue east on Monday along the Great Lakes, with a minimal sever threat. However, further west in the plains the previous cold front is likely to become nearly stationary and become the focus for thunderstorms on Monday afternoon.

Thunderstorms this afternoon in areas of the Dakotas along the cold front will continue to expand during the evening hours with the threats of both large hail and damaging winds. With the increase of low level jet overnight tonight, expect those storms to congeal into one or more lines of storms with a continued threat of severe weather. These storms should enter into western Minnesota, and northwestern Iowa during the early morning hours with a threat of large hail, and damaging winds. Expect the storms to be more isolated in other parts of western Iowa during the morning hours, with central and eastern Iowa receiving the lingering showers/storms, as well as cloud cover during the morning hours on Sunday.

The cold front should be draped across from northeast to southwest across the plains on Sunday afternoon. The front should be positioned across southern Minnesota, northwestern Iowa, and into eastern Nebraska. Storms firing along this front during the afternoon should be capable of both large hail and damaging winds. The threat should continue during the evening and overnight hours across much of the state of Iowa as storms continue to congeal into more linear segments.

Monday's severe threat will once again be focused by a frontal boundary draped over the state, with positioning questionable at the moment. The best potential does seem to be across the state of Iowa, where current forecasts have this front. With warm temperatures and good moisture, instability will once again not be lacking south, and along the front. The thunderstorms that develop during the afternoon should have no problem becoming severe, with a potential for large hail and damaging winds. More details on the Sunday and Monday's severe weather threats will be available in later updates.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

July 2 Severe Weather

A cold front is featured across the state this morning, and will continue to move southward through the state this afternoon. Ahead/South of this front will feature warm temperatures with high humidity, creating an atmosphere capable of severe weather in the form of large hail, damaging winds, and perhaps a tornadic threat (mainly eastern Iowa). Behind this front, cooler weather with a relief from any summer moisture will be in place to provide a nice summer day.

The cold front is currently along a line from Rochester, MN to Onawa, IA with cloud cover present ahead of the front across much of the state. A few isolated showers present, with a cluster of thunderstorms riding the Iowa/Minnesota border and now into Wisconsin currently. The clouds and showers should begin to clear off late this morning, allowing heating to occur. By mid-afternoon more development is likely along the front expected to be situated from Waukon to near Onawa as little movement will occur this afternoon with the front. These thunderstorms may be capable of both large hail and damaging winds, although a tornado threat may be possible in eastern Iowa as well as areas of Illinois/Indiana given strong low level winds. The storms should move to the southeast at 20-35 mph, essentially becoming more of a linear segment of storms as the evening progresses into the early overnight. At this point, the damaging wind threat is likely to increase with any lines that do form across the southern third of the state of Iowa, and adjacent areas.