IOWA — Severe weather chances are ramping up for Tuesday, April 12th. The Storm Prediction Center has issued an ‘Enhanced Risk’ – a level 3 out of 5 – indicating a chance for numerous strong to severe storms Tuesday evening and night across central and western Iowa. Tornadoes and large hail are the primary threats, although significant wind gusts are also possible.
Today and Tonight
High pressure has cleared some of the clouds out of the state, but cooler temperatures are expected this afternoon. Highs will be in the 60s today with light west winds.
Cloud cover will slowly increase overnight with the wind shifting toward the southeast which will warm things up for Tuesday. Expect Tuesday morning to start off partly to mostly cloudy with temperatures in the 40s.
Tuesday will start with some light rain but the best chances for storms will be after 5 PM. The wind will strengthen to 15-25 mph early in the day which will pull in warmer air for the afternoon. Expect highs in the low to mid 70s. Southeast winds will also pull moisture in from the Gulf of Mexico which will help dew point temperatures reach the 60s. High humidity is an ingredient needed for severe weather to occur.
A few storms may form a bit earlier in the afternoon across northwest and north central Iowa, but there is still some uncertainty on whether all of the ingredients needed for storms to form will be in place.
A different boundary separating the moist air from the dry air will stretch from western Iowa through central Texas and will be the focal point for the majority of storm formation Tuesday evening.
Storms look to form in western Iowa sometime between 7 and 10 PM which means a few storms are possible while it’s still light out, but many will occur after sunset. Once storms form they will move east and northeast into central Iowa.
Currently, there is an enhanced risk for severe weather which is level 3 out of 5. Numerous strong to severe storms are possible, especially in the evening Tuesday. Go over plans with family and be sure to have multiple ways of getting weather information, including turning on the Wireless Emergency Alerts for severe weather updates through your phone’s settings.
- Tornado threat: 3 out of 5 (multiple tornadoes are possible, some may be strong)
- Wind threat: 3 out of 5 (wind gusts may reach 60-70 mph with severe thunderstorms)
- Hail threat: 3 out of 5 (storms may produce golf ball-sized hail or larger)
The most intense storms will move out of the state between midnight and 2 AM Wednesday, but there will still be a few showers and thunderstorms during the late morning on Wednesday. The wind will shift toward the west strengthening to 15-25 mph during the entire day. Highs will stay in the 50s and cloud cover will decrease during the afternoon and evening.
Sunshine will return on Thursday, but the wind will stay strong. Wind speeds will be 20-30 mph out of the west with wind gusts up to 50 mph. Temperatures will be in the lower 40s through most of the day, but it will feel like the lower 30s.