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June 16, 2014

Heat, storms in week's forecast

OTTUMWA — A couple of stormy days mean a slight risk of severe weather for southeast Iowa.

Chances of storms stay in the forecast through Thursday night, with the first round most likely to arrive this evening. Severe storms become more likely the farther north you move, so chances in the Ottumwa area aren’t all that strong to begin. The National Weather Service gives Ottumwa a 20 percent chance of isolated thunderstorms during the day Monday and a 30 percent chance overnight.

The Storm Prediction Center considers most of Iowa at risk. The northwestern half of the state has a moderate risk of severe weather Monday. That declines to a slight risk to the southeast.

A slight risk of severe weather persists for northeastern Iowa on Tuesday. Things can shift, of course, but Ottumwa should get a break. Tuesday’s high will rise into the lower 90s.

Ottumwa’s chances of strong storms don’t really pick up until Wednesday, with the best chances Wednesday night and Thursday. Thunderstorms will be likely, with a better-than-even chance persisting through Thursday night. Virtually all of Iowa has a slight risk of severe storms Wednesday.

The big story is likely to be heat. Highs will be above normal as the week settles into a summertime pattern. Average highs for mid-June reach the low 80s, but the area won’t see those temperatures for a while. Daytime highs will top 90 on Tuesday and Wednesday before falling back into the mid-80s Thursday.

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