The Ottumwa Courier

October 10, 2012

Storms on Saturday? Forecasters say severe outbreak possible

MATT MILNER
CNHI

OTTUMWA — The good news is that forecasters believe Iowa will see rain this Saturday. The bad news is that strong storms may bring it.

The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted a region that runs from southwest Wisconsin to southwestern Missouri as an area at risk of severe weather on Saturday. All but a small corner of northwestern Iowa falls within the area.

By highlighting an area, forecasters say there is a 30 percent or higher probablility of severe thunderstorms within 25 miles of any shaded point.

Forecasters first put up the map on Tuesday, fully four days in advance of the expected storms. That's unusually early.

The trigger for these storms is a low pressure area currently far out to the west. The Storm Prediction Center believes it will come out of the southwest and produce "damaging wind and perhaps tornadoes."

Saturday's forecast for southeast Iowa includes high temperatures in the low 70s. That's important, since colder air rarely produces the towering clouds needed for severe storms.

Click on this link to go to the Storm Prediction Center's website.