OTTUMWA — The bad news? Folks shouldn’t expect dry weather for the holiday weekend. In fact, some of the thunderstorms could be strong to severe.
The good news? Forecasters don’t expect anything like the violent weather of the past week.
Thunderstorms were forecast to move into the area Friday night with the National Weather Service giving the overnight hours a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms.
That chance bumps up today to 80 percent. Storms are expected through Monday night, though at a slightly lower probability. Through Monday night, no part of the forecast has less than a 50-50 chance of rain.
NWS forecasters believe the best chance of storms is during the overnight and early morning hours. That’s good news for people planning outdoor events over the holiday weekend, as well as area graduations.
Just what sort of storms the area gets are a bit uncertain. According to the NWS website, “the threat for widespread severe weather is low, but a few severe storms with large hail and damaging winds cannot be ruled out.” The bigger concern is rain. Much of the state can expect 1-2 inches of rain by Monday, which could be enough to trigger some flash flooding. The Ottumwa area fits neatly within that range, with predictions of 1.25-2.25 inches of rain.
Totals in that range would add to what has been a relatively wet month. As of Friday morning, Ottumwa had seen 3.44 inches of rain in May; the average for May 24 is 3.06.
Temperatures for the weekend will be near normal, with forecast highs in the upper 60s to mid-70s.