OTTUMWA — The unseasonably hot weather will break tonight as storms move back into southeast Iowa. Some of the storms could be severe.
The National Weather Service gives Ottumwa a 20 percent chance of storms after 11 a.m., but the bigger concern begins this afternoon and evening. Storms are likely before 1 a.m., and showers are expected to continue through Wednesday night.
Ottumwa is on the southern edge of a narrow band in which the Storm Prediction Center thinks severe weather is a slight risk. The band stretches from southern Wisconsin to central Kansas.
Forecasters are watching with some concern in Iowa. While all forms of severe weather are possible, the storms’ return after a weekend of heavy rain means much of the state faces a risk of flash flooding.
The NWS expects widespread areas of 1-2 inches of rain in northern Iowa, and 1-3 inches in central and southern Iowa. That could lead to river flooding later this week.
In Ottumwa, the Des Moines River was at 6.27 feet Tuesday morning, down from a bit move than eight feet Sunday night. Forecasters believe the river will rise again late this week, topping nine feet by the weekend.
The current forecast does not call for the river to exceed the 11.5-foot flood stage. But with additional rain expected this weekend, people should keep an eye on river levels.
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