OTTUMWA — After a quiet week, Iowa could once again hear rumbles of thunder this weekend. There’s a chance some storms could be severe, so those at the Wapello County Fair will want to keep an eye on conditions.
The National Weather Service said storms are most likely in southeast Iowa after 1 p.m. The day is not expected to be a washout, with most areas receiving less than a tenth of an inch of rain.
The chance of storms continues to about 1 a.m. Saturday night. Both Saturday and Saturday night have a 60 percent chance of storms.
Much of Iowa is at a slight risk of severe weather, according to the Storm Prediction Center. Hail and strong winds are the biggest concerns. The area at risk includes most of western and central Iowa, though the slight risk does include the entire Courier coverage area.
Strong storms could fire through much of the central U.S. on Saturday, with portions of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana all in the SPC’s slight risk category.
Things should dry out in southeast Iowa on Sunday and Monday. Storms creep back into the forecast at midweek.
One thing the rain is not expected to change is the anticipated fall of the Des Moines River to near flood stage. Releases from Red Rock Lake have kept the river at about 14.6 feet for more than a week. But the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expected to cut those releases on Friday.
That cut should reduce the river stage to about 11.9 feet, less than six inches over the 11.5-foot flood stage in Ottumwa. Additional cuts expected later in June should finally bring the river below flood stage.