OTTUMWA — Southern Iowa could see some strong storms Tuesday, though it’s far from certain.
The Storm Prediction Center's afternoon update expanded its enhanced risk zone to include Ottumwa. People should keep a close eye on conditions that could change quickly.
The National Weather Service forecast includes showers and thunderstorms after 3 p.m. Tuesday for Ottumwa. The storms should be out of the area by about 3 a.m. Wednesday. The odds for storms are at 40 percent, enough to warrant attention but far from a guarantee.
The real weather story is likely to arrive later in the week, when daytime temperatures will approach 90 degrees. By Friday daytime highs will be at 90 or higher, with overnight lows around 72.
These will not be the first 90-degree days in 2019 — temperatures in Ottumwa hit 91 on May 16 — but this will be the first extended run of such heat since last September. Temperatures topped 90 degrees three times last September, but not on consecutive days.
Records from the Midwestern Regional Climate Center show the last run of consecutive 90-degree days was from Aug. 9-13, 2018.
The absence of such heat so far this summer means it will take a bit for people to get used to hot weather. High temperatures can be dangerous, and people will need to be careful if they are outside for extended periods. Take breaks during yard work or exercise. Stay hydrated and find shade when you can.
While it doesn’t take high temperatures to make being inside a locked car dangerous, the heat dramatically increases the speed at which those temperatures rise. Never leave children or pets unattended in cars in this weather.