SEVERE WEATHER: What To Expect Tonight, How to Prepare
The Storm Prediction Center, known as the SPC, has placed much of central and southern Iowa under a “High Risk” for severe weather. The SPC only issues “high risk” outlooks a few times each year.
A Tornado Watch is now in effect in southwest Iowa until 1 a.m.. A Flash Flood Watch is in effect from 8 p.m. until 8 a.m. Wednesday.
A complex of strong storms is moving across southern Iowa. This storm system has a history of producing wind speeds in excess of 90 mph in Nebraska. A strong low level jet will continue feeding these storms warmth and moisture needed to sustain the storms across southern Iowa.
Some storms may produce wind gusts of 60 to 80 mph. Some gusts may even be greater than 90 mph! Straight line wind damage is expected to occur. Straight line winds with severe thunderstorms can produce similar damage to what an EF1 tornado is capable of doing.
The final threat is flash flooding. Torrential rains are expected with these storms. Most locations will receive 1 to 3″ of rain very quickly. Locally higher amounts are possible. Rainfall rates with these storms will range from 3 to 5″ per hour. This will lead to flash flooding on area streets, ditches, and creeks. Flash flooding is the leading cause of severe weather deaths. Turn around, don’t drown. You do not know how deep the water you are crossing is or how fast it is flowing.
Southern Iowa is the most likely to see these severe weather conditions.
Des Moines-Metro Details:
Timing: 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Main Threats: Damaging Winds (Greater than 90 mph) and Flash Flooding (1 to 3″, locally higher)
Secondary Threats: Tornadoes and Hail
WHO-HD Commitment to Severe Weather Coverage
If severe weather affects the WHO-HD viewing area, we will cover it using all of the tools at our disposal. Our team of meteorologists and news department are on standby to respond to a severe weather-event. With today being primary election day, we have plans in place to cover both the severe weather and election results on-air and online.
What Can You Do Now?
- Test your weather radio to make sure you can receive alerts from the National Weather Service. Make sure you have working batteries if you should lose power.
- Know where you will seek shelter if severe weather threatens your area. Make sure you have an emergency kit with you in your shelter (including a first aid kit, flash light, battery operated radio, a pair of shoes and other essential items).
- Download the 13Warn Me App. When we go on the air with severe weather coverage, you will receive an alert and you’ll be able to watch our coverage on your smart phone. Available for download on Android, iPad, iPhone.
- Charge your mobile devices now in case you are affected by a power outage.
- Be prepared to respond to severe weather threats during the overnight hours. Make sure your weather radio is turned on, enable the sound on your smartphone for any apps you may be utilizing and have your emergency kit ready in your shelter.