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StormTeam3: A GAME OF TIMING. Severe weather threat for Monday.

The severity of thunderstorms tomorrow will depend on the time and strength of a first smaller round of storms.

Posted: Aug 4, 2019 8:15 PM


On Monday, our spell of pristine summer-like weather comes to an end. A cold front will move through tomorrow afternoon from the Northwest, ushering in thunderstorms with a potential to be severe. The Storm Prediction Center out of Norman, OK has the entire area under a ‘Slight’ risk for severe weather, a level 2 / 5 in how the agency ranks the severity of storms.

Daily high temps tomorrow in the mid 80’s, along with an abundance of humidity shown in dew points near 70, will combine to create an atmosphere primed for severe weather. The question now remains as to the exact timing and orientation the storms tomorrow take, which will certainly play into how severe these storms really are.

Some small scattered showers can be expected in the morning hours of Monday as the front begins to approach. This round will not be severe. Another stronger round of storms will spring about just ahead of the front as it passes tomorrow. If the front induces thunderstorms around the mid-afternoon hours (3-6pm), then the chance of these storms being severe increases. These stronger storms will first form as a cluster of individual cells ahead of the front. Later in the afternoon, these cells will likely merge into a line of storms along the front. By the time this line of storms forms, the bulk of the system will most likely have moved into our Iowa counties.

The main hazards tomorrow will be large hail, heavy rain, and strong wind gusting near 50 mph. The wind hazard is even more applicable for when the storms take on a squall line appearance sometime in the late afternoon. As of now, it does appear that our Iowa counties will get the worst end of this round of storms. However, it wouldn't take much for this threat to be shifted slightly north. Tornadoes are unlikely, but a small one cannot be ruled out.

However, all of this is very much a game of timing. In one scenario, the first round of morning storms occurs earlier in the day and is weaker than expected, thereby limiting cloud cover during midday. Extra time for heating to occur from the sun will strengthen the second round of afternoon storms, and likely cause them to occur sooner than expected.

In scenario two, the first round of morning storms occurs closer to midday and is stronger than expected. This will severely hamper the amount of energy available for the second round of more concerning afternoon storms. A robust enough round of morning storms could even completely diminish any afternoon thunderstorm development.

Stay tuned to KIMT for all the latest as we track this storm.

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