Severe storms, including damaging wind and tornadoes, likely Friday

Severe storms are likely for parts of the area on Friday
Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 8:03 PM CDT
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OTTUMWA, Iowa (KYOU) - Showers and storms are possible later tonight, and the risk for severe storms increases on Friday.

Scattered showers and storms could develop overnight, with the threat of a few heavy downpours and frequent lightning. There will likely be a break of some length by later in the morning into the early afternoon before additional storms develop just to our west and move through the region.

This round of activity carries a fairly substantial risk of damaging winds, tornadoes, and large hail. We will be monitoring a couple of factors, including the amount of clear skies we see and whether storms remain as individual cells or congeal into a line. If they remain separated, the threat for tornadoes will take our primary attention. If they congeal, then the risk for damaging winds increases.

It is vital that you have multiple ways to receive warnings on Friday, and stay weather aware throughout this storm system. Get the KYOU First Alert Weather app on your smartphone or tablet, and make sure to have alerts set to on. A NOAA weather radio is a great tool at your disposal, too, and make sure that it is fully powered and set to alarm. Modern cell phones have Wireless Emergency Alerts built in, which will trigger for tornado warnings if you have them turned on (go into your phone’s settings, look for emergency alerts, and make sure they’re set to ON).

Tips on how to stay safe during severe thunderstorms
Tips on how to stay safe during severe thunderstorms, including tornadoes.   (KCRG)

Storms on Friday will be moving quite fast, between 50 to 60 mph or more, so there will be less time to react before a dangerous storm arrives at your location. When a warning is issued, take appropriate steps to keep yourself safe. Seek shelter in the lowest floor of your home, in the most interior room. Stay away from outside walls and windows. If outside or in a mobile home, the best bet is to get to a more substantial shelter. Do not seek shelter under a bridge or overpass; instead, get as low and flat as you can and cover your head and neck.

Tips on how to stay safe if caught outside during a tornado
Tips on how to stay safe if caught outside during a tornado.   (KCRG)

Cooler air wraps around this system, with temperatures struggling to reach 50 degrees on Saturday. Winds will shift yet again by Sunday, pushing highs back above normal into the upper 60s.

Another storm system arrives early next week, bringing another chance for showers and storms by then. Severe weather will again be possible on Tuesday.