© 2019 Terry Swails

WEATHER AND THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND...

May 23, 2019

The first tornadoes of the year finally touched down in Iowa late Monday night. Unfortunately one of the twisters resulted in a fatality, the first in Iowa in 5 years. The deadly storm hit at 1:30 in the morning which makes it a rarity. Only 1 percent of Iowa's tornadoes occur between 1 and 2:00 am

The chart below from the Iowa Mesonet depicts the period between the first and last Tornado Warning each year over Iowa based on unofficial archives maintained by the IEM. This year's first warning was the second latest into the year since 1986. The only year with a later date was 1993. Of course, 1993 was the epic flood year for the state. Is that a sign of things to come?

Here's the tracks of the 2 Iowa twisters near Anita and Adair.

Some of the damage from the NWS storm survey Wednesday.

The storm hit at the peak of the tornado season which is May and June over the central Midwest.

The tornado climatology for the week of May 22nd from the Storm Prediction Center. You can see the area from SW Iowa to Oklahoma is in the zone of peak activity. 

While these are the first 2019 tornadoes in Iowa, it has been an active year across the U.S. The 630 tornadoes reported puts 2019 in the top 75% ranking.

 

This is coming off a 7 year run of below normal years for strong to violent twisters going back to the deadly 2011 season. 

More tornadoes and severe weather are expected around the central Midwest going into the holiday weekend. Here's the SPC risk outlooks as of Wednesday night.

 

Thursday.

Friday.

Saturday.

I would not be surprised to see other areas highlighted in coming days as energy continues to eject from the Plains along a boundary expected to meander across the central Midwest. The active pattern will bring rain chances Thursday night into Tuesday of next week. It's important to note it won't rain all the time and the storms have the potential to be hit and miss. As of Wednesday night here's the breakdown of what days have the best potential for rain in my area. A word of caution, this could change dramatically in the days ahead as previous days storms create boundaries for new ones to form.

Assuming the front that causes the rain holds where it's projected, temperatures over the holiday weekend look mild. Here's my projections for highs in Cedar Rapids. Surrounding areas should be close to these numbers.

The weekend also begins my 12th annual into the storm chasecation. I'm headed out in quest of a tornado. I'm doing it in style too thanks to Dahl Ford my long time sponsor. Here's the ride my team and I will have for the week. By the way, my personal vehicle is an Explorer from Dahl. I've had SUV's from them for more than 15 years and there's a simple reason I keep going back...great products, service, and people. Give KV and his gang a try if you are in the market for a new car, truck, or SUV. Tell em tswails sent you!

 

That's the latest and greatest for now. Roll weather...TS

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