DERECHO POUNDS THE SOUTH, MORE TO COME
A strong derecho pounded my southern counties Thursday morning and early afternoon packing wind gusts of 70 to100 mph plus according to the NWS. Racing east into an extremely unstable environment, the wind event produced extensive damage to tress, power poles and even structures. The tweet below from the NWS office in Davenport indicates their damage survey revealed gusts consistent with 120 mph winds near Ferris and Adrian, Illinois
The derecho which began in Nebraska and reached across Indiana contributed to many of the 540 severe weather reports received by the Storm Prediction Center during the day.
According to the NWS some of the harder hit towns were Keokuk, Macomb, Carthage, Fairfield, Navoo, Ferris, Adrian, and Montrose. The infrared satellite image below shows the cold cloud tops of the anvils which were well in excess of 50,000 feet.
The storms also dumped some very heavy rain in spots. However, their rapid movement kept amounts from getting out of hand. Many spots near and south of I-80 did see .50 to 1.00 inch totals with locally higher amounts approaching 2.00 inches.
Following the storms the atmosphere took some time to recharge leading to a fairly quiet night. The question now is whether or not we see another round of storms Friday. In essence not much as changed with a strong thermal boundary remaining stationary over the Iowa/Missouri border. Known as the ring of fire, strong instability will be located in the proximity of the boundary. That sets the table for another round of strong storms early Friday and again Friday night across my southern counties, especially south of I-80. The 3k NAM shows plenty of instability there at noon Friday. These are CAPE values reflecting that.
Around that time, another short wave is riding the boundary with the 3k NAM show a bowing cluster of storms entering southeast Iowa. If indeed the model has the right idea, a new round of strong storms would be possible over much the same area as we saw Thursday.
The EURO is not as impressed and holds off on the more significant storms until Friday night. What we'll need to watch going into Friday is the evolution of a thunderstorm complex in Nebraska. The energy from the overnight MCS will reach SW Iowa by daybreak. That is what the 3k sees and to a lesser degree some other convective allowing models. I would expect something in the south but the strength and location is hard to capture at this distance. SPC does have a slight risk outlook in effect for the far south. The primary threat would again be damaging wind. We should have a much better handle on the set-up early Friday morning.
Whatever happens with this event, the front remains in the same general area into Saturday meaning storms could refire Friday night and pop up again Saturday as well. Locally heavy rains and some severe weather remain possible in the warm muggy environment that resides. As I've noted the past couple of days, the south closer to the boundary is where most of the action and significant rain is expected to occur. WPC has a marginal risk of excessive rains Friday over the south.
That's increased to a slight risk Saturday and Saturday night.
The Weather Prediction Center's rainfall outlook through Sunday.
The National Blend of Models is too far north with the heavier rains in my assessment.
Either way with drought still in play we'll be happy to take every drop, without the severe weather of course.
Looking out to the 4th of July holiday period, the weather looks warm and typically muggy Sunday through the 4th. Highs in the low to mid 80s Sunday should reach closer to 90 Monday and Tuesday. There could be a stray afternoon storm or two around the 4th but coverage looks limited and most areas should stay dry.
There was plenty of smoke in the northern half of my area again Thursday but the HRRR near surface smoke product shows significant improvement in all areas around mid-day Friday.
Anyway, if you are near or south of I-80 the next couple days remain potentially active and at times wet. Further north, the rain machine looks to be on a lower power and the weather looks more gentle and far less wet, at least for now. Happy Friday everyone (the last day of June) and roll weather...TS
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