Sunday storm risk

This map from the Storm Prediction Center shows an area where forecasters think severe weather will be possible on Sunday.

OTTUMWA — There’s a good chance of rain just about any time you step outside for the next few days, but Sunday could be different.

It has been quite a while since southeast Iowa has seen widespread severe weather, but that possibility is in play over the weekend. The Storm Prediction Center has much of Iowa under a severe threat for Sunday.

It’s too early to say just how significant the risk is, but an area of concern was placed on the map several days earlier than normal. That means forecasters are confident that the elements for severe weather will be in place.

The area on the SPC map shifted east a bit on Thursday. Ottumwa is right on the edge, certainly close enough to bear watching as the weekend approaches.

The Des Moines office of the National Weather Service shows Sunday sunny with a high near 85, with a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms overnight. That could be significant, since clear skies and daytime heating can fuel strong storms.

The area won’t see much of the sun until then, though. Storms are likely today, mainly before 2 p.m. Thursday night and Friday have a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms, while Friday night currently has a 60 percent chance. Saturday is a coin toss: exactly 50/50.

Unfortunately, Labor Day looks like a wet end to the summer season, with a 60 precent chance of storms.

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