Iowans head to the polls this week as the political season really kicks into gear. But Wednesday’s headlines might be more about severe weather than ballot results. A vigorous storm system emerging from the Rockies has some similarities to a storm that impacted elections eight years ago. All the more reason to be sure that you have WeatherCall: try.weathercall.net/signupnow.
The image above shows damage occurring in Clinton, Arkansas, part of a tornado outbreak February 4-6, 2008. A total of 86 tornadoes struck eight states, many of which were holding primary elections and caucuses. The map below outlines tornado tracks and storm severity for the three day period:
A similar fate could strike many of those same states while anywhere from 6″ to over 1 foot of snow will stretch from Nebraska to Wisconsin. Only a few flurries will fly as residents of the Hawkeye state go to vote Monday.
Severe storms are expected to develop early Tuesday and continue into Wednesday. Arkansas and Louisiana will likely see the storms first Tuesday morning, along a cold front which will drag across the Mississippi River valley for the rest of the day. Warm Gulf moisture streaming northward and favorable upper-level winds combine to spawn numerous tornadoes and intense storms with damaging wind and large hail.
The threat moves into Mississippi, western Tennessee and Kentucky and as far north as portions of Illinois and Indiana by Tuesday afternoon. Storms will continue into the night for Alabama, central Tennessee and the rest of Kentucky. There’s no “good” time for storms, but night storms are especially dangerous.
Here is the latest threat map from the Storm Prediction Center indicating an “enhanced” risk for severe storms in western Kentucky, western Tennessee and northern Mississippi and Alabama indicated by the orange shading. Yellow-shaded areas have what is classified as a “slight risk”. Both indicate the threat for tornadoes, so this should be taken seriously.
If you live in those areas or know people who do, urge them to be proactive and have a plan to stay safe, emergency supplies and are able to quickly communicate with family and friends.
Most of all, urge them to stay alert to changing conditions and get WeatherCall, which calls, sends a text and email when an exact address falls within a weather warning. Just click on this link: try.weathercall.net/signupnow.