DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The state’s top disaster services official says the death of two Iowans in April 27 storms highlights the need to develop a storm preparedness plan. Mark Schouten, Iowa’s emergency management director recommends Iowans stay aware by keeping a battery operated radio or a cell phone with a storm alert application nearby. Families should have emergency plans and emergency storm kits ready.
Schouten says the Keokuk County storm in late April was not identified as a tornado by the National Weather Service until after a second person died. One woman was killed near Martinsburg, the other near Kinross. Both were caught outside when winds hit.
Schouten says Iowa has built an increasing number of school tornado safe rooms with 33 completed projects and funding approved for more.
The Shelby County Emergency Management Agency has increased the County-wide Fire Danger category to “Moderate” this week, due to decreased humidity and strengthening winds. The current Fire Danger rating will be in effective through Thursday morning, at which time the situation will be assessed and the county fire danger status updated.
When the fire danger is “moderate” it means that fires can start from most accidental causes, but the number of fire starts is usually pretty low. If a fire does start in an open, dry grassland, it will burn and spread quickly on windy days. Most wood fires will spread slowly to moderately. Average fire intensity will be moderate except in heavy concentrations of fuel, which may burn hot. Fires are still not likely to become serious and are often easy to control.
The Freese-Notis (podcast) weather forecast for the KJAN listening area and weather information for Atlantic.
438 AM CDT MON MAY 5 2014
DAY ONE…TODAY AND TONIGHT
NO HAZARDOUS WEATHER IS EXPECTED AT THIS TIME.
DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN…TUESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY
SEVERAL ROUNDS OF THUNDERSTORMS ARE POSSIBLE BETWEEN TUESDAY NIGHT
AND THURSDAY NIGHT. THE HIGHEST PROBABILITY OF THUNDERSTORMS AND
GREATEST THREAT FOR SEVERE WEATHER WILL COME ON THURSDAY
AFTERNOON AND EVENING WHEN THERE IS THE POTENTIAL FOR LARGE
HAIL…DAMAGING WINDS…AND A FEW TORNADOES.
.SPOTTER INFORMATION STATEMENT…
SPOTTER ACTIVATION MAY BE NEEDED AT TIMES BETWEEN TUESDAY EVENING
AND THURSDAY NIGHT.
Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 70. East northeast wind around 14 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph.
Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 48. East wind 11 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph.
Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 76. Windy, with an east wind 15 to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph.
Tue. Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 61. Southeast wind 9 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.
Wednesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 89. Breezy.
Wed. Night: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 66. Breezy.
Thursday: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 76. Breezy. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
331 PM CDT SUN MAY 4 2014
THIS EVENING: CLEAR TO P/CLDY. EAST WIND AROUND 20 MPH WITH GUSTS TO AROUND 30 MPH.
TONIGHT…PARTLY CLOUDY. BREEZY. LOW IN THE MID 40S. EAST WIND 15 TO 20 MPH.
MONDAY…MOSTLY SUNNY. HIGH AROUND 70. NORTHEAST WIND 10 TO 15 MPH.
MONDAY NIGHT…PARTLY CLOUDY. LOW IN THE UPPER 40S. EAST WIND 10 TO 15 MPH.
TUESDAY…MOSTLY SUNNY. BREEZY. HIGH IN THE MID 70S. EAST WIND 15 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS TO AROUND 30 MPH.
TUESDAY NIGHT…MOSTLY CLOUDY. A 20 PERCENT CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS THROUGH MIDNIGHT. WARMER. LOW IN THE LOWER 60S. SOUTHEAST WIND 10 TO 15 MPH. GUSTS UP TO 25 MPH THROUGH MIDNIGHT.
WEDNESDAY…PARTLY SUNNY. BREEZY…WARMER. HIGH IN THE UPPER 80S.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT…MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A 40 PERCENT CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS. BREEZY. LOW IN THE MID 60S.
THURSDAY…THUNDERSTORMS LIKELY. BREEZY. NOT AS WARM. HIGH IN THE MID 70S. CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS 60 PERCENT. THE HIGHEST PROBABILITY OF THUNDERSTORMS AND GREATEST CHANCE FOR SEVERE WEATHER WILL COME ON THURSDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING WHEN THERE IS THE POTENTIAL FOR LARGE HAIL…DAMAGING WINDS…AND TORNADOES.
416 AM CDT SUN MAY 4 2014
EARLY THIS MORNING…PARTLY CLOUDY. NORTHEAST WIND 5 TO 10 MPH.
TODAY…MOSTLY SUNNY. BREEZY. HIGH IN THE UPPER 60S. EAST WIND 15 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS TO AROUND 30 MPH.
TONIGHT…PARTLY CLOUDY THEN BECOMING MOSTLY CLOUDY BEFORE MIDNIGHT THEN BECOMING PARTLY CLOUDY. BREEZY. LOW IN THE MID 40S. EAST WIND 10 TO 20 MPH.
MONDAY…MOSTLY SUNNY. HIGH IN THE UPPER 60S. NORTHEAST WIND 10 TO 15 MPH.
MONDAY NIGHT…MOSTLY CLEAR. LOW IN THE UPPER 40S. EAST WIND 10 TO 15 MPH.
TUESDAY…MOSTLY SUNNY. BREEZY. HIGH IN THE MID 70S. EAST WIND 10 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS TO AROUND 30 MPH.
TUESDAY NIGHT AND WEDNESDAY…MOSTLY CLOUDY. BREEZY. LOW IN THE LOWER 60S. HIGH 74 TO 87.
Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 73. Light west northwest wind increasing to 5 to 10 mph in the morning.
Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 47. West northwest wind 5 to 10 mph becoming east northeast after midnight.
Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 63. Windy, with an east northeast wind 15 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph.
Sunday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 46. Breezy, with an east wind 15 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.
Monday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 68. East northeast wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 72. Breezy.
Wednesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 85. Breezy.
The (podcast) Freese-Notis weather forecast for the KJAN listening area, and weather data for Atlantic.
It’s been a cold, wet start to spring in Iowa and April wrapped up as the seventh consecutive colder-than-normal month for the state, and May isn’t starting out much better. State climatologist Harry Hillaker says most Iowans got drenched by rainclouds last month. “April primarily looks to be the 12th wettest April in 142 years of state records,” Hillaker says. “On the temperature end of things, once again, another colder-than-normal month. About a degree-and-a-half below normal so not quite so significant, but the 48th coldest in 142 years.”
A large section of Iowa saw heavy rain showers during the month, especially central, north-central and northeast Iowa, but Hillaker says not everyone was in the same boat. “A few places largely missed out, especially the far northwest corner of Iowa and the far southwest corner as well, actually below-normal precipitation,” Hillaker says. “They’re still waiting for a good rain in those places.”
After a mostly-dreary week so far, the forecast is brightening for the weekend as Saturday looks to be mostly sunny and warmer, but that pattern likely won’t last, with showers possible on Sunday. “Starting about Wednesday of next week, the first full week of the month, we could see quite a bit of thunderstorm activity back in the state,” Hillaker says. “It looks like that could be pretty significant episode of both rainfall and possibly severe weather.” There was plenty of severe weather during April, including a bout of thunderstorms on April 27th that spawned a tornado in southeast Iowa that’s blamed in two deaths.