Parts of the Midwestern United States could see some powerful thunderstorms today, some of which could be extremely strong, producing winds in excess of 75 MPH. Due to the heightened threat, parts of Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, and Kansas are under a moderate (4 out of 5) risk for severe weather.
The severe weather outbreak will follow the typical format usually seen during this time of the year. Storms this afternoon are expected to congeal into a line of severe thunderstorms this evening and tonight, and it is in that line of storms where the greatest risk for damaging winds will occur.
This morning, the Storm Prediction Center issued a 45% risk for significant damaging winds across the moderate risk area. For reference, a 15% risk is usually enough to warrant concern.
Odds are that the system will not become a derecho — a widespread, long-lived damaging windstorm that produces significant winds over at least a 240-mile path — due to the strict requirements a squall line has to meet to be classified as a "derecho." Nonetheless, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. A severe squall line lasting for 10 miles or 50 miles or 240 miles is still dangerous for the people in its path.
A similar severe weather outbreak is expected tomorrow further to the east, stretching from central Iowa to the Chicago metro area. As we head deeper into summer and the heat continues to build, these mesoscale convective systems will start to occur pretty frequently, especially during heat waves.
Only 175 days until winter.
[Images via the SPC]