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Severe storm chances increase Saturday afternoon and evening

Severe thunderstorms are possible Saturday afternoon and evening, carrying the risk of damaging winds, a few tornadoes, and large hail.
Published: Mar. 4, 2022 at 4:52 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - An early-season chance for severe weather could develop across eastern Iowa this weekend.

The entirety of the KCRG-TV9 viewing area is included in a risk for severe storms. The main threats will be damaging winds and a few tornadoes, with a secondary threat being large hail. While any of these threats could occur across the entire area, the greatest risk for a tornado will be northwest of a line from Iowa City to Dubuque.

Isolated to scattered showers and storms are possible Friday night into early Saturday morning. These storms are unlikely to be severe, but could still contain an occasional bout of small hail. A break is likely for most by late morning into early afternoon.

Then, a couple of rounds of showers and storms are possible. The first could take place in the 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. time period on the leading edge of higher moisture content. This activity could briefly reach severe limits, with damaging winds and hail possible. The higher risk of severe storms comes with a second wave of showers and storms, this time along a sharp cold front. This will likely take form of either a squall line, which would increase the damaging wind threat, or a broken line of storms, which would increase the tornado threat.

These storms enter the western portions of the viewing area toward 4:00 or 5:00 p.m., cutting across the center portion of the viewing area around 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and then exiting eastern Iowa after about 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Storms will be moving at very fast speeds, likely 55 to 65 mph, giving less time for people to react to danger.

Please have multiple ways to receive warnings on Saturday, especially if out and about. The KCRG-TV9 First Alert Weather App is a good tool on the go, while a NOAA weather radio is a good tool at home. Make sure your weather radio is plugged in, turned on, and operational before storms develop.

Gusty winds enter the area behind the cold front in the evening, likely reaching 40 mph or more. This will draw in colder air quickly, keeping us in the 40s again on Sunday. Snow could develop across the area on Monday, as well.

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