Thursday’s relative calm precedes substantial severe weather risk Friday

Severe weather is possible by Friday afternoon, with the risk for damaging winds and tornadoes.
Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 4:25 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A relatively quiet day for Thursday precedes a healthy chance for severe weather to end the work week.

Skies should remain partly cloudy overnight as temperatures dip into the 20s. Thursday will see a mix of sun and clouds in the afternoon, with a slight chance for an isolated shower or storm. Breezy southerly winds push our highs into the upper 50s and lower 60s. Expect a chance for additional storm development overnight into early Friday morning, with a break to follow.

Then, after temperatures push into the upper 60s and lower 70s, new storms develop in central Iowa and push east on Friday. It’s this round that will carry the risk of severe weather. Damaging winds and tornadoes are the primary threats, with the large hail threat somewhat less. The most likely time for these storms to occur will be in the mid to late afternoon and evening, with a fast northeastward storm motion.

This appears to be one of the more substantial severe weather threats we’ve seen during early Spring over the past several years. While finer-scale details, in terms of the amount of energy available to storms and where the highest tornado risk will be, are still to be worked out, please be prepared to take action quickly as storms develop on Friday and warnings are issued.

Severe weather outlook for Friday, March 31st, 2023.
Severe weather outlook for Friday, March 31st, 2023.(KCRG)

Activity will wrap up near or soon after sunset on Friday, with a few hours of dry and windy weather to be followed by a chance for some light snow as the strong area of low pressure moves away.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: You are encouraged to stay plugged in on that day and keep up with latest forecasts as we continue to monitor the severe weather threat. We will have updates here online several times a day as well as updated video discussions on our free First Alert Weather App, streaming on YouTube Live, on-air during newscasts and streaming on, and on our social media channels on Facebook and Twitter.

Make sure you have multiple ways to receive severe weather watches and warnings.
Make sure you have multiple ways to receive severe weather watches and warnings.(KCRG)

Please take time now to practice your severe weather safety plan and assure you have multiple reliable ways to get severe weather information ahead of the potential for storms. Know where to go and how you will get warning information at home, at work or school, and areas in between. Don’t rely on only your phone or outdoor warning sirens. Think about if you need to get a warning inside where sirens are not designed to be heard or when asleep and your phone won’t wake you up. We recommend a NOAA weather radio. You can find more information on then here. And as always, check back for updates as we fine-tune details over the next 48 hours.

Tips on how to stay safe if caught outside during a tornado
Tips on how to stay safe if caught outside during a tornado.   (KCRG)
Tips on how to stay safe during severe thunderstorms
Tips on how to stay safe during severe thunderstorms, including tornadoes.   (KCRG)