According to the Weather Channel, a severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for portions of Southern Iowa and Northern Missouri on Sunday. The storm alert is effective until 11 p.m. CST.
Weather forecasters say the watch area includes Osceola, Iowa, and Kirksville, Missouri, among other towns in the storm’s path. Experts expressed concern over the threat of damaging winds that can be gusty at times. Based on computer models and eyewitness reports in affected areas, some gusts could top 60 mph at times.
The large system of thunderstorms is following the flow of the jet stream. There are upper-level winds associated with this weather watch. As the storms grow larger in height and gain momentum, they tap into the winds in the higher reaches. As a result, they bring them down with the flow, which increases the chances of downward wind strength. Aircraft are particularly vulnerable to this type of severe storm watch.
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) August 2, 2015
In other areas to the east, the National Weather Service has issued several storm watches and warnings. Tennis-ball-size hail was observed in Hayward, Wisconsin, and Perham, Minnesota, on Sunday. Wind gusts topped 60 mph near Menominee and Spratt, Michigan. During a music festival in Wood Dale, Illinois, winds uprooted a tent that resulted in one death and several injuries.
AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski defined the difference between a severe thunderstorm watch and warning.
“A watch is issued when conditions are favorable, for example, either for a severe thunderstorm or tornadoes. It doesn’t mean severe weather is imminent.Warnings mean that severe weather is imminent and is based on specific criteria and existing reports received by the NWS.”
Stay tuned for updates to the severe thunderstorm watch in Missouri and Iowa.