Dangerous heat, severe storms on tap for Iowa today

DES MOINES — Iowans are being warned that spending too much time outdoors today could be dangerous, as an extreme heat warning is posted for Iowa’s southern half and western third. Forecasters say heat indices this afternoon may reach 110 to 115 degrees.

National Weather Service meteorologist Cory Martin says parts of Iowa escaped the heat Thursday with cloud cover and rain.  “While it didn’t produce heavy rainfall that really cooled us down, what it did do is it left behind some cloud debris that helped keep the temperatures down a little bit,” Martin says. “But right now, for today, we’re looking at sunshine. It’s probably going to be a bit more likely, so we’re a bit more confident in the temperatures getting up a little higher today compared to yesterday.”

While there’s a heat advisory in effect for north-central Iowa this afternoon, there’s also an enhanced risk of severe weather, the third level in the Storm Prediction Center’s five-level scale of forecasting severe weather. All modes of severe weather — damaging winds, hail and even a slight chance for a tornado — are in the forecast.