A storm system with drenching rain arrived in western Iowa overnight and is slowing moving into eastern Iowa.
Kurt Kotenberg, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, says moisture from the Gulf of Mexico has been carried here by the jet stream.
“Things are just set up in the atmosphere to where all this moisture is just basically in the clouds and just crashing out of it and into Iowa,” Kotenberg says. “As a result, we’ve had several inches of rainfall reported overnight, especially across western Iowa.”
Some flash flooding has been reported in Crawford and Audubon Counties. As much as six inches of rain fell overnight in some spots. Mud and debris covered U.S. Highway 71 near the city of Aububon.
“Our message to people also, especially if you’re heading west to view the eclipse is to just be careful out there on the roads, especially if you’re going out there on some back highways,” Kotenberg says. “Some of them could still be water covered.”
Viewing the partial eclipse will be tricky in Iowa today. Kotenberg says it may still be raining in the eastern half of the state at one o’clock and clouds are likely elsewhere. A total eclipse will be visible in fewer than six-hundred acres of the far southwest corner of Iowa for about half a minute. Kotenberg’s unsure of the forecast in that tiny spot.
“It’s going to be really close, so my final answer will be there could be some holes in the clouds, probably more cloud cover than blue skies out there.”
Weather spotters in sections of the state have been notified they may be called out late this afternoon and evening as storms redevelop.
“A cold front’s going to come crashing through Iowa from northwest to southeast and that’s going to bring a threat of strong to severe weather, so it’s kind of a different cause for the weather but the end result is obviously what we’re focused on,” Kotenberg says. “…A couple of storms could be severe around the six to seven o’clock hour.”
Some of this evening’s storms could carry hail.