Iowans are being warned about the likelihood of severe weather in the next day and a half, with a kitchen-sink selection of possibilities ranging from tornadoes to thunderstorms to snow, as temperatures rise into the 70s and plummet into the 20s.

Meteorologist Roger Vachalek, at the National Weather Service, notes it’s coincidental this is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Iowa, as they’ve been reminding people about the dangers of just this scenario.

“Folks really need to be paying attention for this upcoming event tomorrow, because the storms will be moving possibly at as high as 55 to 60 miles per hour,” Vachalek says. “So once we issue a warning, there’s not going to be a lot of time to get to shelter if you need to. You’re going to have to be paying close attention throughout the day.”

While today’s high temperatures may climb into the 60s, the forecast calls for some 70s in the state on Friday, but the warm weather will be accompanied by thunderstorms, some of which may be severe.

“We do have the possibility of very strong winds, the possibility of tornadoes, as well as large hail, as these storms race across the state,” Vachalek says. “So this is a day that folks need to be paying attention early in the day just to monitor how things are changing, and then be very quick to react once something is noted during the afternoon.”

Some Iowans may want to take advantage of today’s warmer weather by knocking out some yard work, prepping the lawn and garden for spring, but he says it’ll be quite windy.

“We’re cautioning people today also just to be careful with any burning outside, because you could accidentally get a fast-moving fire if you’re careless with that today,” Vachalek says, “so folks should not be burning around the region today, especially this afternoon.”

The spring equinox was ten days ago, but it hasn’t felt much like spring, with several bouts of flurries. While parts of the state will have highs in the 70s today and tomorrow for the first time this year, very cold air will move in behind the storm on Friday night.

“Our temperatures are actually going to drop down to the lower 20s in northwest Iowa and the lower 30s in the south by Saturday morning,” Vachalek says, “and we are looking for the potential of maybe an inch or two of snow along the border between Minnesota and Iowa — so you’ve got just about everything here in the next 36 hours.”

Keep up with the changing forecast at

Radio Iowa