Hurricane Irma and the Corn Belt...

Eric Snodgrass
Principal Atmospheric Scientist

Fires and extreme heat on the west coast - deep trough over the Corn Belt - category 5 Hurricane Irma targeting the Southeast. The US is dealing with a lot of active weather right now, but let's start in the Central US. Yesterday's cold front sparked a lot of strong to severe storms across the Ohio River Valley, but behind this front, we have much cooler and drier weather through the end of the week. Temperatures in the western Corn Belt will fall into the lower 40s and upper 30s on Wednesday morning. Moving out west, forest fires are burning from California to Washington to Montana, and the smoke plumes have traveled all the way across the Corn Belt. Finally, the latest update this morning from the National Hurricane Center has Hurricane Irma ranked as a Category 5 strength hurricane with sustained winds at 173 mph. While there is uncertainty in the track of Irma once it enters the Bahamas, a US landfall is highly probable. The eastern Corn Belt needs to watch this system too, as the remnants may move pretty far north after landfall.