University of Iowa cancels Final Four watch party ahead of Friday's weather

The University of Iowa's planned watch party for the Hawkeyes women's basketball Final Four game against the University of South Carolina has been canceled as eastern Iowa braces for severe weather Friday.

The event had been scheduled to be held in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

"Damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes are possible for the area. The UI Athletic Department made the decision in the best interest of the safety of Hawkeye fans and staff," the university wrote on

More: Iowa faces a risk of severe weather, tornadoes and snow Friday. Here's what we know.

“We share in the disappointment of our incredible fans,” Matt Henderson, deputy athletics director, said in a news release. “Due to the unpredictable timing of possible severe weather and potential storm impact, we felt this was safest decision for our fans and staff.

"We look forward to hosting everyone for a Watch Party on Sunday,“ Henderson said, referring to the national championship game Iowa fans hope the Hawkeyes will be playing in.

Friday's game is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. in Dallas.

More: Leistikow: How Iowa's Caitlin Clark became 'un-guardable' and reached Final Four at top of her game

Latest weather update

The National Weather Service said storms could form Friday east of the Interstate 35 corridor in central Iowa and gain strength as they move toward the Mississippi River. It warns of the possibility of severe storms with large hail and damaging winds along a line running from Mount Pleasant through Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, with some gusts reaching 50 mph on Friday night.

Weather service guidance said some forecast models show a danger of tornadoes.

Francesca Block is a breaking news reporter at the Des Moines Register. Reach her at or on Twitter at @francescablock3.

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Watch party at Carver-Hawkeye Arena canceled due to Friday weather