Midwest: Storm Brings Rainfall And Snow, Tornado Threat Issued

Midwest: Storm Brings Rainfall And Snow, Tornado Threat Issued
Storm Chasing with The Weather Channel’s Tornado Hunt Team Anthony Quintano / Flickr CC BY 2.0

Portions of Midwest received snow and rainfall after a storm system carrying strong winds caused damage to industrial park buildings and affected power lines in parts of Iowa and Nebraska.


The system started Tuesday around Utah and progressed towards the east and dropped more than a foot of snow in the Rockies, according to the National Weather Service. However, the threat was decreased as the weather wasn’t as warm as it could have been. As reported by Yahoo News, Stephen Corfidi, a meteorologist at the Storm Prediction Center in Oklahoma, said, “Probably the worst has passed.”

A tornado was reported in Des Moines by the Des Moines Airport control tower. The severe weather damaged trees and utility lines, and caused traffic problems. In an incident, oak tree debris could be seen collected in the front yard of a family house.

Of the 6,670 MidAmerican customers who experienced power outage at 5:10 p.m., around 5,100 were in Des Moines. High wind warning or advisory, from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Thursday, was issued for much of Iowa. According to KCCI, sustained winds of 30 to 40 miles per hour with wind gusts of 60 miles per hour are expected to accompany the severe weather.

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Calling the system a “classic mid November storm,” Corfidi said, “Basically there’s a warm side and a cold side to these systems and the unifying threat is a very strong wind field all the way around it. So on the cold side, you have a chance for snow or freezing precipitation accompanied by very strong winds and occasionally blizzard conditions. … On the warm side, the thunderstorms that grow in the strong wind environment tend to rotate. And if they rotate long enough, and if the moisture is great enough, they can produce tornadoes. So usually you kind of get a one-two punch with this type of event.”

Buildings were damaged in southwest Iowa. Semitrailers were reportedly flipped on Interstate 80 in western Iowa and several people experienced power outages in central Iowa. Speaking about a semitrailer that flipped just west of Avoca, Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Mike Wesack said, “The driver says all he remembers is a dark cloud. Next thing he knows, (the vehicle) was on its side on the (other) lane.”

A tornado watch was issued for portions of Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri. While the threat was downgraded by forecasters, severe weather warnings were issued for south-central Iowa and northern Missouri. High winds were expected to accompany the weather system.

As many as 36.5 million people, from Colorado through Ohio and Texas through Michigan, are estimated to have been affected by the extreme weather system. On Wednesday, it lowered to 5 inches in Denver area – accidents on Interstate 25 were reported by the Colorado highway patrol troopers.