Tornado in Northwest Iowa this Afternoon

There was a tornado reported in northwest Iowa Monday afternoon with a few severe storms.
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This is just one of two tornadoes reported today.
KWWL 2015 MAX Storm ED

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Posted under Severe Weather

This post was written by Schnack on May 23, 2016

Not Many Warnings…So Far

The temperatures have been cooler than normal so far this month (warmer weather returns this weekend into next week). The cooler than normal temperatures are part of the reason why we have not had much severe weather so far this year. May and June are typically the months with the most tornadoes reported in Iowa.

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Severe weather has pretty much missed us so far this year. The charts below are separated by the three National Weather Service (NWS) forecast offices that cover the KWWL viewing area. The map shows the counties each office covers. The chart to the side of each map shows the number of tornado and severe thunderstorms warnings issued through May 18…going back to 2003. You can see there are some years with a lot of warnings to this point and then you have this year. We are on the low end of the scale.

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There is a chance of thunderstorms next week with Monday and Wednesday days to watch for any severe storms. We will continue to track the severe weather potential.

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Posted under Severe Weather

This post was written by Schnack on May 19, 2016

A Look Back: “Charles City Tornado”

May 15th marks the 48th anniversary of what Iowans know as the “Charles City Tornado.”  This tornado was part of a major outbreak across the Midwest between May 15th and 16th, 1968.  In Iowa, the tornadoes caused 18 deaths and more than 600 injuries.  (Read more about this event, picture included, from the National Weather Service in La Crosse, WI)

May 15 Charles City Tornado

The morning of May 15th started off with several reports of 2.5″ to 3.0″ size hail (tennis ball and baseball size) across many locations in eastern Iowa.  The atmosphere had time to recover, and by the afternoon several tornadoes struck the eastern part of the state; Two F5 tornadoes (winds 261+ mph) struck, along with two F1 tornadoes (73-112 mph), and one F2 (113-157 mph).

The first F5 tornado tracked through tracked from near Hansell in Butler Co., through Chickasaw, Floyd, Franklin and Hardin counties.  The F5 tornado tracked right through the heart of Charles City in Floyd County.  More than 350 homes and businesses were destroyed  in the city.  The tornado was on the ground for 65 miles in total, and destroyed about 2,000 homes total.  In Charles City alone that afternoon, there were 15 deaths and 450 injuries.

Oelwein and Maynard also took a direct hit from a second F5 tornado that Wednesday afternoon.  The tornado destroyed near 1,000 homes, and killed five people before falling apart near Randalia.

Below is the surface map from the morning of May 15th.  You can see a low pressure system located in Nebraska, with a stationary boundary draped across the state of Iowa, and a cold front extending from Nebraska down through Mexico.

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May 15, 1998 was also a violent day in Iowa for severe weather.  A severe weather outbreak resulted in at least 43 of Iowa’s 99 counties, and produced 13 tornadoes.  One of those tornadoes struck Washington, Iowa, packing winds 158 mph to 206 mph.  While there were no deaths reported, 47 people were injured from that tornado.

 

 

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Posted under Severe Weather, Weather History

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on May 15, 2016

Softball Size Hail

Severe thunderstorms in eastern Nebraska Monday afternoon have been producing some very large hail stones. This was is about the size of a softball

Lincoln, NE (Julee Hector)

Lincoln, NE (Julee Hector)

Take a look at what the hail did to the golf course green. WOW.

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In southeast Lincoln, NE large hail hit a Nebraska State Patrol car and did significant damage. Here are a few images from the Nebraska State Patrol.

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Posted under Severe Weather

This post was written by Schnack on May 9, 2016

Lightning Safety

“When thunder roars, go indoors.”

This is a common saying when it comes to storm safety. The National Weather Service in La Crosse, Wisconsin tweeted this year’s statistics as of May 2, 2016:

050216lacrosselightningtweet

More than 20 people died per year as a result of lightning in each of the past 10 years. The most fatalities during that period occurred in 2006, with a total of 48 people. Last year alone saw 27 deaths because of lightning strikes. The number of lightning fatalities has been nearly consistent the past five years:

Lightning5years

This year’s fatalities so far have occurred in Mississippi, Florida and Louisiana. Last year, there was a total of two Iowa fatalities, one in May and one in June. On average, most of the deaths happen during the warm summer months – June, July and August.

For more information about lightning and safety tips, click here.

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Posted under Lightning, Severe Weather, Uncategorized

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on May 4, 2016

Storms Tuesday Evening

We were tracking a cold front with showers and isolated storms Tuesday evening. One storm in Clayton and Fayette county was strong enough to prompt a severe thunderstorm warming for a short time (it was cancelled 15 min before the expiration time).
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Here is screen capture of video sent to me of the hail in West Union.

Viewer Photo Basic 2

Debbie Vandervort sent in the photo below as well.

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Posted under Photo, Severe Weather

This post was written by Schnack on May 3, 2016

Tornado in Nebraska

The map below shows a few tornado reports in Nebraska this afternoon. The reports were coming in just north of the Nebraska/Kansas state line.

KWWL 2015 MAX Storm ED

 

Here is a screen capture of a tornado near Superior, NE Sunday evening.

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Posted under Severe Weather

This post was written by Schnack on April 24, 2016

Tornado in Iraq on April 14, 2016

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Posted under Severe Weather, Video

This post was written by Schnack on April 15, 2016

How Many Warnings

The two maps below break up the US into National Weather Service forecast zones (areas each office is responsible for). It shows how many severe thunderstorm warnings and tornado warnings have been issued so far this year.

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Posted under NOAA, Severe Weather

This post was written by Schnack on April 6, 2016

Tulsa, OK Tornado Wednesday

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Posted under Severe Weather, Video

This post was written by Schnack on March 31, 2016