Eastern Iowa Tornadoes – May 25, 2008

May 25, 2018

May 25, 2008 was an active day for severe weather across eastern Iowa, with six tornadoes being confirmed across the KWWL viewing area.  Of note was the EF-5 tornado impacting Parkersburg, New Hartford and Dunkerton with estimated peak wind speeds up to 205 mph(to watch our special report “Tornado Turnaround”, click here), and the EF-3 tornado near Fairbank and Hazleton, with peak wind speeds up to 160 mph.

There was also an EF-1 tornado south of Lamont in Buchanan County, as well as an EF-1 south of Petersburg in Dubuque County.  Another EF-1 touched down near Interstate 80 in western Iowa County, fortunately not impacting many people.  And finally, an EF-0 was reported north of North Liberty.  To read the full assessments from the NWS Quad Cities, click here.

  1.  The tornado touched down 2 miles south of Aplington, before growing to 3/4 of a mile wide as it moved to the south side of Parkersburg.  300 homes and businesses were destroyed.  Seven people were killed, with many others injured.  From there, the tornado went down Highway 57 and tore through the northern part of New Hartford, where it killed two people, and damaged and destroyed many homes.  The Sinclair Elevator and the Oak Hill Cemetery took a direct hit.  Read the full assessment from NWS Des Moines here.
  2. The EF-2 tornado in Buchanan County touched down near Fairbank.  The tornado was 0.7 miles wide and was on the ground for 32.4 miles.  Three homes were destroyed, with many others damaged, along with several downed trees and power lines.  On the south side of Hazleton, many mobile homes were destroyed.  Three people were injured
  3. EF-1 tornado south of Lemont was about 100 yards wide with an estimated peak wind speed of 90 mph, and was on the ground for 2 miles.  There were many outbuildings and trees that were damaged.  No injuries or deaths were reported.
  4. An EF-1 was confirmed south of Petersburg in Delaware county.  The tornado was 250 yards wide with estimated wind speeds of 90 mph, and was on the ground for 7.75 miles.  Trees and outbuildings were damaged, along with more than 1,000 trees destroyed in New Wine Park.  No injuries/deaths were reported.
  5. An EF-0 was reported north of North Liberty in Johnson County. Estimated wind speeds were 85 mph, and it was 100 yards wide with a path of 0.1 miles.  Many trees were uprooted, and several homes were damaged.
  6. And EF-1 tornado was reported near Interstate 80 in Iowa County.  Estimated wind speeds were 90 mph, and it was 250 yard wide and was on the ground for 6 miles.  No injuries or fatalities were reported.  A grain bin near Victor was blown over, and a tree fell on a mobile home.  Many machine sheds were also damaged.

Here is a full list of the storm reports, mesoscale discussion, watches and outlooks for the nation that day.

 

The Enhanced Fujita scale is used to estimate wind speed based on the damage from the tornado.  They are not measured wind speeds.

 

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Heat Index near 95°

May 22, 2018

The high temperatures will warm the next few days reaching the mid to upper 80s. The humidity level also increases as dew points get into the upper 60s. Combine these two and you get the heat index as high as 95 Friday and Saturday. This is our first round of heat and humidity this year. Use caution in the heat. On average, it is the number one weather related killer.

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This post was written by Schnack
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Rainfall- 24-hour totals through 9 AM Monday

May 21, 2018

TOWN 24 HR RAIN TOTAL Through 9 AM Thur
   
Waterloo (Airport) 0.70
Dubuque (Airport) 0.12
Cedar Rapids (Airport) 0.30
Iowa City (Airport) 0.27
 
Ainsworth 0.08
Allison 0.21
Anamosa 1.9 SE 0.17
Anamosa 2.5 mi SSW 0.17
Asbury 0.08
Belle Plaine 1.00
Belleview LD 12 0.15
Brighton 0.07
Cascade 0.08
Cedar Falls 0.6 N 0.70
Cedar Falls 1.4 SSE 0.69
Cedar Rapids 2.7 NE 0.35
Center Junction 2.6 W 0.78
Center Point 0.6 NNW 0.57
Central City 6.7 W 0.30
Charles City COOP 0.09
Coggon 0.11
Conrad 0.25
Coralville 1.3 SE 0.15
Cresco COOP Trace
Decorah 4.9 SE 0.03
Decorah 7.9 mi ENE 0.01
Dorchester 3 S 0.10
Dysart 0.53
Elkader 6 mi SSW 0.26
Ely 0.29
Fairfax 4.0 NW 0.39
Fayette COOP 0.43
Garwin 0.48
Gilbertville 1.0 NW 0.44
Grinnell 0.76
Grinnell 3SW 0.79
Grundy Center 0.72
Guttenberg Dam 10 0.30
Hampton 0.05
Hopkinton 5.4 WSW 0.17
Independence 0.90
Ionia 2 mi W 0.10
Iowa City 0.23
Iowa Falls 0.36
Kalona 7.3 NNW 0.10
Kesley 0.19
Lowden 0.06
Manchester 0.18
Manchester #2 0.21
Maquoketa 4 W 0.14
Marengo 2.6 SSW 0.42
Marengo 3.6 N 0.50
Marion 1.7 mi NNW 0.16
Monona COOP 0.15
Monticello COOP 0.26
Nashua 2 SW 0.07
New Hampton COOP 0.32
New Hampton 0.3 mi NNW 0.13
New Hampton 0.4 mi SW 0.13
Nora Springs 0.07
North English 0.38
North Liberty 0.6 NW 0.45
Osage 0.06
Parkersburg 0.40
Parnell 0.1 WNW 0.16
Rickardsville 0.2 W 0.15
Robins 0.4 SSE 0.21
Sigourney 1.1 W 0.11
Solon 0.3 mi ESE 0.16
St. Ansgar Trace
Strawberry Point 0.73
Toledo 3 mi N 0.88
Traer 0.77
Tripoli 0.56
Urbana 1.37
Vinton 0.88
Volga 1 mi NE 0.19
Washington 0.06
Washington 5.8 W 0.05
Waterloo 1.9 SSE 0.71
Waucoma 0.10
Wellman 0.12
Williamsburg 0.28
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Posted under Precipitation Totals

This post was written by Eileen Loan
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Tornado Warnings

May 16, 2018

May and June are the peak months for severe weather in Iowa. More than 50% of the tornadoes occur in these two months.

So far this month all of the action, when it comes to tornado warnings, has been across the southern part of the state. The map below shows all of the tornado warnings this year.

I am going to take this one step further. The map below shows when the last tornado warnings were issued across Iowa, per county. The dark blue areas show the last tornado warning in 2002. The very small white areas have not had a tornado warning from 2002 until now. The circled area in Winneshiek County has not had a tornado warning since 2002.

Sticking with Winneshiek County, here is a look at all of the tornadoes in the county since accurate records have been kept beginning in 1950 through 2016. Notice where the dark blue area is on the map above is the same location of an F3 tornado. It was July 19, 1994 when the F3 tornado traveled 23 miles and was 150 yards wide. Even though there has not been a warning lately, it doesn’t mean severe weather, a tornado, has not impacted the area.

 

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F Scale vs EF Scale

May 16, 2018

This month we are highlighting some memorable weather events in eastern Iowa. Namely, we are remembering May tornadoes that made a lasting impact in some of our communities. However, what do you know of the way tornadoes are rated?

Half a century ago this month, an F5 tornado tracked through Charles City. It was one of two F5 tornadoes that day in eastern Iowa. The other tracked through the Oelwein and Maynard areas.

A little more recently – actually 10 years ago this month – an EF5 tornado tracked through Parkersburg, New Hartford and the surrounding areas.

The difference between these two rankings – F5 and EF5 – is time.

The EF, or Enhanced Fujita scale, went into operation in 2007. This is the scale currently used by meteorologists. Previously, the F, or Fujita scale, was used to rank tornado damage intensity. Click here to find the parameters used for the F and EF scale.

Regardless of which scale was used, the three tornadoes listed above were among the strongest and most destructive in Iowa history. Even EF0 or EF1 tornadoes can cause extensive damage. In 2017, an EF1 struck McGregor in Clayton County. You can read more on that tornado here. In fact, most of the tornadoes in 2017 were ranked EF0 or EF1. For more information on the 2017 tornado climatology, click here.

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This post was written by Rachael Peart
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National Highs and Lows

May 14, 2018

Most nights I post the national high and low temperature. Here is a look at where all of the highs are lows were through April.

Here is the breakdown per month where they national highs and lows were.

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This post was written by Schnack
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Rainfall Totals Sunday Night

May 14, 2018

TOWN 24 HR RAIN TOTAL Through 9 AM Monday
   
Waterloo (Airport) 0.32
Dubuque (Airport) 1.67
Cedar Rapids (Airport) 0.98
Iowa City (Airport) 0.30
 
Ainsworth 0.33
Amana 4.7 mi W 0.77
Anamosa 1.9 SE 1.88
Anamosa 2.5 SSW 1.86
Anamosa 3 NW 1.63
Belle Plaine 0.50
Belleview LD 12 1.29
Cascade 1.82
Cedar Falls 1.4 SSE 0.41
Cedar Rapids 2.7 NE 0.99
Cedar Rapids 3.4 mi NW 2.12
Center Point 0.6 NNW 1.07
Central City 6.7 W 1.39
Charles City COOP Trace
Coggon 0.89
Conrad 0.21
Coralville 1.3 SE 0.09
Decorah 7.9 mi ENE 0.03
Dubuque L&D 11 0.50
Dubuque 2 WNW 1.90
Dysart 0.69
Edgewood 0.34
Eldora 0.24
Elkader 6 mi SSW 0.18
Ely 0.34
Fairfax 4.0 NW 1.05
Fayette COOP 0.22
Garwin 0.08
Gilbertville 1.0 NW 0.45
Grundy Center 0.31
Guttenberg Dam 10 0.24
Hampton 0.45
Hopkinton 0.2 E 2.20
Independence 0.27
Ionia 2 mi W 0.02
Iowa City 0.03
Iowa City 8.0 NE 0.32
Kalona 7.3 NNW 0.02
Kesley 0.31
Lowden 0.88
Manchester 0.53
Maquoketa 4 W 0.81
Marengo 0.60
Marengo 3.6 N 0.45
Marion 1.7 mi NNW 2.26
Monona COOP 0.03
Monticello COOP 1.47
Nashua 2 SW 0.08
New Hampton 0.3 mi NNW 0.02
New Hampton 0.4 mi SW 0.02
Osage Trace
Parnell 0.1 WNW 0.08
Quasqueton 0.5 W 1.32
Rickardsville 0.2 W 0.83
Sigourney 1.1 W 0.60
Solon 0.3 mi ESE 0.06
St. Ansgar Trace
Swisher 0.96
Toledo 3 mi N 0.02
Tripoli 0.03
Urbana 1.14
Vinton 0.65
Volga 1 mi NE 0.18
Washington 0.86
Washington 5.8 W 0.37
Waucoma 0.13
Wellman 0.20
Williamsburg 0.07
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Posted under Precipitation Totals

This post was written by Eileen Loan
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Pyrocumulonimbus

May 11, 2018

In the panhandle of Texas, about 30 miles southeast of Amarillo, was a large wildfire Friday. The Texas Forest Service said about 34,000 acres were burning. The image below shows where the fire was through a channel on the GOES16. It shows the “hot spot”. The red spot on the map is the wildfire.

This next image shows the wildfire and now a severe thunderstorm to the east/northeast of the fire. The fire was so intense, and with just the right conditions, it produced a severe storm.

This next image shows the same area. This is a different channel on the GOES16 than the images above. The fire shows up as a black color. The severe thunderstorm is again to the east/northeast. This image also shows all of the lightning strikes in this storm.

Here is a time-lapse of the smoke from the fire and the storm developing overhead.

 

Thunderstorm clouds are call cumulonimbus clouds. This thunderstorm cloud is called pyrocumulonimbus. I have also heard it called a fire cloud. In Latin pyro means “fire” and cumulus means “heap or pile”. Pyrocumulus clouds can form over large wild fires and if intense enough can develop into a thunderstorm getting the name pyrocumulonimbus.

The intense heat from the fire produces rapidly rising air. This rising air pulls in cooler air from outside. It cools and condenses as it rises. The pressure lowers as you go up in the atmosphere. If the air rises fast enough you can get a thunderstorm like the one that occurred on Friday. These thunderstorms could be dangerous because the lightning it produces could spark another wildfire. In addition to that,  as the storm weakens the downdraft could spread the flames.

 

 

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Rainfall Reports Ending 9 AM Friday

May 11, 2018

TOWN 24 HR RAIN TOTAL Through 9 AM Fri
   
Waterloo (Airport) 0.02
Dubuque (Airport) 0.01
Cedar Rapids (Airport) 0.00
Iowa City (Airport) 0.00
 
Alpha 1 ENE 0.59
Asbury 0.07
Belleview LD 12 0.01
Bluffton 0.32
Boscobel, WI 0.14
Calmar 0.73
Cedar Falls 0.6 N 0.04
Charles City Cedar Rvr 0.28
Charles City 0.58
Charles City COOP 0.68
Cresco 0.79
Cuba City, WI 0.05
Decorah #1 0.70
Decorah #2 0.79
Decorah #3 0.48
Decorah 7.9 mi ENE 0.86
DeSoto, WI 0.34
Dorchester 3 S 0.16
Dubuque L&D 11 0.10
Dubuque 1.4 WSW 0.16
Dubuque #3 Trace
Dysart Trace
Edgewood 0.10
El Dorado 1 mi E 0.17
Elkader 5 NW 0.05
Elkader 6 mi SSW 0.31
Elma 1.05
Fayette 2 NNW 0.30
Fayette COOP 0.38
Fennimore, WI 0.36
Fort Atkinson 0.66
Frankville 5 NW 2.66
Gilbertville 1.0 NW 0.12
Grundy Center Trace
Guttenberg Dam 10 0.02
Hampton 0.50
Independence 0.08
Ionia 2 N 0.42
Ionia 2 mi W 0.63
Iowa Falls 0.07
Jackson Junction 1ENE 0.40
Kesley 0.43
Littleport 0.05
Marquette 0.13
McGregor 0.24
Monona 0.04
Monona COOP 0.66
Nashua 0.11
New Hampton COOP 0.70
New Hampton 0.3 mi NNW 0.71
New Hampton 0.4 mi SW 0.73
Nora Springs 1.00
Oelwein 0.15
Osage 0.95
Platteville, WI 0.10
Postville 0.72
Prairie du Chien, WI 0.44
Quasqueton 0.5 W 0.06
Riceville 3 NE 0.51
Rickardsville 0.2 W 0.09
Sigourney 1.1 W Trace
St. Ansgar 0.80
Steuben, WI 0.17
Steuben 4 SE 0.71
Sumner 0.19
Tripoli 0.42
Volga 1 mi NE 0.09
Waterloo 1.9 SSE 0.05
Waterville 3 SE 0.35
Watson 4 ENE 0.14
Waucoma 0.63
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Posted under Precipitation Totals

This post was written by Eileen Loan
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EF-0 Tornado near Fennimore, WI

May 10, 2018
A brief tornado touched down north and northeast of
Fennimore Wisconsin during the early afternoon hours on Wednesday.
Damage was mainly to farm buildings.

.Fennimore Tornado...

Rating:                 EF-0
Estimated peak wind:    75 mph
Path length /Statute/:  1.5 miles
Path width /Maximum/:   70 yards
Fatalities:             0
Injuries:               0

Start date:             May 9 2018 
Start time:             131 CDT
Start location:         2 N Fennimore
Start Lat/Lon:          43.0335 / -90.6480

End date:               May 9 2018
End time:               133 CDT
End location:           2 NNE Fennimore
End_lat/lon:            43.0319 / -90.6194

SURVEY SUMMARY: Based on information from local Emergency
Management, including maps and photos, a tornado produced
damage to farms near and along Golf Road, with debris
thrown into nearby trees and into the fields. Times and path
have been estimated and may be adjusted.

EF Scale: The Enhanced Fujita Scale Classifies
Tornadoes into the following categories.

EF0...Weak......65 to 85 mph
EF1...Weak......86 to 110 mph
EF2...Strong....111 to 135 mph
EF3...Strong....136 to 165 mph
EF4...Violent...166 To 200 mph
EF5...Violent...>200 mph

 
 
 
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