Severe Storms Move into Midwest

For those living in the Upper Midwest, the last couple of days have been filled with severe storm watches and warnings. A line of storm activity with hail, powerful wind gusts and heavy rains damaged buildings and trees across Iowa Tuesday evening and early Wednesday. People in central Iowa contacted the National Weather Service to report storm damage which included homes and businesses with roofs torn off as well as numerous reports of trees and power lines being knocked down.

The severe weather which is moving across the United States also affected many Plains states Tuesday night as it moved into northern Iowa at around 8pm. In Sioux City, wind gusts of 87 miles per hour were reported as were several others clocking in at over 79 miles per hour. Numerous tornado warnings were issued for northwestern Iowa Tuesday night although there were no reported touch-downs. There were also tornado warnings in effect for portions of Minnesota when the severe weather moved into that state.

Wednesday is set to be warmer than usual for many in the Midwest. Along with the warmer temperatures will be the potential for more severe weather that will likely touch off late afternoon thunderstorms in Minnesota’s Twin Cities and later on in Chicago, northern Indiana and Ohio as well as in southern, lower Michigan. Temperatures could top 80 degrees in many Midwest states Wednesday – setting the stage for heavy thunderstorms. The greatest risks will be large hail, locally damaging winds, flash foods and a few isolated tornadoes.

Storms packing high winds and windshield-shattering hail roared across portions of the Midwest Tuesday. In Albany, Minnesota, hail stones nearly two inches in diameter smashed vehicle windshields there while winds elsewhere in the state whipped up to 60 miles per hour or more. It is not unusual for May to bring with it severe weather in the United States as the month is one that is characterized by transitional weather which is moves toward wet, stormy conditions – increasing the threat of severe weather.

During May, moisture that is being pushed northward from the Gulf of Mexico interacts with disturbances in the upper levels of the atmosphere which is often the catalyst for violent thunderstorms. People living in the central, Midwest or eastern part of the country should re-familiarize themselves with their local severe weather watches and warnings.