Much of Iowa hit by severe weather overnight, likely tornado in SE Iowa

News, Weather

May 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Residents in southeast Iowa’s Henry County are getting a good look at the damage from last night’s (Thursday) apparent tornado. It touched down about halfway between Mount Pleasant and Washington. No one’s reported hurt but several homes and farmsteads were damaged, including a large turkey farm near Wayland. Dozens of neighbors gathered to help round up about a thousand turkeys after the barn was blown away. National Weather Service meteorologist Jeff Zogg says much of the state had severe weather overnight.  “We received a lot of hail reports of one-inch or larger across the northern part of the state and then later in the evening those storms died out,” Zogg says. “The strongest storms occurred in the eastern part of the state where there were a lot of hail reports, a lot of flash flooding occurred.” 

Nickel-sized hail was reported early this (Friday) morning in Adams County. Emergency management officials said the hail fell near Prescott, at around 3-a.m. Zogg says there’s a chance for more thunderstorms across much of Iowa today and through the weekend. “We’re in for an unsettled weekend in terms of thunderstorm activity,” he says. “During the day today, there’s a chance of thunderstorms statewide, better chances this evening and tonight statewide. Some storms this evening and early overnight may be severe with hail and strong winds.” He says Iowans need to keep a close watch on the skies — and the forecast — as conditions can quickly change.

“Any thunderstorm that does develop will have the potential to produce heavy rains and possible flash flooding,” Zogg says. “It looks like there’ll be another chance of thunderstorms during the day on Saturday and into Saturday night and early Sunday. Finally, late this weekend, Sunday night into Monday, a cold front will push through the state and take a lot of the thunderstorm activity and humid weather with it.”  High temperatures topped off in many Iowa cities in the 80s and 90s this week. He says highs by Monday may only be in the 60s and 70s.

(Matt Kelley-Radio Iowa/Ric Hanson-KJAN)