FRIDAY NIGHT TORNADO, ACTIVE PATTERN CONTINUES
Rebecca here. Terry is on the chase this week and had a long night of traveling Friday after several hours of tornado coverage. No doubt you heard about the tornado that touched down just a few miles away from Iowa City Friday night. That has now been rated a high end EF-1 by the National Weather Service.
Our team at KGAN was able to actually capture that tornado live on the air. From the wall cloud, to the funnel dropping down, to the tornado touching down and growing in size and intensity.
This is what we aim to do as meteorologists. Meteorologist Nick Stewart was in our chase vehicle - the Road Warrior - and in coordination with Terry decided to go down south of I-80 to watch the storms developing there. This storm ended up strengthening and the atmosphere was ripe for a tornado on Friday.
This is a shot from Nick Stewart. The tornado luckily lifted JUST before it got into Iowa City, but did have winds estimated of 110 mph and damaged some buildings and trailers as it moved near Sharon Center and Frytown in Johnson county.
Surely Terry will have more to say about this, but we became part of the warning process. We had an experienced storm chaser bringing live reports of the storm and meteorologists back at the station analyzing the pictures and radar. The National Weather Service watched our live coverage of the tornado to adjust their warning. This is what we aim to do. And no one was injured during this tornado.
Unfortunately the active pattern will continue over the next several days. Strong storms were moving through portions of Iowa, Missouri and Illinois Saturday night and will continue into Sunday morning.
Here's the outlook from the Storm Prediction Center for Sunday:
The greater chances for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes will be in Texas, Kansas and Nebraska. There still will be some scattered showers and thunderstorms in other parts of the Upper Midwest.
Gusty winds and heavy rain will be possible, mainly near and south of I-80 Sunday morning. Then there will be storms on and off on Memorial Day Monday.
Some of these storms will be strong as a warm front is draped across the state of Iowa. Here's the outlook from the SPC for Monday:
There would be the potential for an isolated tornado, but it will depend on how much the atmosphere destabilizes in the afternoon. We'll continue to update on that threat..
Then... again the SPC is monitoring parts of Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois on Tuesday.
We'll have to analyze these threats day by day. Otherwise it's going to be warm and muggy through the rest of the weekend and beginning of next week. There is the concern for flooding and flash flooding as moisture levels stay high and heavy rain falls each day. This on top of the very saturated grounds and swollen rivers and creeks.
Terry will continue to bring you views as he chases this week, so be sure to follow along and get notifications when he goes live on Facebook and https://livestormchasing.com/.