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Tuesday was a big day for weather around the Hawkeye State, but considering the potential and amount of tornado and thunderstorm warnings, Iowan's came out of it in pretty good shape. The one exception, (a very big one), was Greenfield, Iowa. Located about 55 miles southwest of Des Moines, the town of 2,000 took a direct hit from a violent twister. My friend and chasing buddy Kholby Martin took this image of the storm about 4 miles south of Greenfield on its way towards the community.

From here, it knocked down several wind turbines as it ground towards Greenfield. As you can see, it then produced extensive destruction, I would estimate high end EF3 or EF4 damage. That equates to winds of 160 mph or more.

Check out this before and after image of Kent Street in Greenfield. Good gosh, that's hard to look at.

This is what's known as the correlation coefficient product on the Doppler. What the radar represents in blue colors are large chunks of debris, in this case floating as high as 40,000 feet in the air. Portions of a roof or a car are much larger than raindrops, so their reflectivity is far stronger. A CC drop, in conjunction with a tornado vortex signature, indicates a damaging tornado, and below you can see a snapshot of the drop I saved as the storm passed over Greenfield Tuesday. I was chasing the storm and with each frame preceding the hit on the town, the amount of blue kept getting bigger until it maxed out over the city as the tornado tore through the heart of town. I expected bad news and when I heard later several people were killed and dozens were injured, I was prepared but still stunned to see the extent of the tragedy.

Personally, I was positioned about 5 miles SE of the tornado, but the rear inflow circulation around the storm kept it rain wrapped, and I was unable to personally see it even though I knew it was there by way of radar. Typically, I would have been in a good spot, but not Tuesday. That's chasing!

Below, you can see the arc of clouds that represents the strong vorticity that kicked up the storms.

As of late Tuesday evening, 415 reports of severe weather had come in to the Storm Prediction Center. More than half came out of Iowa.

Another by-product of this multi-day storm system, are the heavy rains it brought to my NW counties and much of the state of Iowa. Doppler estimates since Sunday night indicates many places with 2-5 inch rains. Pockets of 5-8 inch plus amounts can be seen in central and SW Iowa. On my journey across Iowa yesterday, I saw significant flooding east of Des Moines and lots of standing water in the fields. Spring rains have been plentiful this year!

Since I've logged 250 miles today and still have another 100 to go before I get home, the weather end of this post is short and sweet. For the next two days, the forecast is dry. Cooler, drier air will keep highs confined to the upper 60s north to low 70s Wednesday. Gusty winds will be a bit of a pain, especially in the morning. Thursday, should be a fine day with full sunshine, mild highs in the low to mid 70s, and light winds.

Friday rain is back in the forecast as the pattern turns active going into the holiday weekend. Highs through the period look seasonal, in the low to mid 70s. However, scattered showers and storms are possible everyday Friday through Monday except Saturday. If the EURO is right, another 1–2 inches of rain could fall.

That's all in this busy Tuesday. Until next time, roll weather...TS


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