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A strong warm front set up shop over the region Sunday providing the instability and forcing for strong thunderstorms. They came in two waves. The first in the afternoon produced large hail and damaging winds in parts of my central and southern counties. Pea to golf ball sized hail was common and wind around Iowa City reached 65-75 mph. As you can see on this graphic, the storms arched from Nebraska through Iowa and into Illinois near and north of the warm front. Overall, 381 reports of severe weather had come in at the time of this post. 244 were hail and 135 wind for a total of 381. Tornadoes were not an issue with most of the storms elevated north of the front.

I myself went into chase mode with KGAN TV meteorologist Nick Stewart. We knew it would be a long shot to get a tornado but hail was a near certainty. We followed south of a cell that traveled all the way from Ames to Iowa City. All along its path it produced a stripe of large hail. We came across these stones southwest of What Cheer, Iowa. One as you can see on the ruler measured 2.5" in diameter (bigger than a golf ball)!

In my hot little hands I display a handful of hail I gathered off the ground. We waited until the storm passed to snare the icy rocks to avoid having the windows of our vehicle shattered.

After the storm we witnessed this fantastic display of mammatus clouds as far as out eyes could see. The picture taken west of Iowa City does not do justice to the beauty of the scene. Even when it's misbehaving, nature is spectacular!

We also noticed 4 semi-trailer trucks blown over by the strong winds on the interstate between Grinnell and Iowa City. I-80 was closed in several spots due to weather related instances. For not seeing a tornado, it was a heck of a chase worthy of the many hours spent on the road.

After sunset, a short wave coming out of Nebraska in concurrence with the nocturnal jet fired another round of storms that brought renewed showers and storms to much of the region overnight. What is left of those, mainly heavy rain and lightning producers will be out of the region early Monday. However, a persistent band of instability has produced rainfall totals in excess of an inch over much of my area. A corridor focused on I-80 has seen significantly more on the order of 2-4 inches, perhaps a bit more in spots. Some localized flash flooding has occurred, impressive considering how dry its been the past several weeks.

Monday morning a cool front enters the region pushing Sunday's heat and humidity out of the area. That will put an end to the severe thunderstorms which have produced all of these severe weather reports since Saturday.

By the way, the high at the Quad City International Airport hit 92 Sunday breaking the record of 88 set in 1965. Readings will be considerably cooler Monday with highs dipping back into the upper 60s north to the upper 70s south. Dew points will sink into the 50s by evening eliminating the muggy feeling which prevailed Sunday. The EURO has this for highs.



Tuesday through Friday the rest of the week looks mild and generally dry. Highs will generally be in the 70s with a day or two in the south pushing 80. Showers and storms return to the forecast to start next weekend.

Longer term, the 500mb flow turns chilly again by mid May with the flow projected to look like this May 18th. Dang, that is an ugly look. I had hoped we would not see that again this spring. .

Look at the temperature departures such a pattern brings Friday the 19th. Grrrr....

Well, that's it for now. Have a strong start to the week and roll weather...TS


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