It's shaping up to be an active weather week here in the Midwest. On Monday two tornadoes were reported in eastern Iowa. This was the first time in over 50 years that there had been tornadoes in Iowa in January.
Officials said the first tornado touched down at about 2 p.m. near Interstate 80 just east of the Williamsburg exit. A semi-tracker trailer and a passenger vehicle were blown off the interstate as the tornado passed, no injuries were reported. Iowa County officials said they received several reports of damage to a cattle shelter and tree damage at another farm. Power line damage was reported as the tornado moved to the northeast toward South Amana before lifting as it headed into portions of Johnson and Linn Counties.
Meteorologists at the National Weather Service said initial reports indicated the tornado had winds of 90 m.p.h. and was rated an EF-1 on the Enhanced Fujita scale. The tornado was on the ground for about eight minutes and traveled nearly five miles.
A second tornado was reported at about 2:50 p.m. near Ely in Linn County. Officials said that tornado caused no observable damage and was rated an EF-U, meaning there wasn’t enough damage to evaluate. No other damage has been reported.
Meteorologists said an unusual dynamic set up over the Midwest Monday producing conditions that were favorable for severe weather development.
And now it looks like Iowa is going to be getting a snowstorm Wednesday into Thursday this week.
Wednesday: We kick off the morning with cloudy skies and calm conditions. However, around noon, our next storm system starts to move in from southwest to northeast, bringing in the potential for snow, freezing rain, and rain. Highs are in the mid to upper 30s. It starts off as more of a wintry mix, but as the day unfolds, the temperatures become colder, and the precipitation type transitions into all snow by late Wednesday night. Where the winter storm watch is in effect is the best chance for the greatest amount of snowfall. Winds are also breezy overnight, reducing visibility and creating tricky travel overnight.
Thursday: The snow continues into Thursday morning and leaves early Thursday afternoon. Expect a slippery and slow morning commute on this day, as the snow piles on top of any possible wintry mix underneath. Along with that, winds are breezy, and any falling snow could blow around and cause reduce visibilities. Snow accumulations when it is all said and done are tricky, but areas far north and west could see 6+ inches of snow.
And it looks like up here in Minnesota we'll be seeing some more snow from the same storm.
Another storm system is lurking to the southwest of Minnesota, which should arrive by Wednesday night and linger through Thursday night. At this point, models show the storm will drop the most snow – 4 to 6 inches – in southeastern Minnesota. The metro may see 3- 5 inches by Thursday evening. But keep in mind, the storm path will likely continue to shift before late Wednesday.
Temps will start to fall midweek, with highs around 30 degrees both Wednesday and Thursday. We'll fall into the low 20s Friday before making a rebound into the high 20s this weekend.
It rained most of the day yesterday but we have enough snow on the ground that the ground is still covered up here. It did have the effect of washing parking lots clear so people can once again see the lines in parking lots and don't have excuses for midwest parking jobs anymore.