Public Safety

Central U.S braces for severe weather, including tornadoes, but could Eastern Iowa miss the worst?

(FILE) A shelf cloud moves into Coralville from the northwest Tuesday, June 23, 2009 as storms move through the area. Yes we know this is from 10 years ago. It is a cool photo and clouds and corn have not changed their style. (The Gazette)
(FILE) A shelf cloud moves into Coralville from the northwest Tuesday, June 23, 2009 as storms move through the area. Yes we know this is from 10 years ago. It is a cool photo and clouds and corn have not changed their style. (The Gazette)
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The Corridor is expected to get storms starting today into early next week — but questions remain about how strong they’ll be.

The Quad Cities office of the National Weather Service said there is a “marginal risk” for severe weather today along and to the north of Interstate 80 in this area.

“There may be a risk that a few storms may produce isolated large hail and damaging winds,” the weather service said. “Additional rainfall (today) may add to the run-off, rising creeks, and ponding of water” from earlier rains.

Over the weekend, the Corridor has spots forecast to range from “slight” to “marginal” risk of severe storms. But heavy rains, particularly during the day Sunday, are expected.

An active weather pattern continues … through Wednesday with chances of thunderstorms nearly every day. It is still too early to determine the severe potential for any of these periods,” the Quad Cities office forecast.

Central U.S. under threat from storms

More than 50 million people in the central United States are in the path of strong thunderstorms, damaging wind gusts, large hail and possibly tornadoes over the next few days, national forecasters said on Thursday.

The severe weather is threatening a wide swath of the country reaching from the Rocky Mountains through the Midwest and into the Mid-Atlantic and South, the National Weather Service said.

“There are several rounds of potential severe weather,” said Marc Chenard, a meteorologist with the NWS. “Right now, we have slight and enhanced risk of severe weather for the next three days and into next week as well.”

Storms rolled through the Midwest on Thursday afternoon.

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One tornado was reported to the NWS to have touched down in LaSalle, Illinois, about 90 miles (145 km) southwest of Chicago. Winds blew down trees and power lines, and hail was reported in communities along the Illinois-Indiana border, the NWS said on its website.

The severe weather could bring damaging winds of more than 60 mph, or even golf ball-sized hail and the potential for tornadoes, given that mid to late May is peak tornado season for southern and central Plains states, Chenard said.

Three to 5 inches of rain are in the forecast during the next week for northern Texas into Minnesota and Wisconsin, Chenard said.

(Reuters contributed to this report. Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Chicago; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Peter Cooney)

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