116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Severe storms with the potential for high winds are possible in the Cedar Rapids metro area Tuesday, the one-year anniversary of a derecho that devastated Eastern Iowa. But Tuesday’s storms don’t pose the same threat as last year, according to the National Weather Service.
“We really don’t have the conditions like we saw last year,” said Peter Speck, a meteorologist in the weather service’s Quad Cities bureau.
Tuesday’s storms are still expected to carry large hail and damaging wind gusts as high as 70 mph, Speck said. “Wind and the hail is the most concerning today,” he said.
The storm is expected to reach the Cedar Rapids metro area between 5 and 7 p.m., Speck said. Similar severe weather is expected on Wednesday, too, with a front likely moving in midday, he said.
Weather alerts: What you should know
Weather sirens will activate in Linn and Johnson counties if there is a severe thunderstorm warning with winds 70 mph or greater and/or hail the size of golf balls or larger.
If the weather sirens activate, seek shelter indoors, stay away from windows and follow alerts from the National Weather Service.
Earlier this month, the National Weather Service announced that storms with a destructive damage threat will trigger emergency warning alerts on smartphones within the danger area. To trigger that alert, a storm would need to have baseball-sized hail and/or 80 mph winds. The Aug. 10, 2020, derecho would have fallen under the destructive category, but Tuesday storms aren’t predicted to reach that threshold.
The weather service’s Quad Cities office had planned to commemorate the derecho anniversary via social media Tuesday, but officials there decided to postpone plans because of the severe weather threat to avoid any concerns or confusion for the public.
On Aug. 10, 2020, sustained, straight-line winds — 100 to 130 mph — hammered the Cedar Rapids metro area for 30 to 45 minutes. In hard-hit southwest Cedar Rapids, winds were estimated at 140 mph, the equivalent of an EF3 tornado or a major hurricane.
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