Northwest Iowa — While there were again severe weather watches and warnings on Monday night into early Tuesday, there was not much damage in our part of northwest Iowa.
The action started at 11:55 p.m., when a Severe Thunderstorm Watch was posted for western and central Iowa, far southwest Minnesota, and far southeast South Dakota. It was to be in effect until 7:00 a.m. Tuesday morning. The watch said that the main threats would be scattered damaging winds with isolated significant gusts to 75 mph possible, as well as scattered large hail and isolated very large hail events to 2.5 inches in diameter.
The first severe thunderstorm warning issued by the Sioux Falls National Weather Service office was for a little north of our area, in Cottonwood County, Minnesota. That was triggered at 12:02 a.m. The possibility of half-dollar sized hail was mentioned.
Next, at 2:01 a.m., the action was in our area. A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for northern Cherokee, southeastern Sioux, northeastern Plymouth, and southern O’Brien counties, which was to be in effect until 2:45 a.m. It said that just after 2 a.m., a severe thunderstorm was located near Marcus, or 12 miles southeast of Orange City, moving east at 25 miles per hour. It mentioned that the greatest threat was 60-mile-per-hour wind gusts and hail to the size of half dollars, with possible damage to vehicles, roofs, siding, and trees. In the path of the storm were Cleghorn, Paullina, Sutherland, Calumet, Meriden, and Larrabee.
The next severe thunderstorm warning was for south of our area in Woodbury and Ida counties. That was issued at 2:18 a.m., and similar threats were mentioned.
At 2:32 a.m., a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for portions of Cherokee, Woodbury, Plymouth, Buena Vista, and Ida counties. The same threats were mentioned once again.
As the storm system left the area, another severe thunderstorm warning was issued for Woodbury and Ida counties again. This was at 3:33 a.m.
Damage-wise, numerous tree branches were reported down in Battle Creek, some as big as three inches in diameter. Near Holstein, a 25-inch diameter tree was snapped off at the base. One-inch hail was reported near Superior in Dickinson County. A wind gust of 57 miles-per-hour was reported near Ida Grove.
Emergency managers in our part of northwest Iowa say that no damage was reported to them.
Speaking of storm damage, we now have some information about Saturday night’s tornado near Rock Rapids. The National Weather Service estimates it was on the ground from 10:34 to 10:43 p.m. It was rated an EF-1 tornado, with peak winds of 105 miles per hour. They estimate it was on the ground for nearly seven miles and was 75 yards across at its widest. The storm damaged silos, grain bins, and a number of roofs in addition to trees west and south of Rock Rapids.