On Tuesday, the National Weather Service was urging residents of the Midwest to be prepared for the possibility of severe thunderstorms. The line of severe thunderstorms that’s moving into the region could trigger heavy, flooding rainfall, strong gusting winds and even tornadoes. It also could bring with it large hail that could do extensive damage to homes, businesses and vehicles.
Weather services across the Midwest were telling people that “dangerous” weather was on its way to the region. TV and radio meteorologists were warning that the severe weather was packing large hail and heavy rains which threatened a large swatch of the Midwest. The National Weather Service stated that the highest risk areas were in parts of Nebraska (eastern and northern), in southern Iowa and in the northern reaches of Missouri.
Tornado watches and warnings were already issued Tuesday night in parts of Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri. Hailstones the size of baseballs fell in Nebraska Tuesday, shattering numerous windows in homes and vehicles. The hail stones were so large and powerful that they made 3-inch wide holes in many windshields and large, deep dents in hoods and roofs of cars.
A severe thunderstorm siren was sounded in Omaha, NE mid-afternoon on Tuesday when bad weather moved into that city. Tornado spotters reported a tornado on the ground in central Nebraska. That twister touch down will not be confirmed until Wednesday morning when officials can assess damage.
The NWS said that 35 million people were in the risk zone for severe weather including tornadoes. However, the risk for tornadoes was expected to be lower Wednesday although they were still possible. People in cities such as Chicago and Detroit were being told to prepare for the possibility of tornadoes overnight Tuesday and into Wednesday as the line of severe thunderstorms was heading their way. The severe weather is likely to bring with it high gusting winds that could reach speeds in excess of 70 miles per hour. If that does occur in large Midwestern metropolitan areas Wednesday, millions of people could be without power as winds that strong can take down trees and powerlines.