All Weather News

Confirmed Tornadoes in The Upper Midwest Wednesday

16 Aug 2017, 8:51 pm

Multiple tornadoes have been reported so far, mostly in Minnesota but an additional one in Illinois. Here’s what we know so far:

  • Seven reports of a tornado in Minnesota
  • One report of a tornado in Illinois
  • Minor damage being reported so far to trees
  • No injuries or fatalities at this time
  • Structural damage reported near Freeport, Illinois along with some corn field damage
  • Residents in Nicollet County, MN with storm damage are asked to call local officials (507) 931-1570

Picture courtesy Twitter user @RealLoganHoehn
Picture courtesy Derik Boxell via Twitter
Severe weather reports from Wednesday (as of 9 p.m. central) showing the tornado reports in red dots.

A strong low pressure center moving through the Mississippi River Valley helped spawn these storms Wednesday, along the warm front of system. This happened in an area of the storm system commonly referred to as the ‘triple point’ where the low pressure center meets the warm front and cold front. In meteorology, forecasters watch this area closely because there is more wind shear in this location. Wind shear is changing wind direction and/or speed across a spacial area. Oftentimes it does not take a lot of heat and humidity (instability) to create a tornado because the wind shear is enough to do so. This is also an area more likely for rain-wrapped tornadoes which are harder to detect and give less visual warning.

Minnesota and other parts of the Upper Midwest were not the only ones with severe weather Wednesday.

Picture courtesy Twitter User @GWCountyEM
Picture courtesy Twitter User @GWCountyEM

Local emergency management in Eureka, Kansas provided these images to WeatherNation of storm damage. The other sector (warm) of this storm system helped develop these thunderstorms. These storms formed along a cold front, separating warm, moist air from cooler, drier air.

So where is the severe weather going now?

The round of severe weather in the Upper Midwest will move into the Great Lakes region Thursday while another area of low pressure and associated energy moves off the Rocky Mountains. The primary severe potential Thursday and Friday will be for large hail and damaging winds. If you hear of a weather warning for your location, adhere to the information within. Get to a secure shelter if time permits and wait for the storm to fully pass!

For WeatherNation, Meteorologist Steve Glazier

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