Severe Weather Strikes Again
by Cody Matz
May 04, 2012 8:48 PM
Storms erupted early Friday morning across central South Dakota and moved east slowly through the day dropping plenty of rain and eventually bringing 60-80 mph winds, golf ball sized hail, and several tornadoes to the area by the evening hours. When all was set and done, more then 60 reports of severe weather in our area. As you can see on your left, more severe weather is in the forecast for Saturday along with the possibility of more heavy rain. Many areas of the east, especially northwest Iowa really need the rain, but for some, a dry stretch of days could really be useful. The picture below is a look at the severe weather reports from Friday.
Several tornadoes touched down in the area including one near the Worthington airport and a couple more right along I-90 in Minnesota. Reports of gustnadoes were common in NW Iowa including the city of Hawarden, where the picture on the left was taken. But an actual Haboob made its way through the Orange City, IA area which you can see on your right. A gustnado is a typically short lived rotating cloud that forms on the leading edge of thunderstorms when strong winds are present called a gust front. These have very little in common with tornadoes because they are formed from turbulence in the atmosphere. As the straight-line winds roll through the turbulence, little circulations can form and are often mistaken for the typical tornado that comes from a different type of storm called a supercell. You can see 3 of these gustnadoes in the picture below, they are circled. A haboob is the official meteorological term for a dust wall. These are created when gusty winds flow out ahead of a storm and pick up lots of dust creating a wall type effect. These are very common in arid places like the desert southwest but can form anywhere that is unusually dry.
Plenty of rain fell across the area as well. The rain is really needed east of I-29, so the nearly inch and a half that fell in Mitchell wasn’t exactly a welcome site, but it’s the beginning of crop season so at this point it couldn’t hurt. Unfortunately though, the areas that really need the rain often keep missing out.
More severe weather is possible Saturday as a slight risk drapes across the southeastern half of our area including many of the areas that received severe weather on Friday. Keep a watchful eye to the sky Saturday and stay tuned to KDLT and KDLT.com for all your severe weather coverage.