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1st-5th…The U.S. experienced active weather on Wednesday, with severe weather in the Midwest. A low pressure system north of the Great Lakes pushed a cold front through the Midwest and extended down the Mississippi Valley. This system allowed for scattered showers to develop over the Great Lakes region, while the front triggered periods of severe storms over the Ohio River and Mid-Mississippi. Hail was reported in Glenmont, Ohio, while 1.31 inches of rain fell over Peru, Illinois. Strong winds with gusts up to 20 mph were reported in Clifton, Ohio.
Severe weather popped up in the Midwest again on Friday, due to a cold front that sat over the region. A low pressure system moved eastward over the Great Lakes and created a strong frontal boundary that stretched down the Ohio River Valley and into the middle and lower Mississippi River Valleys. This system allowed for scattered showers to persist over the Great Lakes states, while severe thunderstorms developed along the front. This front kicked up periods of heavy rainfall, strong winds, and large hail. Tornado watches and warnings have also been issued, but have not yet developed. Hail has been reported from many locations of central Ohio, while 0.66 inches or rain fell in one hour in Richwood, Ohio. The front also extended northeastward, into New England, which allowed for increasingly cloudy skies throughout the day.
6th-12th…Tornados and thunderstorms swept through the Midwest overnight, destroying dozens of homes and upending school buses and police cars in one miles-long trail of destruction, and ripping off siding on a nuclear plant elsewhere. At least five people died, including a child, authorities said. Rescue officials in northwest Ohio are still searching through homes and couldn't say whether anyone else is missing, Lake Township Fire Chief Todd Walters said. Walters flew over the damage Sunday morning and estimates the storm left an 8-mile path of destruction in a straight line over an area of farm fields and light industry. The storm that hit around 11 p.m. Saturday narrowly missed the heavily populated suburbs on the southern edge of Toledo. A township police and emergency medical services building looked to be a total loss. The storm ripped off most of the building's back half, tossing a car into where the building once stood, now a mishmash of 2-by-4 beams and insulation strewn about. A patrol car nearby was flattened. All the emergency dispatchers and 911 operators had to be moved to a nearby town. No tornadoes had been confirmed in Ohio as of late Sunday morning, though the National Weather Service has received many reports and pictures of storm damage, Damage stretched from Illinois toward Pennsylvania and up into Michigan, and more wind, scattered rain and cooler temperatures were expected Sunday.
Tornadoes were reported in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. In outheastern Michigan, severe storms and high winds ripped siding off a building at the Fermi 2 nuclear plant, causing it to shut down automatically, said Dan Smith, the public information officer for Monroe County. Investigators were inspecting the nuclear plant on the shore of Lake Erie on Sunday morning, and the plant was expected to go back into operation, Smith said. About 35,000 people were without power but it wasn't clear whether that was directly related to the nuclear plant's shutdown or because of damage to power lines in the area, he said. Eleven people with minor injuries were taken to hospitals from Dundee, Mich., where the weather service was looking into reports of a tornado touching down. More than a dozen people were injured in Dwight, Ill., where about 40 mobile homes and about 10 other homes were destroyed, Illinois Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Patti Thompson said. In northwest Ohio, Lake High School was also among the hardest hit buildings. The field house was damaged and the cafeteria was destroyed, Superintendent Jim Witt said, and some buses were flung across the school parking lot.
Two of the buses were tossed on their sides and another was thrown about 50 yards, landing on its top near the high school's football field, its right turn signal still blinking more than 10 hours later. Dozens of windows were broken at the school and the roof and a back wall were ripped off a gymnasium, hours before the graduation ceremony was scheduled to take place there.
Severe weather developed in the Central Plains on Monday. A low pressure system strengthened as is moved off the Central Rockies and into the Plains. This system pulled warm and moist air in from the Gulf of Mexico, and created a warm front that stretched from the Central Plains into the Mid-Mississippi River Valley. This front produced periods of heavy rain and strong thunderstorms, some of which turned severe. Golf ball sized hail was reported in Webster State Park, Kansas. Strong winds blew a semi-tractor and trailer off the highway and blew down shed in Ellis, Kansas. In Wichita, Kansas, 0.45 inches of rain were reported, while 1.11 inches fell over Dodge City, Kansas.
Severe weather returned to the Plains and pushed into the Midwest on Thursday. A low pressure system strengthened as it moved off the Rockies overnight, and created a strong warm front over the Northern Plains. This front kicked up periods of heavy rain and strong winds. In Colon, Nebraska, strong winds blew down tree branches between 3 to 5 inches in diameter. Most areas saw between a half of an inch and an inch of rain, but Ord, Nebraska reported 1.15 inches, while Pine Ridge, South Dakota saw 1.35 inches. Tekamah, Nebraska reported 1.47 inches of rain, 1.18 inches of that fell in one hour and was associated with strong thunderstorms. South of this front remained in the 80s and 90s in the Southern Plains, while the Northern Plains saw highs in the 50s and 60s.
In Texas, however, strong storms developed, as a low pressure system pulled warm and humid conditions in from the Gulf of Mexico. This brought periods of heavy rain with 1.68 inches reported in one hour, with a mid-day total of 2.03 inches in Corsicana, Texas. A tornado was reported in Latexo, Texas, after the reporter saw a funnel cloud touch the ground near a path of downed trees and power lines.
13th-19th…Severe weather popped up over the Ohio River Valley on Monday, as a front hovered over the region. A low pressure system moved over the Great Lakes from the Central Plains and created a strong frontal boundary. A stationary front extended from the Mid-Mississippi River Valley into the Northeast and a cold front stretched into the Southern Plains. While the front to the east remained relatively stationary, it had maintained enough strength to kick up scattered showers and thunderstorms. Some of these storms turned severe with strong and damaging winds and heavy downpours. Multiple trees were blown down in Kentucky and Virginia. Meanwhile, the cold front to the south kicked up strong storms with periods of heavy downpours. Hail was reported in Wellman, Texas, while 0.91 inches of rain fell over Paducah, Texas and Ponca City, Oklahoma saw 1.43 inches of rain. Thus, the South continued to see problems with flooding. Highs remained near 90 in the South, while the North saw highs in the 60s on the northern side of the front and south of the front reached into the 80s.
A fairly active weather pattern developed across much of the nation on Wednesday. Precipitation and strong winds associated with a strong wave of low pressure that stretched across portions of Montana, Wyoming, southeastern Idaho, and northern Utah raised flood concerns across the Northern High Plains and kept the region under High Wind Advisories through the afternoon. Meanwhile, increasing moist, southerly flow, associated with the low pressure trough of the Northwest triggered additional High Wind Advisories across the Four Corners into the Northern Plains. This stream of moisture also interacted with the unstable airmass over much of the Central and Northern Plains and created slight risks of severe weather activity with damaging wind and hail through the day. To the south, high winds and warm and dry conditions over the Southwest raised fire danger concerns from southwestern California through most of northern New Mexico.
The Midwest had another stormy day on Friday, as a cold front swept through the region. A low pressure system tracking eastward along the Canadian and US border created a front that stretched from the Great Lakes, over the Mississippi River Valley, and into the Central Plains. This front triggered another round of scattered showers and thunderstorms, which have already turned severe over Iowa, Nebraska, and Illinois. Over an inch of rain has fallen over much of Iowa, while the rest of the region saw less than a half of an inch. Davenport, Iowa reported 1.18 inches of rain and pea to golf ball size hail covered the ground in Badger, Iowa. Strong and damaging winds with gusts over 60 mph were reported across most of the state, breaking 6 to 10 inch diameter tree limbs. Behind this system in the Upper Midwest and Northern Plains, sunny skies and mild weather returned on Friday. These areas did see some strong winds with gusts between 20-25 mph. Problems with flooding persisted over the Mississippi Valley as these systems have been slow-moving and repetitive.
29th-26th…Wet conditions persisted over the Central U.S., with severe weather over the Midwest on Monday. A low pressure system over the central Plains created a front that extended over the Mississippi River Valley and up the Ohio River. This system kicked up scattered showers and thunderstorms with over an inch in most of the Central and Northern Plains. Lincoln, Nebraska reported 1.45 inches of rain and Sioux Falls, South Dakota reported 1.32 inches of rain. Hail was reported in Valley Falls, Kansas and Friendship, Ohio, while strong winds damaged many large tree limbs and power lines in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. Most of the Midwest remained in the 70s and 80s.
Hot and active weather developed throughout portions of the eastern half of the nation on Wednesday. Moisture from the Gulf also spread further north and interacted with instability associated with a frontal boundary that stretched across the Central Plains and into the Midwest. These factors, along with daytime heating, translated into more rainfall and thunderstorms with chances of severe weather activity and localized flooding throughout the regions. The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center issued a a moderate risk for severe thunderstorms from parts of northern Illinois to western Pennsylvania and upstate New York and a slight risk for severe weather activity from parts of the Southern Plains through the Mid-Mississippi Valley to the Appalachians.
Multiple weather features brought active weather to the country on Friday. A trough of low pressure has dipped into the Upper Midwest from central Canada and kicked up scattered showers and thunderstorms over Minnesota and Wisconsin, some of these storms have turned severe. Large hail was reported in Delhi, Minnesota with heavy downpours in many areas of northern Minnesota with rainfall totals over an inch. In the South, a stationary front moved into the Southeast from the Ohio River Valley. This system obtained moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, as a ridge to the south pushed ample moisture onshore. This triggered scattered showers and thunderstorms, with some areas of severe weather. Heaviest rains fell over southern Georgia and the Carolinas, with 1.04 inches reported in Andrews North Carolina. Strong winds blew down several trees in Ocilla, Georgia and Havelock, North Carolina.
Jim G. Munley, jr.
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