No Warnings? Yet Tornadoes Reported? How?

today.gif In the wake of the sudden tornado touchdown in Maquoketa over the weekend, the image to the left might have you scratching your head.

Two tornadoes were reported in central Iowa this afternoon, yet no warnings were issued.  Well, there is a reason behind this and it’s called the landspout.

GID_Landspout The landspout (an example is seen in the image to the right) is a slang term used by the National Weather Service to describe a tornado not associated with a severe thunderstorm.  Such an event occurred in central Iowa this afternoon.  Although often weak and cause little in the way of damage, forecasters classify them as tornadoes just like waterspouts.

But because these land spouts are short lived and, more importantly, don’t show a recognizable signature on a radar return, it is difficult and impractical to issue a tornado warning when one is spotted. 

The National Weather Service in Des Moines did a fantastic job in not only refraining from issuing the tornado warning, but also issuing a detailed statement explaining the situation.

today.gif As for the rest of the country, there were tornadoes reported to our south and west.  The storm system that threatened to bring severe weather to Iowa never made it far enough to produce a threat to the area.  Instead, strong storms remained primarily in Kansas and Missouri.

The weather pattern will remain active.  Tomorrow morning we’ll update our chances for severe weather for the rest of the week.

One Comment

  1. I was out spotting when the storms hit central iowa. I spent most of the time east of ames and when the storm came over all I could see was scud. I heard many reports of funnels but I didn’t see anything in the area that could contain rotation. The cloud deck north of ames where the tornado was reported looked pretty calm, maybe I was just too far to the south of story city.

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