People continue to sort through the rubble of their homesover the weekend prepared for another wave of strong storms, including tornadoes, which began rolling into parts of the Midwest and South starting Tuesday evening. Officials warned residents to prepare shelter before going to sleep.
“It could be a night to get down to the basement to be safe,” said Tom Philip, a meteorologist in Davenport, Iowa.
The National Weather Service began issuing tornado warnings in Iowa and Illinois on Tuesday evening and said a confirmed tornado had been spotted southwest of Chicago near Bryant, Illinois. No damage was immediately reported.
A tornado was also reported near the town of Pleasantville, Iowa, the NWS reported. Footage obtained by CBS News showed what appeared to be a tornado circling near Pleasantville.
There were no major power outages Tuesday night, according to utility tracking website PowerOutage.us.
The storms were expected to hit some areas already affected by severe weather – and possibly– just days ago it killed at least 33 people, meaning more misery for those whose homes were destroyed in Arkansas, Iowa and Illinois. Hazardous conditions could also spread across parts of Missouri, southwestern Oklahoma and northeastern Texas. Further south and west, the fire danger remained high.
Ryan Bunker, meteorologist at the National Weather Center in Norman, Oklahoma, predicted that Tuesday’s storm system could start as isolated supercells – with possible tornadoes, wind and hail – and “form into a line (thunderstorms) and continue to move east.”
Earlier Tuesday, severe thunderstorms swept through the Quad Cities area of Iowa and Illinois with winds of up to 90 mph and baseball-sized hail. No injuries were reported, but trees were downed and some businesses were damaged in Moline, Illinois.
The Illinois Weather Service and Emergency Management also said a tornado touched down Tuesday morning in the western Illinois community of Colona.
The Colona Police Department said the storm damaged a Shell gas station and a building behind it. There were no injuries, the police department said, but two people were evacuated from the Shell station.
Northern Illinois from Moline to Chicago experienced winds of 75 to 80 mph and hail 2 to 3 inches in diameter Tuesday afternoon, National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Baker said. The agency received reports of tractor-trailers being overturned by winds in Lee County, about 95 miles west of Chicago.
Tornado risk in the Upper Midwest is expected to be highest in the evening and late night Tuesday with storms targeting northern Illinois, eastern Iowa and southwestern Wisconsin. The southern regions of Missouri and Arkansas were most at risk overnight.
In Keokuk County, Iowa, where 19 homes were destroyed and others were damaged on Friday, emergency management officer Marissa Reisen expressed concern about how those cleaning up the damage s will come out if another storm hits.
“Everyone who was affected by the storms on Friday night is doing all this work, cleaning up, gathering things, piling debris,” Reisen said. “If a storm comes and hits them again and throws all that hard work all over the place again, it will be so deflating for those people.”
Severe storms could produce strong tornadoes and large hail Wednesday in eastern Illinois and lower Michigan and across the Ohio Valley including Indiana and Ohio, according to the Storm Prediction Center. The weather threat extends southwest into parts of Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and Arkansas.
Severe storms that began Friday and continued through the weekend spawned killer tornadoes in 11 states as the system moved through Arkansas and tracked south, midwest and northeast.
The same conditions that fueled those storms — an area of low pressure combined with strong southerly winds — created the severe weather Tuesday through Wednesday morning, Bunker said.
These conditions, which typically include dry western air rising over the Rocky Mountains and crashing into warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico, are what make the United States so prone to tornadoes and other severe storms.
Dramatic temperature changes were expected, with Tuesday highs of 74 in Des Moines and 86 in Kansas City dipping overnight to 40 or colder overnight. In Little Rock, Arkansas, the record of 89 on Tuesday tied the record for the date set in 1880.
A blizzard warning was in effect for most of North Dakota and most of South Dakota until at least Wednesday evening. The National Weather Service predicted parts of South Dakota could see up to 16 inches of snow and wind gusts of up to 55 mph.
Dozens of schools in South Dakota closed Tuesday due to blizzard conditions. Offices of the state’s executive branch were also closed across much of the state.
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum on Tuesday approved $20 million for emergency snow removal grants to localities. Officials reminded residents to check on neighbors and keep their homes supplied with food, water and medicine, to have battery-operated radios in case the power goes out, and to make sure gas meters and furnace vents are cleared of snow.
In Minnesota, a winter storm warning was in effect for the north, while the southern part of the state expected thunderstorms that could include hail and high winds. Expected weather led the Minnesota Twins to postpone their Major League Baseball home opener from Thursday to Friday.
Fire danger persisted in parts of far western Oklahoma, the Texas Panhandle, northeastern New Mexico and far southeastern Colorado with low humidity, vegetation dry weather and strong gusts of wind. Authorities issued a fire warning for Custer County in western Oklahoma and urged some residents near the town of Weatherford to evacuate their homes due to a wildfire.