A Midwest snowstorm moved quickly through the Eastern Plain and dropped both snow and rain on most of the region. The Wednesday weather system also brought high wind and tornado warnings. Power outages left thousands without electricity in both Nebraska and Iowa. The Denver airport was forced to cancel at least 50 flights due to the “snowpocalypse.”
The strong winds caused damage to industrial park buildings and flipped over tractor-trailers in Iowa and Nebraska, Fox News noted when describing the impact of the Midwest snow storm.
National Weather Service officials said the strong weather system began on Tuesday in Utah and moved east into Midwest. More than one foot of snow fell in the Rocky Mountains before conditions which typically cause tornadoes were created. Because the temperature was a little colder than the seasonal norm, the threat of a tornado ultimately decreased.
“Probably the worst has passed,” Storm Prediction Center of Norman, Oklahoma, meteorologist Stephen Corfidi, said. He deemed the Midwest snow and tornado warnings event a “classic mid-November storm.”
“Basically there’s a warm side and a cold side to these systems, and the unifying threat is a very strong wind field all the way around it,” Corfidi added. “So on the cold side, you have a chance for snow or freezing precipitation accompanied by very strong winds and occasionally blizzard conditions…. On the warm side, the thunderstorms that grow in the strong wind environment tend to rotate. And if they rotate long enough, and if the moisture is great enough, they can produce tornadoes.”
Remnants of the Midwest snowstorm moved through eastern Iowa, western Illinois, and northeast Missouri by Wednesday evening. Wind gusts up to 35 mph were expected to last into Thursday. Wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour were predicted in some locations in the region.
The severe weather alerts sparked the viral “Snowpocalypse 2015” hashtag on social media and speculation about both a severe and early winter. Snow began falling in the Denver area early Wednesday morning, blanketing most of eastern Colorado, western Nebraska, and Kansas and prompting blizzard warnings. Portions of Missouri and Iowa were issued snow storm and tornado warnings at the same time, the Daily Mail reports.
Storm system brings winds, hail, reports of tornadoes in Midwest after dumping snow on… https://t.co/6YOqMTCnmh pic.twitter.com/hZqJYTPuBE
— Wyoming Update (@WyomingUpdate) November 12, 2015
Todd Dankers, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service, stated that up to one foot of snow fell in the Rockies during the 24-hour storm front. About three inches of snow fell in Denver by early afternoon, with more precipitation hitting the area throughout the evening hours.
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) November 11, 2015
“It’s definitely a chance of severe weather, a severe weather risk no doubt worth paying attention to,” Storm Prediction Center forecaster Jared Guyer added.
Midwest snow storm video captured by storm chasers.
Here’s an AccuWeather forecast excerpt regarding the Eastern Plains blizzard.
“The storm has had a history of producing blizzard conditions with very low visibility and slippery travel due to snow and winds gusting between 30 and 40 mph in northeastern Colorado. Be sure to bundle up if you have to head outdoors as AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures will range from 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit for most of Wednesday. Snowflakes can mix in at the tail end of the storm in parts of eastern Nebraska during Wednesday night, following a surge of warmth from Wednesday.”
— Business News (@BusinessNewzzz) November 11, 2015
The Midwest snowstorm caused both blowing and drifting snow in the region and caused multiple travel delays and car accidents. Ogallala, Nebraska was hit with a strong thunderstorm and high winds during the weather event.
[Image via AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh]