Severe storms are passed, now damage assessments begin

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Today is a historic day for Iowa weather. As of 4 AM Des Moines broke a record high temperature for December 15th, reaching 60°. However, 70s have already arrived in central Iowa, not only shattering the daily record high, but also breaking the record for the warmest temperature ever recorded in Des Moines during December. That previous record was 69°, but as of this afternoon had reached 74° in Des Moines.

In addition to the record heat, central Iowa is included in a moderate risk for severe weather, a tornado watch, and will experience widespread extreme wind.

Severe Weather Threat
A moderate risk for Iowa in December has never occurred until now. A moderate risk means numerous strong to severe storms are possible and today, the highest threat is for damaging wind gusts. As of 1 pm highest wind gusts were up to 56 mph. There is also a tornado threat. A tornado watch is in effect for all of central Iowa until 8 pm. There will be a very small window of when storms will be possible for each town.

Extreme Wind Threat
While tornadoes are possible, the threat for extreme wind is more widespread. Winds will gust up to 60 mph until 6-7 PM, but briefly weaken once storms arrive. However, between 7-8 PM, wind speeds will increase again and be even stronger. This is when 60-70 mph and possible higher wind gusts are expected. This will continue until about midnight when the winds will begin to gradually weaken.

Weather Tools

Travel could also be severely impacted, especially for semis and other high-profile vehicles, including minivans and SUVs.  Keep your 13WarnMe app handy to get the latest forecast, and automatic warnings on what is likely to be a rapidly changing situation Wednesday evening over much of Central and NW Iowa.

Important note about sirens: sirens will only sound if tornado warning is issued, or storms are accompanied by 70mph or higher wind gusts. If 70mph or higher wind gusts occur without a thunderstorm, sirens will not sound.

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