Iowans are waking up to see tree branches down, Christmas lawn decorations and trash cans blown over, some trees fallen, and more serious damage including homes and barns wrecked scattered about the state. Dozens of storm reports, high wind gusts measured and a few tornado reports are coming in the day after our severe weather event on Wednesday. All except for two counties (in far Northwestern Iowa) had severe thunderstorm warnings at some point in the night.
This storm system broke records with the highest number of hurricane force (75+ mph) thunderstorm wind gusts in the US in one day since the records on this started being kept in 2004. Many of these gusts occurred in Iowa on Wednesday.
Tornado reports and sightings were focused in Western and Northwestern Iowa. The National Weather Service will be surveying damage in Guthrie, Audubon, Cass, Webster and Wright Counties today. 9 tornado reports came in over the course of the evening.
More wide spread effects were felt from strong wind gusts. These wind gusts occurred before, during and after the severe storms.
Here is a list of highest wind gusts, from both storms and non-storm events in the last 24 hours.
AUDUBUN PWS 88 MPH 0511 PM 12/15 CWOP DECATUR CITY 83 MPH 1000 PM 12/15 IADOT MASON CITY AIRPORT 83 MPH 0653 PM 12/15 ASOS OTTUMWA REGIONAL AIRPORT 82 MPH 0753 PM 12/15 ASOS DENISON AIRPORT 81 MPH 0455 PM 12/15 AWOS MARSHALLTOWN AIRPORT 81 MPH 1039 PM 12/15 ASOS JOHNSTON-NWS EMPLOYEE PWS 80 MPH 0830 PM 12/15 CWOP LAMONI AIRPORT 77 MPH 0815 PM 12/15 ASOS ADAIR PWS 76 MPH 0512 PM 12/15 CWOP DES MOINES INTL AIRPORT 74 MPH 0823 PM 12/15 ASOS FORT DODGE AIRPORT 74 MPH 0600 PM 12/15 AWOS GREENE PWS 73 MPH 0527 PM 12/15 CWOP AMES AIRPORT 70 MPH 0609 PM 12/15 ASOS CRESTON AIRPORT 70 MPH 0555 PM 12/15 AWOS 2.7 W DOW CITY (UPR) 70 MPH 0446 PM 12/15 MESOWEST
Before the storms hit on Wednesday, many record high temperatures were broken for the month of December. Des Moines saw an all-time high temperature for the month when we hit 74 degrees. That blows out the previous record high of the month of 69 degrees on Dec. 4, 2017.