A line of severe thunderstorms swept through parts of the Quad Cities region on Saturday evening bringing wind gusts up to 70 MPH and a couple of confirmed tornadoes.
Two tornadoes were confirmed by the National Weather Service late Sunday afternoon after conducting storm surveys in Des Moines County, Iowa, just south of Oakville. Crews found damage from two separate tornadoes, both classified as EF-2 in strength with winds of 120 MPH around 8:20pm.
The first tornado touched down three miles southwest of Oakville causing damage to trees and the roof of a house, strengthening as it moved east and causing more tree damage. The tornado then reached its peak strength destroying a farm building and throwing two pieces of farm equipment 40 yards. It also threw a pickup truck 20 yards. A home was also moved off its foundation. The tornado traveled 1.9 miles and had a maximum width of 260 yards. These pictures courtesy of the National Weather Service show the magnitude of the damage that occurred.
The second tornado formed quickly to the east of the first one damaging trees and the roof of a mobile home. As it strengthened it destroyed a pig farm building while taking town a wooden high power transmission line. Another house along with numerous trees sustained damage. This tornado touched down around 2:24pm and traveled 1.3 miles with a maximum width of 300 yards.
As we were tracking the storms live on the air, a significant velocity couplet began to develop with this storm as it traveled east through Des Moines County around 8:15pm. Radar velocity data tells us in which direction and at what speed particles within in the storm are moving in relation to the Doppler radar itself. This signature shows strong inbound and outbound winds relatively close to one another and is one of the signs we look for when storms are producing tornadoes. With a signature as strong as the one above, it is not too surprising that significant damage occurred with this tornado.
Thankfully there are no injuries or fatalities to report with this particular storm. It does serve as a great example as to why we pledge to remain on the air while life-threatening weather is impacting the Quad Cities region.
Meteorologist Andrew Stutzke