StormTeam 3: Floyd Co. tornado an EF-1 with wind speeds of 90 mph

It was located three miles north of Rockford to five miles northwest of Charles City.

Posted: Jul 15, 2021 1:29 PM
Updated: Jul 15, 2021 2:12 PM

FLOYD COUNTY, Iowa - A tornado Wednesday near the Avenue of the Saints in Floyd County was classified as an EF-1 with a max wind speed of 90 miles per hour.

The National Weather Service in La Crosse said the length of the tornado was 11 miles and went from 5:35 p.m. to 6 p.m.

It was located three miles north of Rockford to five miles northwest of Charles City.

A second tornado near Oelwein was an EF-0 with a max wind speed of 70 miles per hour.

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Following a day that was forecasted for severe weather, regions of North Iowa are cleaning up after what is estimated to be multiple confirmed tornadoes that developed between Cerro Gordo and Floyd counties. 

Just after 3 PM CDT the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma issued a mesoscale discussion indicating a 95% probability of a Tornado Watch being issued across Central and North Iowa. Roughly thirty minutes later, the watch was issued as the forecast called for convective initiation to develop just after 4 PM CDT along the Iowa and Nebraska border. 

As expected, storms began to show up on the Des Moines, IA radar site. Quickly, tornadic supercells developed across Central Iowa. Leading up to Wednesday, the big question across the meteorology community was "When will the clearing occur and who will see it?" This meaning that during the break between waves one and two of Wednesdays severe weather threat, where would the clouds dissipate, and sun return.

As showers continued to suppress the severe threat for most of Southern Minnesota, cloud coverage soon became pockets of sunshine and blue skies across North and Central Iowa. This allowed for CAPE (Convective Available Potential Energy) to surge northward, destabilizing the atmosphere. At the same time, with dew points in the mid 60s, shear, and Storm Relative Helicity (SRH) great enough to aid in the development of tornadic genesis, it was only a matter of time before warnings would come across a NOAA Weather Radio, and mobile devices. 

As Central Iowa saw the tornadic genesis unfold early in the tornado watch period (which was set to expire at 9 PM CDT), it wouldn't be until 5 PM CDT that North Iowa would become a part of the action. Cells soon began to show up west of Garner, IA as the atmosphere around it became more unstable with time. While this occurred, a cell soon developed to the South of Mason City, IA. It would be this cell that would spawn the tornado near Nora Springs, IA as it traveled SSE, coming close to Highway 18, likely crossing it. 

As the storm evolved, a tornado warning was issued as a pronounced couplet formed on the radars velocity scan. It was here the National Weather Service (NWS) in La Crosse, WI issued the tornado warning. Sirens quickly sounded across Rockford, Nora Springs and Rudd. Moments later images of the stove pipe tornado surfaced across social media platforms. The once semi-rain wrapped tornado was on the ground and in a region of clearing, away from rain. This made it visible to viewers across Rockford, IA.

After its initiation, the tornado became cyclic in nature as the velocity couplet would decrease in intensity, then quickly resurface with each radar pass. This would continue on for around forty to fifty minutes as the cell continued a path now towards Charles City, IA before falling apart soon after. 

Behind this cell, another cell south of Garner, IA was also issued a tornado warning. That warning was discontinued at its set time seen in the warning discussion. 

Today, the NWS will be sending a crew to conduct damage evaluations of the region impacted, as well as other observations before coming to a conclusion on the appropriate scaled intensity of the tornadoes spotted. A report is expected to be released following the crews analysis.  

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 694320

Reported Deaths: 8142
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1423771859
Ramsey59270950
Dakota52926503
Anoka48822485
Washington31123312
Stearns25308241
St. Louis20783337
Scott19966146
Wright18874163
Olmsted16191112
Sherburne13779105
Carver1232552
Clay930196
Rice9242125
Blue Earth885747
Crow Wing8008102
Kandiyohi751491
Chisago729258
Otter Tail684095
Benton6616102
Mower573938
Winona562752
Goodhue558981
Douglas546484
Itasca529272
Beltrami527572
Steele516521
McLeod516164
Isanti499070
Morrison475763
Nobles454850
Becker449960
Polk442175
Freeborn436040
Lyon401054
Carlton396960
Nicollet386448
Pine381626
Mille Lacs361860
Brown355244
Cass352636
Le Sueur346530
Todd330334
Meeker312649
Waseca295725
Martin270533
Wabasha24874
Dodge24755
Hubbard240441
Roseau237424
Houston209816
Redwood205142
Renville203148
Fillmore202210
Pennington194922
Wadena190527
Faribault183725
Sibley179610
Cottonwood178824
Chippewa173139
Kanabec167329
Aitkin158038
Watonwan156811
Rock142419
Jackson135812
Pope13418
Yellow Medicine127720
Pipestone125826
Koochiching123719
Swift118719
Murray117210
Stevens113711
Clearwater107118
Marshall106719
Lake93221
Wilkin90714
Lac qui Parle89224
Mahnomen7239
Big Stone7034
Grant6918
Norman6749
Lincoln6694
Kittson53922
Unassigned51193
Red Lake5017
Traverse4345
Lake of the Woods4194
Cook2150

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 439050

Reported Deaths: 6420
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk69441683
Linn26618363
Scott23312265
Black Hawk19397338
Woodbury17483233
Johnson1698692
Dubuque14775221
Pottawattamie13369186
Dallas13048102
Story1211448
Warren707893
Webster6479103
Cerro Gordo6370105
Clinton635898
Des Moines618084
Muscatine5985109
Marshall586981
Sioux547676
Jasper532076
Lee529084
Wapello5230128
Buena Vista479442
Marion464086
Plymouth442185
Henry351341
Jones341159
Bremer331365
Washington330454
Crawford326844
Carroll326553
Benton325756
Boone318636
Mahaska282754
Dickinson276547
Kossuth257471
Clay255629
Jackson253844
Tama246073
Hardin244547
Buchanan244238
Delaware240143
Cedar228025
Fayette227945
Page225724
Wright221741
Winneshiek219237
Hamilton216752
Harrison205476
Madison199920
Clayton199758
Floyd195742
Butler191936
Poweshiek188837
Mills188225
Iowa185927
Cherokee184740
Allamakee181152
Jefferson178238
Lyon178041
Calhoun172213
Hancock170336
Winnebago170131
Cass164356
Louisa161651
Grundy161335
Appanoose158149
Shelby156539
Emmet153241
Franklin152224
Humboldt151626
Union149937
Sac147922
Mitchell146143
Guthrie142132
Chickasaw141618
Palo Alto134527
Clarke130226
Montgomery127940
Keokuk121332
Monroe118733
Howard118422
Ida109838
Davis105025
Greene103012
Pocahontas102623
Monona99034
Lucas98523
Adair97734
Worth9558
Osceola84717
Decatur76710
Fremont76511
Van Buren75221
Taylor73412
Wayne66323
Ringgold63027
Audubon60114
Unassigned5300
Adams4254
Rochester
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 45°
Mason City
Clear
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Hi: 67° Lo: 43°
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Albert Lea
Partly Cloudy
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Austin
Partly Cloudy
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Charles City
Partly Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 43°
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