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A complex of thunderstorms erupting over Iowa this afternoon may consolidate into a powerful squall line or derecho that rips through the Upper Midwest this evening.
The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center (SPC) forecasts has highlighted a broad region as having a 45 percent chance of experiencing destructive winds (within 25 miles of any point) over 70 mph. Des Moines, Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago all lie within this zone of elevated risk, which affects almost 19 million people.
“Numerous severe thunderstorms capable of large hail, tornadoes and swaths of damaging wind are expected today into tonight over much of the Corn Belt and Midwest,” SPC says.
report-june30Already, thunderstorms have exploded over portions of Nebraska and Iowa today, with multiple reports of damaging winds and hail. A tornado touched down in northeast Nebraska, not far from Pilger, where twin tornadoes struck two weeks ago.
One tornado watch covers a large chunk of Iowa and western Nebraska until 6 p.m. central time. A second tornado watch covers eastern Iowa, northwest Illinois and southern Wisconsin until 7 p.m. central.