PRAIRIE CITY — While storm spotters confirmed a tornado around 8 p.m. May 3 near Iowa Speedway in Newton, meteorologists detected “weak rotation” in a storm cell near Monroe and Prairie City in the first severe weather event of the season.
The Prairie City area was hit last week with a peak 70 mph wind gust, as the National Weather Service in Des Moines issued tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings for Jasper, Polk and 12 other counties in central Iowa which lasted for more than 30 minutes.
Monroe and Prairie City residents reported a brief period of torrential rain and some captured images of a funnel cloud as it made its way over the communities. The warnings expired by 8:15 p.m. May 3.
Throughout the evening, a number of severe thunderstorms capable of producing a tornado were spotted in central Iowa, most clocked moving 30 mph. No significant damage was reported in the Prairie City or Monroe areas, but forecasters warned the storms were capable of producing tornadoes and quarter-size hail that could damage roofs, siding and trees.
The service also recommended central Iowans go to a basement or an interior room on the lowest floor of a home or building. Forecasters advised people to avoid windows.
In eastern Iowa, a weak tornado was reported on the ground in Jones County near Olin, according to the service with peak winds of 75 mph.
There is more rain in this week’s, forecast with chances for thunderstorms Wednesday and Sunday. Thursday will be sunny with a high of 78 degrees, and Friday and Saturday will be cloudy.
Contact Mike Mendenhall at firstname.lastname@example.org