DETROIT – Three major Midwest airports were briefly grounded Wednesday as a dangerous thunderstorm front sparked several tornadoes.
Flights were flying again, but significant delays were reported Wednesday morning at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport and Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports.
“The atmosphere will be favorable for significant severe weather, including tornadoes, large hail and damaging winds,” the National Weather Service office in Detroit tweeted.
A tornado touched down in Bollinger County, Missouri, causing injuries and damage to homes, Weather Service meteorologist Justin Gibbs said. Tornadoes hit parts of Illinois and Iowa late Tuesday and early Wednesday.
Severe storms could produce tornadoes and large hail in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and Arkansas, the weather service warned. More than 45 million Americans were under tornado, severe thunderstorm or wind watches and advisories Wednesday.
The latest string of destructive weather comes less than a week after dozens of tornadoes roared through the Midwest and South, killing more than 30 people and damaging thousands of homes and businesses.
To the north, blizzard conditions prevail across the upper Midwest; Some parts of the Dakotas are expecting up to 17 inches of snow. And wintry weather returns to New York and New England on Wednesday: snow, freezing rain and sleet are possible in the region.
►The Missouri Weather Service confirmed a tornado touched down near Glenallen early Wednesday morning. State emergency management officials said the damage was “extensive.”
►In Illinois, the weather service found evidence of an EF-2 tornado with maximum winds of 120 mph near Colona on Tuesday. A gas station’s roof was torn off and a wall collapsed.
Tornado hits Bollinger County, Missouri
Gibbs said initially it appeared the tornado was on the ground for 15-20 miles in an area about 90 miles south of St. Louis. He said the weather service will send a survey team to the area late Wednesday to assess the damage and determine the strength of the storm.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol previously suspected tornado damage with widespread debris and some injuries in Bollinger County near the Grassy and Marble Hill communities in the state’s southeast. It was not immediately known how many people were injured, Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Clark Parrott told KFVS-TV.
Iowa City takes the brunt of the damage
Two tornadoes were confirmed in central Iowa Tuesday night. In Keokuk County, where last week’s storms destroyed 19 homes and damaged others, emergency management official Marissa Raison worries about how residents will cope if another storm hits.
“All of the people who were affected by the storm on Friday night were doing all this work to clean up, collect their belongings, pile up trash,” Risen said. “If a storm comes and hits them again and blows all that hard work all over the place again, it’s going to be very exhausting for those people.”
Death toll reaches 32:Hurricanes South, Midwest, East; More likely this week. Updates.
The same conditions that spawned last week’s destruction are back
Severe storms that began Friday and continued through the weekend spawned deadly tornadoes in 11 states as the system swept across much of the South, Midwest and Northeast. The same conditions that fueled those storms — a low-pressure area combined with strong southerly winds — set up severe weather Tuesday morning into Wednesday, said Ryan Bunker, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Norman, Oklahoma.
Severe weather and cyclones put it at risk It will spread across the Plains and Mississippi Valley on Tuesday and move eastward, affecting an area from the Great Lakes region to the Appalachian regions and beyond on Wednesday.
Dangerous winds and severe thunderstorms are possible in at least 10 states on Wednesday.
What defines a blizzard? Heavy snow and high winds are expected across the country.
What is a Flash Flood Watch or Warning?:Here’s what you need to know about this deadly weather hazard
North, South Dakota struggle under blizzard conditions
Dozens of schools in South Dakota were closed Tuesday because of the blizzard. State executive branch offices were also closed in most parts of the state. North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum on Tuesday signed $20 million in emergency snow removal grants for local areas.
Storms move eastward
Sizzling severe weather A dozen states on Tuesday were expected to move east on Wednesday. A country band There is a risk of severe thunderstorms from Louisiana to New York west Wednesday, according to AccuWeather meteorologists. This zone includes parts of the Ohio Valley to the Great Lakes region and the Appalachian regions. Areas are at risk for hail, isolated tornadoes and winds of 60 to 70 mph.
US Weather Watch and Warnings
Blizzard and winter storm conditions spread across the Plains and Midwest
A blizzard warning is in effect for the state from Wednesday Plains and Midwest, And more than a foot of snow is expected in some areas. Blizzard conditions are expected in North Dakota, and some areas could get as much as 17 inches of snow with winds up to 55 mph. A blizzard warning is also in effect for parts of Minnesota through Thursday morning; Up to 16 inches of snow and 45 mph winds are possible.
But even in states without blizzard conditions Thursday, winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories are in effect Wyoming to Michigan. In northern Michigan, visual and snow accumulations of up to 2 inches are possible, while winds are expected to reach 40 mph.
Winter weather is hitting New York, New England again
A winter weather advisory was in effect for some areas on Wednesday New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
Snow accumulations of up to 2 inches are expected, and freezing rain and fog will make travel treacherous in the area. The National Weather Service warned that dangerous driving conditions could affect the morning commute.
Parts of Maine and New Hampshire could get up to 1 inch of snow, and winds could reach 35 mph.
Contributed by: Francesca Black, Des Moines Register; Associated Press