OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — One person has died as a powerful storm system swept across the Great Plains and MidwestIn December’s unusually warm weather, the storm brought hurricane-force wind gusts with it.

According to the Iowa State Patrol, a semitrailer that was hit by severe winds rolled onto its back on the southbound U.S. Highway 151, eastern Iowa. The driver died after the vehicle collided with the side of the road.

On Thursday the storm moved towards Canada from north, according to the National Weather Service. The high winds, snow, and dangerous conditions continued in the Upper Great Lakes area. According to the National Weather Service, more than 400,000 households and businesses in Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa were without power Thursday morning. poweroutage.usThis service tracks utility reports.

A tornado was reported in southern Minnesota on Wednesday and, if confirmed, would be the state’s first ever in December. Hartland in Minnesota was probably the worst affected, with 35-40 homes suffering minor damage, while only a handful businesses sustained severe damage, Rich Hall, County Emergency Management Director. He added that many barns were destroyed, and the roofs of some sheds were also blown off.

The winds knocked down trees, tree limbs and nearly 150 power lines in northern and western Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. In the western Michigan village of Fruitport, high winds peeled back a portion of Edgewood Elementary School’s roof, leading officials to close all district schools Thursday.

Based on preliminary reports from the Storm Prediction Center, there were 20 reports of tornadoes in the Plains States, with some scattered across eastern Nebraska and Iowa. The day also saw the most reports of hurricane-force wind gusts — 75 mph (120 kph) or higher — of any day since 2004, the center said.

Kansas Highway 400 is littered with debris from neighboring farm fields.
Source: Associated Press

“To have this number of damaging wind storms at one time would be unusual anytime of year,” said Brian Barjenbruch, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Valley, Nebraska. “But to have this happen in December is really abnormal.”

This was right after the collapse of devastating tornadoesThe last weekend saw the opening of a road through Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee and Tennessee. Kentucky,The execution of a murder more than 85 people.

There were at most 59 hurricane-force wind gusts reported on Wednesday. This is more than the 53 that were recorded Aug. 10, 2020. a rare derecho wind stormAccording to the Storm Prediction Center, Iowa was hit hard by Hurricane Ike. However, Wednesday’s destruction was less extensive than the damage Iowa suffered from the 2020 desecho. billions of dollars of damage.

According to the Kansas Department of Transportation, strong winds caused dust to rise that made it difficult to see west of Wakeeney. At least four semitrailers were also damaged by this phenomenon. Kansas officials have closed Interstate 70 between the Colorado border and Salina as well as nine other state highways throughout northwest Kansas.

Dust and smoke from Kansas’ wildfires was carried north by the storm, causing a drop in the air quality over Iowa and Nebraska. The weather service recommended that people stay inside. A glut of people complaining of the smell caused by the smoke from the fires prompted an increase in calls to Omaha-based emergency dispatchers.

High wind warnings were issued by The National Weather Service in an area that stretches from New Mexico up to Michigan and includes Wisconsin, Illinois, and Illinois. The Texas Panhandle and western Kansas saw gusts of 80 mph (129 Kph) recorded. According to the weather service, an automated observation station in Lamar (Colorado) recorded wind gusts of 107 mph (1172 kph). Russell, Kansas was hit with wind gusts up to 100 mph.

Greg Butcher (the city administrator of Seward in Nebraska) said that Wednesday saw a huge wall made up cloud coming towards him from his office in city hall. Butcher stated that he prepared for a big hit, but the most severe damage so far appears to have been a handful of toppled telephone poles.

“We lucked out,” Butcher said. “It came in really fast.”

Scientists say extreme weather events and warmer temperatures, much like what’s happening, are more likely to occur with human-caused climate change. However, scientifically attributing a specific event like this storm system to global warming requires specific analysis and computer simulations that take time, haven’t been done and sometimes show no clear connection.

“I think we also need to stop asking the question of whether or not this event was caused by climate change. All events nowadays are augmented by climate change,” said Northern Illinois University meteorology professor Victor Gensini. “We need to be asking, `To what extent did climate change play a role and how likely was this event to occur in the absence of climate change?’”

The unusually warm temperatures on Wednesday were due in part to record high ocean temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico, which wouldn’t have happened without global warming, said Jeff Masters, a Yale Climate Connections meteorologist who cofounded Weather Underground.

The system blew into the Plains from ColoradoHigh winds caused power outages, closing roads, and causing delays or cancellations of hundreds upon flights. According to the weather service, a gust of 100 mph was measured at Colorado Springs’ Air Force Academy.

Stafford reported from Liberty Missouri.

This report was contributed by Jill Bleed, Associated Press writer in Little Rock Arkansas, Ken Miller, Oklahoma City, Terry Wallace, and Seth Borenstein, Washington D.C. Jim Anderson, Omaha, Nebraska, Grant Schulte, and Seth Borenstein, Washington D.C.


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