A cold front brought cooler weather but buckets of rain to Nebraska and western Iowa on Wednesday, and with the heavy rain came isolated lowland flooding, strong winds and some hail.
Urwiller’s Melon Patch, a farm and produce stand in Ravenna, northwest of Grand Island, posted photos on Facebook Wednesday morning of melons submerged in muddy fields.
“Very sad day at the Urwiller’s,” the post read. “All of the hard work put in all Spring and Summer was destroyed within an hour. It hailed for over an hour last night with 5.5” of rain and lots of wind.”
Rainfall totals varied widely across the state. One of the higher official readings for the 24-hour period ending at 7 p.m. Wednesday was 3.45 inches at Broken Bow. Omaha received 0.90 of an inch over that same period, Council Bluffs 0.65 of an inch, Lincoln 0.21 of an inch, Beatrice 2.45 inches and Columbus 1.52 inches.
The rain washed away Tuesday’s excessive humidity. The heat index across the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro area on Tuesday ranged from 110 degrees to 117 degrees.
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In Omaha, most of the rain fell as the morning rush hour was getting underway. Dispatchers reported that several manhole covers popped off because of flooding in the areas of 16th and William Streets, 20th Street and Poppleton Avenue and 20th and Martha Streets.
A rash of crashes occurred on rain-slickened roadways during the morning and again in the evening rush hours, according to dispatch reports.
Temperatures for the rest of the week are forecast to hover in the 70s and low 80s through the weekend. Thursday should bring a break in the rain for the Omaha metro area. From Friday into Monday, there are scattered chances for rain.
World-Herald staff writer Nancy Gaarder contributed to this report.
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Issued when conditions are favorable for damaging storms to develop. These watches typically cover a large area and are in effect for several hours. If a watch is issued, people should think about what they’ll do if a dangerous storm suddenly develops. For example, if you have outdoor plans, have an idea where you’ll go for shelter.
This is serious. It means that National Weather Service radar or a storm spotter has detected or seen a powerful storm. These types of storms are capable of causing serious damage, either from hail that is larger than an inch or winds that are in excess of 58 mph. These are targeted to just the area in the storm’s path, unlike a watch, which covers many counties. If you are outdoors and in the path of the storm, seek shelter or try to pull off the road to avoid driving in the storm. These storms can generate tornadoes with little warning.
Conditions are favorable for tornadoes to develop. Watches are issued for large areas and generally for a long period of time. Sometimes watches cover portions of several states and can last for hours. Have a plan for what you’ll do if a tornado suddenly develops. More serious is a tornado warning.
Head for shelter! Tornado warnings are issued when radar has detected rotation in a cloud or a storm spotter has seen a tornado. Take cover immediately if a warning is issued for your area. Even though you may not see the tornado, it could be there, hidden in rain, or it could drop from the sky above you without warning. Warnings typically last about 30 minutes. Local sirens will sound when warnings are issued. But keep in mind that some sirens could be disabled by the tornado, so you may not hear one.
A violent swirling column of air that stretches from a cloud to the ground, with winds in excess of 65 mph. Winds with a tornado can reach 300 mph or more. If you are watching a tornado and can’t tell what direction it is traveling in, then it is traveling toward you.
A swirling column of air that extends downward from a cloud but doesn’t reach the ground.
Hail must be 1-inch wide to be considered damaging. Keep in mind that wind direction often determines which side of a building or car is damaged.
A tornado that isn’t spawned by a powerful storm cell and typically stretches to the ground from a towering, but less threatening cloud. A waterspout occurs over water.