In an extremely rare weather scenario, devastating tornadoes tore through multiple upper midwestern states in the country, killing five people. Michigan, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Wisconsin were all among severely hit states.
Minnesota recorded its first tornado in December in its history, with the first tornado watch and tornado warning issued in the month of December. Wisconsin recorded its first tornado since 1970, more than half a century later.
Brian Barjenbruch, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Valley, Nebraska wrote about the tornadoes, “To have this number of damaging wind storms at one time would be unusual anytime of year. But to have this happen in December is really abnormal.” The National Weather Service advised and warned of thunderstorms and snow by the storm system.
“There have been historic ‘Dust Bowl’ conditions with no visibility in parts of New Mexico and Colorado,” wrote Marc Chenard, a forecaster for the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland. Continuing he said, “This is highly unusual. It’s shifting east and is unusual for this large of an area, it will be going through the Great Lakes area, Michigan and into Canada by Thursday morning,”
A number of property and buildings damaged have been unaccounted for so far, with no exact number on the damage caused by the tornadoes.
“Daybreak will reveal the true extent of damages within the city, but we are certain this storm will bring out the true definition of community as we begin to recover and move forward,” reported the Stanley Police Department in a Facebook statement.
Only last week the country saw tragic tornadoes that wreaked their own havoc and killed almost 100 people in Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Illinois, and Kentucky. Few places only noticed property damage, while many others were devastated by lives lost.
A meteorology professor at Northern Illinois University said, “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. 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?’”