Severe weather pummels central states with dust, wind, tornadoes

SPOKANE, Wash.– A vigorous storm system fueled by record-high temperatures in the Plains and upper Midwest is causing severe weather across multiple states.

This storm is expected to produce tornadoes and severe winds in Iowa and Minnesota late in the day on Wednesday, including places that woke up with snow on the ground this morning. Minnesota has had zero tornadoes on record in the month of December since 1950. The risk level for severe weather issued by the NOAA Storm Prediction Center is the highest ever in December for the upper Midwest.

Look for updates to this story as the storm moves across the country.

Update: 8:00 p.m. PST

The fallout continues while the main storm line is slowly weakening. Severe winds will still be possible late into the night as far north as the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Update: 7:00 p.m. PST

Now that night has fallen the storms become eerier, and more dangerous.


Records continue to fall as this severe storm enters a part of the country that shouldn’t be seeing this kind of weather in mid-December. A tornado was reported on the ground in Minnesota, which would be the first-ever recorded in December should it be fully confirmed via damage surveys.

Update: 3:30 p.m. PST

Severe winds over 80 mph swept through Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska. Tornadic storms then began their march across Iowa.

Dust and wildfire smoke continues to expand behind the storms.

Update: 1 p.m. PST

Wednesday began with severe winds sweeping down from the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. Severe winds would later sweep into Kansas and Nebraska with blinding dust.

High winds began to fuel wildfires in the southern Plains.

Tornadoes and severe winds will now track across eastern Nebraska and into Iowa and Minnesota.

PREVIOUS: Here are the latest updates on the deadly storms that hit the central and southern US