Tornadoes, snow and freezing rain

  • Wide range of temperatures across the Midwest and into the Great Plains at 4pm local time on Tuesday 28 February 2012

  • Tornadoes, snow and freezing rain
    29.02.2012 11:50


    A powerful late-winter storm moved through Nebraska, USA, on Tuesday, producing a veritable mix of weather types.

    The influence of this weather system extended well beyond the state too, with severe weather including high winds and a few tornadoes affecting Kansas and Missouri. Some of the most severe damage occurred in Harveyville in Kansas where many homes were damaged, and some were destroyed.

    There was also a tornado in Nebraska, near the town of Stapleton. This was documented by a few storm chasers. What is notable about this tornado is that it is the first tornado on record to affect Nebraska in the month of February. The state has recorded tornadoes in every other month over the years.

    As well as severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, the winter storm also produced areas of snow, freezing rain and ice, mainly across portions of the Dakotas and Nebraska. Indeed, during the time severe thunderstorms were affecting the southern portions of Nebraska, and temperatures approached 20C in places, the north-west of the state had snow and freezing rain, with temperatures of -7C. The map shows the air temperatures at 4pm local time on Tuesday afternoon – Nebraska is the state in the middle of the image.

    Such dramatic temperature variations are common across the central Great Plains of the USA in late winter and early spring, and contribute, at least in part, to the high incidence of severe weather in the region.

    By: Paul Knightley