Tornadoes, large hail seen across Midwest as severe storms march eastward

Severe thunderstorms developed Tuesday in a swath extending from Iowa to Texas. These storms packed threats of destructive wind gusts, large hail and tornadoes.

For the second time in four days, a severe weather outbreak caused tornadoes and hail on Tuesday, with the threat continuing overnight and into Wednesday.

Some of the areas that faced Tuesday's dangerous threat of severe storms and tornadoes included those that were just struck by a deadly multi-state tornado outbreak last Friday.

Tuesday's severe weather was associated with the same storm system that spawned an early-April blizzard across parts of the northern Plains and Upper Midwest.


Rope tornado caught on video moving through Iowa

Storm chasers caught video of a narrow, rope-like tornado snaking through the rural countrysides of Lacona and Milo in Iowa Tuesday evening. 

The supercell was about 30 miles outside of Des Moines, Iowa, as it moved off to the northeast at 55 mph.

"Rope tornadoes can be just as damaging and dangerous as large tornadoes," FOX Weather meteorologist Jane Minar said. "Think about the ice skater effect – how quickly and tightly these storm winds are rotating together ... When (skaters) bring their hands down to their side, they spin a lot faster, and that’s the (wind) effect we get with a rope tornado."

PowerOutage.US reported only a few dozen electrical outages in Walker County, Iowa.

Tornado damage spotted in central Illinois

A farming community in central Illinois was also hit by an apparent tornado after sunset on Tuesday.

The local National Weather Service office declared the observed tornado was a "Particularly Dangerous Situation" and issued several Tornado Warnings throughout the central portion of the state.

Storm tracker Brandon Ivey tracked the severe weather through Lewistown, Illinois, and spotted numerous farms with damage. At least one roadway was also blocked by debris.

The National Weather Service gave the Lewistown tornado a preliminary rating of an EF-3 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale

Severe weather, which included large hail and tornadoes, was expected Tuesday evening, and much of northwestern Illinois was under a Tornado Watch.


FOX Weather viewer Wendy Wilkey took video of what appeared to be a tornado outside the town.

Local authorities have not reported any injuries but said there was damage to farms. 

According to PowerOutage.US, there were more than 20,000 outages in the state as of Tuesday evening.

Storms dropped gigantic hail

A line of severe thunderstorms moved into the Chicago metro area just after 1 p.m. CDT Tuesday, prompting Severe Thunderstorm Warnings for possible wind gusts to 70 mph and baseball-sized hail, along with heavy rain and frequent lightning. The warning covered nearly 8 million people.

Earlier Tuesday, a supercell tracked across the Quad Cities of Iowa and Illinois, spawning tennis ball-sized hail in Davenport, Iowa, with one spotter reporting a hailstone the size of a softball (4 inches in diameter).

The same supercell also produced a 90-mph wind gust as it crossed the state border into Moline, Illinois. But these thunderstorms were just the appetizer for what was to come later Tuesday and into Wednesday.