Guthrie and Dallas counties saw an unexpected type of severe weather over the Thanksgiving weekend as a tornado briefly touched down in the area Saturday afternoon.
A tornado warning was issued for both counties around 4:30 p.m. as a trained spotter reported a “spin-up rope tornado” that touched down about four miles northeast of Guthrie Center at 4:05 p.m. Saturday. The National Weather Service Des Moines Office confirms the tornado, but states a survey of the area and tornado rating is not expected as no damage occurred.
Weatherology Meteorologist Ray Miller comments on what led to this atypical storm, “Well, there wasn’t a great deal of instability in the atmosphere, usually that’s what we need to get storms that can produce tornadoes, we need heat and humidity. We really didn’t have the heat obviously with the very strong winter system moving through, but what we did have was a lot of wind shear in the atmosphere. A lot of rotation associated with that strong low-pressure system that was moving through, and that was enough for what was an otherwise relatively weak thunderstorm to produce a very brief tornado and show those signs of rotation that prompted that tornado warning.”
Miller adds that while it seems unusual to have a tornado occur in late November it’s not unheard of. Five members of the Raccoon Valley Radio Severe Weather Action Team brought live coverage of the storm Saturday. A milder forecast is predicted this week, listen to Raccoon Valley Radio for weather updates.