The National Weather Service warned area residents last night that the weather could become volatile because of the large temperature shift and the heavy humidity in the air. Although Winnebago County saw maybe a few drops of rain, other areas were not so lucky.
KIOW broke into programming last night around 8pm to cover a strong cell that had developed over the Thor, Renwick, Eagle Grove, and Belmond areas. Because of the strength of the storm, a second updraft cell developed ahead of the first, threatening the Kanawha and Corwith areas. The National Weather Service issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Hancock, Cerro Gordo, and Worth counties.
Within minutes of the issuance of the warning, a third and fourth cell developed south of Ventura and all cells were moving to the northeast, threatening Mason City, Ventura, Garner, and Clear Lake. The town of Olaf was pummeled with hail as were many locations around it. Winnebago and Hancock County Emergency Management Coordinator Andy Buffington was there and witnessed the hail.
Reports from the Eagle Grove, Thor, and Renwick areas confirmed hail that ranged from pea size in Thor and Eagle Grove, to nickel sized in Renwick. Buffington said that there were some places that got even more. He said that parts of Highway 69 were covered in hail.
The storms grew even more and the National Weather Service extended the warning from 9:15pm to 9:45pm as cells began to develop north of Mason City and into Northwood and Kensett. Meanwhile, the storms in Hancock County continued to intensify in strength dropping hail the size of half dollars in some locations making it dangerous for those ventured outside.
The storms moved northeast and began to lose intensity prompted the weather service to allow the warnings to expire, but the storms weren’t done yet. The cell re-intensified over Worth County prompting another Severe Thunderstorm Warning which lasted, like the storm till 11pm.
The weather situation will not be as dangerous tonight. Colder air is moving into he area today as temperatures will drop throughout the day to about 43 degrees. Rain chances increase to 50% in the afternoon before skies clear overnight and warmer weather moves back into the area for the remainder of the week.