Severe weather, including tornadoes and flash flooding, is possible in Iowa

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Multiple rounds of storms will sweep across Iowa on Tuesday, bringing repeated chances for severe weather to the Hawkeye State.

A round of rain passed through central Iowa early Tuesday morning, followed by a round of severe thunderstorms by mid-morning. According to the National Weather Service, another round of storms, with an increased risk of severe weather, is expected Tuesday afternoon.

Here are the latest updates (Jump to Severe Weather Outlook | Radar | Safety Tips):

The National Weather Service shared a graphic on social media showing the approximate timing of storms today.

Storms are likely to begin in western Iowa around 2 pm and head into Des Moines and central Iowa around 4 pm. By 7 pm, severe weather will reach eastern Iowa.

At least three Des Moines metropolitan school districts plan to close classes early Tuesday due to the threat of more severe storms this afternoon.

  • Ankeny Schools: Departure two hours early
  • Urbandale Community School District: Early release and no half-day preschool.
  • Southeast Polk Community School District: Two-hour early dismissal, resulting in no preschool activities or evening activities.
  • Waukee Community School District: Two-hour early dismissal and extracurricular activities are cancelled. The district is still awaiting state guidance regarding state playoff events.

Des Moines has received just over an inch and a half of rain since the severe weather moved into Iowa early Monday, with 1.07 inches since midnight.

Some places in the state are approaching three inches of rain since last night. Here are the highest rainfall totals as of 11 a.m. Tuesday:

  • Harlan: 2.99 inches
  • Audubon: 2.95 inches
  • Iowa Falls: 2.63 inches
  • Waterloo: 2.57 inches
  • Decoration: 2.15 inches
  • Ankeny: 2.02 inches

More than 7,000 people are without power in Iowa as a result of Tuesday’s storms.

That includes more than 2,200 MidAmerican Energy customers in Altoona, 2,200 in Des Moines and 1,800 in West Des Moines. The estimated power restoration time for those residents ranged from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., according to MidAmerican’s website.

More than 1,000 MidAmerican customers in Council Bluffs were also without power, but the current outage has recently been reduced to about 860 people. Most of the customers who lost power are east of Council Bluffs and a MidAmerican crew is en route to repair the power outage.

Another 440 Alliant Energy customers near Dexter also lost power.

At least two roads in Des Moines are closed after a round of severe storms passed through the metro area.

The Des Moines Police Department received a small number of reports of downed power lines and tree damage.

There are temporary lane closures in the 3300 block of Grand Avenue and the 3900 block of Urbandale Avenue. According to DMPD, no major damage or injuries have been reported so far.

The severe thunderstorm warning for parts of the Des Moines metro was extended until 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Dallas County has been removed from the warning, but it now extends to Jasper County and east to Grinnell and south to Pella.

Threats include 60 mph winds and hail the size of a quarter. The expanded warning covers more than 349,600 people.

A strong storm moving through the Des Moines metro produced large hail in the western suburbs.

Waukee experienced hail ranging from the size of a nickel to a quarter, at 9:07 a.m., according to a weather expert. Wind gusts of up to 55 mph were also reported.

Much of Dallas and Polk counties are under a severe thunderstorm warning until 9:45 a.m. Tuesday.

Storm sirens began sounding shortly after 8:40 a.m. on the subway. Cities around Des Moines are at risk of winds up to 70 mph and quarter-sized hail.

The warning covers just north of Ankeny and as far south as Truro. It extends to Redfield and Winterset in the west and Milo in the east.

Dallas and Polk counties activate sirens for tornadoes or severe thunderstorms with winds over 70 mph. The warning meets that criteria, unlike a storm Sunday night that set off sirens by mistake.

Sirens do not sound continuously during a warning. They will ring for 3 to 5 minutes and then pause for 10 to 15 minutes before repeating. No clear sound is emitted when a warning expires.

What does the Des Moines, Iowa Doppler radar show?

Here’s a look at the current National Weather Service radar loop for central Iowa:

Areas around the Des Moines metro are under a severe thunderstorm warning until 9 a.m. Tuesday.

The warning extends from Dallas Center, to Winterset and as far west as Adel. Possible threats include winds up to 70 mph and hail the size of a quarter.

Just over 34,000 people live within the alert zone.

Multiple severe thunderstorm warnings were issued Tuesday morning across eastern Nebraska and western Iowa.

A warning issued for Pottawattamie County, home to Council Bluffs, until 7:30 a.m. warned of baseball-sized hail.

Hail this large is sometimes called “gorilla” hail because of its large size and destructive power.

The National Weather Service updated the severe weather risk for most of Iowa. Most of the state rated the risk as “moderate,” a level 4 on a scale of 1 to 5.

Further: How much rain has it rained in Des Moines so far? Here are the rain totals for Iowa as of Monday morning.

Multiple rounds of storms are expected to continue through the morning. But the strongest storms are expected to reach central Iowa between 3 pm and 8 pm Tuesday.

According to the NWS, the main threats are damaging winds, hail and flash flooding. Tornadoes, some strong, are also possible.

Further: How are tornadoes formed? Explaining the severe weather after dozens of recent tornadoes in Iowa

Severe Thunderstorm Watch in effect for Iowa until 1 p.m.

A large portion of central Iowa stretching from the southern border to U.S. Highway 20 is under a severe thunderstorm watch until 1 p.m. Tuesday.

The main threats are hail the size of a ping-pong ball and wind gusts that could reach 120 kilometers per hour. Tornadoes are also possible.

An alert is issued when conditions are favorable for severe weather to develop. They often cover large areas.

Warnings are issued when severe weather actually occurs and Iowans need to take action.

Read more: What is the difference between a severe weather watch and a warning?

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Where is the safest place in your home during a tornado?

Dan Henry has some tips you can follow to prepare your family for a tornado.

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During a severe weather warning, it is time to act and follow your plan.

NWS has tips on what to do in different places:

  • Stay Prepared for the Weather: Continue to follow local news or listen to NOAA Weather Radio to stay up to date on watches and warnings.
  • In your house: Go to your safe location, such as the basement or lowest floor, if you hear a warning. Take your pets with you if time permits.
  • At your workplace or school: Stay away from windows. Do not go to large open rooms such as cafeterias, gyms or auditoriums.
  • Outside: Immediately enter a sturdy building. Sheds and storage facilities are not safe. Taking shelter under a tree can be deadly.
  • In a vehicle: Being in a vehicle during severe weather conditions is safer than being outside, but drive to the nearest safe shelter if you have enough time. Do not stop or park under a bridge or underpass.

Victoria Reyna-Rodríguez is a general assignment reporter for the Registry. Contact her at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @VictoriaReynaR.