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9 Tornadoes Confirmed from Last Week in Nebraska and Western Iowa

The storm responsible for high winds in Omaha also produced an EF-2 in Harrison County, among others
Shelf Cloud.jpg
Posted at 6:06 PM, Jul 19, 2023

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Last week, eastern Nebraska and western Iowa had a rude awakening as a large wind storm swept through between 4:30 and 8:30 am, with the Omaha metro being hit close to 6 a.m. Within the metro, winds of 60-75mph downed trees and snapped power lines, plunging over 30,000 customers in the metro into darkness for a time.

Shelf Cloud.jpg
Many in the Omaha metro woke up to this cloud along the leading edge of the storms on July 12. This is known as a shelf cloud, where cool air rushing outward from the storms collides with warmer air which rushes upward forming the shelf-like cloud. These clouds are associated with strong wind, not tornadoes. This photo was taken near 60th Street and I-80 by a viewer.

While the damage in the Omaha metro was limited to trees and power lines, areas north and east of Omaha dealt with much stronger winds. Some of these winds were caused by a few tornadoes which touched down across the area. This blog breaks down the 8 tornadoes that hit in the early morning of July 12, including one EF-2 in Harrison County.

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Location of the 9 tornadoes across eastern NE and western IA

1. Howells EF-1 (Colfax County NE)
WINDS: 100mph
LENGTH: 1/4 mile
WIDTH: 50 yards

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Track of the EF-1 tornado near Howells

A small tornado embedded in a larger area of damaging winds impacted the western side of Howells. One home sustained roof damage and another had its garage shifted from its foundation. Additional damage was found on the south side of Howells to trees and a substation.

Interestingly, a tornado also impacted Howells back on December 15, 2021. That tornado grazed the eastern side of town.

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A comparison between the July 12, 2023 Howells tornado (the left track) vs the December 15, 2021 tornado (the right track)

2. Bancroft EF-1 (Cuming County NE)
WINDS: 100mph
LENGTH: 1/2 mile
WIDTH: 90 yards

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The EF-1 tornado on the north side of Bancroft.

This tornado skimmed the north side of Bancroft, embedded in an area of 90+mph winds which impacted Cuming into Burt Counties. This tornado dented a grain bin, destroyed an outbuilding, and snapped several dozen trees.

3. Tekamah EF-0 (Burt County NE)
WINDS: 80mph
LENGTH: 1.1 miles
WIDTH: 15 yards

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The EF-0 tornado (near the banner) just northwest of Tekamah.

This tornado was confirmed mainly using radar data, where a tornadic debris signature was noted. While no structures were damaged, a swath of corn and soybeans 30-50 feet wide were torn up, suggesting at least a weak tornado.

4. Logan EF-2 (Harrison County IA)
WINDS: 120mph
LENGTH: 9.4 miles
WIDTH: 100 yards

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Track of the EF-2 tornado in Harrison County.

This tornado was the strongest tornado of the July 12 event, with EF-2 damage done southeast of Logan. The tornado directly impacted a home, where the roof was removed and the siding ripped off. As it continued east, it snapped numerous trees in wooded areas. The tornado weaved between homes in a neighborhood in Harrison County but snapped several trees. A few miles east, it partially removed the roof of a home. Before it lifted, it produced damage on three grain bins southwest of Persia.

5. Portsmouth EF-1 (Shelby County IA)
WINDS: 105mph
LENGTH: 1/2 mile
WIDTH: 50 yards

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Track of the EF-1 tornado in Shelby County

This brief tornado damaged two barns on a farmstead northeast of Portsmouth. Further east, damage was done to corn fields before lifting.

6. Avoca EF-1 (Potawattamie County IA)
WINDS: 105mph
LENGTH: 1.5 miles
WIDTH: 40 yards

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Tracks of both the Avoca EF-1 (green line south of town) and the Walnut EF-0 (blue line west of town) in Pott. County.

At Reflection Lake, a home lost its windows and a nearby barn collapsed by an EF-1 tornado. Outside of the farmstead, damage was done to trees and grain bins before lifting west of the Nishnabotna River.

7. Walnut EF-0 (Pottawattamie County IA)
WINDS: 80mph
LENGTH: 1/10th mile
WIDTH: 20 yards

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Tracks of both the Avoca EF-1 (green line south of town) and the Walnut EF-0 (blue line west of town) in Pott. County.

Some convergent winds were noted in a cornfield, but no damage was done to structures.

8. Marne EF-0 (Cass County IA)
WINDS: UNK
LENGTH: 2.1 miles
WIDTH: UNK

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The tornadoes near Marne in Cass County. Tornado 8 is just east of town, while tornado 9 is north of town.

Drone footage of the damage in a cornfield was determined to be a brief tornado northwest of Atlantic. However, no further damage was done. This tornado is still being finalized by the National Weather Service in Des Moines and data is not finalized.

9. North of Marne EF-0 (Cass County IA)
WINDS: UNK
LENGTH: 1.5 miles
WIDTH: 50 yards

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The tornadoes near Marne in Cass County. Tornado 8 is just east of town, while tornado 9 is north of town.

Damage was found in fields north of Marne, no structure damage occurred from this tornado.