WeatherWeather Blog


Tuesday's severe weather likely going into the record books

Tied for largest hailstone, and 4th highest wind gust
Posted at 4:40 PM, Jun 26, 2024

The 2024 severe weather season once again does not hold back when it comes to damaging storms in the Omaha metro. Amid significant flooding along the Missouri River, Mother Nature decided to throw not one but two major severe storms into Omaha. Both of these storms will end up in the record books for two separate severe weather phenomena. Although it will take a few months to finalize Here are some of the stats on how truly unique this severe weather event was.


It was 4 pm and the big story weatherwise outside of the flooding was the heat. It was 97 degrees in Omaha with a heat index of 108. While we were sweating, a thunderstorm bubbled up on top of the metro between 4 and 5. That thunderstorm exploded right on downtown and drifted south into South Omaha and Sarpy County and produced some hail. Big hail. The biggest of the hail fell from La Vista to Bellevue, where reports between 2-3" in diameter were common. One report from Bellevue was of 4.5" hail, or grapefruit size.

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The hail reports with the largest hailstone in Bellevue at 4.5 inches.

Looking at the record books, this 4.5" hailstone will be tied for the largest hailstone in Sarpy County. The other event was a hailstorm on May 4, 2003, which brought major damage to Bellevue and Offutt AFB.

For context, it also ties the largest hailstone recorded in Douglas County. This occurred on April 27, 1989. Most of the hail occurred on the west and southwest side of town, damaging homes and vehicles.


A few hours later, some were cleaning up the damage from the hailstorm when round 2 moved in. This time it was a windstorm on the north side of the metro, sparing the hardest-hit areas. The storm intensified as it moved through North Omaha, causing significant damage to trees and power lines. Most poignantly, Eppley Airfield measured a 90 mph wind report which caused the airport to close for some time to assess damage.

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A 90 mph wind gust was measured at Eppley Airfield, the 4th highest wind gust measured at the airport.

According to the record books, the 90 mph wind gust was the 4th highest wind gust ever recorded at Eppley. The other three are 96 mph on July 10, 2021 (the big windstorm that knocked out power to some for days); 96 mph on August 23, 2016 (most of the damage was along Sorenson Parkway); and 92 mph on August 18, 2011.

A note on August 18, 2011, this was a very similar event to Tuesday. In the mid-afternoon, a major hailstorm drove from Blair through Eppley Airfield, Carter Lake, and Council Bluffs. The hail measured up to 4.25", just shy of the Bellevue one from Tuesday. A few hours later, a wind storm swept through Omaha and created the 92 mph wind gust at Eppley. The anemometer was damaged by hail, so the wind gust was recorded on a backup device.