Severe weather season is upon us, which was quite evident on May 5th when severe thunderstorms a tornado impacted parts of eastern Nebraska.
As we headed into Sunday afternoon, a few showers and thunderstorms were moving through northeastern Nebraska and northwestern Iowa. Areas along and south of I-80 were dry and had seen lots of sunshine and temperatures nearing 80 degrees.
With the cold front pushing through, all the ingredients were in place for rain and thunderstorms to fire up in the afternoon, which started between 2:30 and 3:00. By 3:15, our first severe thunderstorm warning was issued, along with a severe thunderstorm watch shortly after, and the next four hours would be active ones!
By 4:30 Sunday afternoon, several isolated thunderstorms had formed along the cold front, just north of I-80. One of those thunderstorms would go on to produce a tornado in Lincoln.
The thunderstorm intensified into a supercell, and a trained spotter reported a brief tornado touch down in Malcolm, just northwest of Lincoln.
At 5:38, the storm produced another tornado that touched down in southwest Lincoln, not far from Pioneers Park. The tornado was on the ground for two minutes. It was 200 yards wide and it traveled half a mile. Its estimated peak winds were 120 mph and it received an EF-2 rating.
The tornado destroyed the C & L Dairy Sweet ice cream shop, destroyed sheds, and damaged homes and businesses in the area.