Charles City, IA 50616,USA

Damaging Tornado Hits Charles City

Your Eyes In the Sky

It started out as a cool rainy day, a day that some considered sweater weather, and to others, just another rainy day. However, trouble was brewing and not many knew about it.

I was traveling, with my father on the Avenue of Saints, which wraps around the outskirts of town, heading to Mason City to get some projects done, however my sister and her husband convinced me otherwise, and we soon changed course and headed from Floyd (after stopping briefly to get gas) to Waterloo, where we had a good idea there would be warmer weather.

I glanced at my radar app just to see what the upcoming storms had for a punch if anything, and there wasn’t much to be seen, not even any lightning! I then took a look at the rotation, just for kicks and saw a small amount of rotation quite close to our location. I didn’t think much of it just because of the quality of storms that we were dealing with. However, I also didn’t realize what the setup was. A moist air mass with strong wind shear associated with it. I soon realized this as social media was going off on sirens going off in Charles City. I quickly realized that the clouds I saw rotating over the Avenue of the Saints and toward the Fairgrounds that resembled a tornado was indeed one. My word of advice, always go with your gut if you sense something is wrong. We did before we got to Nashua, and quickly setup ourselves to intercept this twister.

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radar loop
Weather.Gov GIF of the May 27, 2019 Tornado Event. Watch What Happens after 1215PM when a cluster of cells develops in Floyd County.

These tornadoes were on a collision path and were very reckless, luckily they were strong EF1’s and not anything more damaging, as they easily could have been.

Here is the preliminary data from NWS La Crosse about Tornado #1 that hit Charles City- They provide a very nice recap of the entire situation.

DateMay 27, 2019
Time (Local)12:22 PM CDT
EF RatingEF-1 (high end)
Est. Peak Windsup to 110 mph
Path Lengthup to 9 miles
Max Width60 yards

Here is the preliminary data for Tornado # 2

DateMay 27, 2019
Time (Local)1:24 PM CDT
EF RatingEF-1 
Est. Peak Winds105 mph
Path Length9 miles
Max Width50 yards

There was also several tornadoes that spawned in SE Minnesota, we fully expect that the NWS La Crosse will be out there tomorrow to complete preliminary reviews.

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