Remnants of Tropical Storm Cristobal Reach Iowa in a Rare Occurrence


Source: NASA earth observatory

Nicole Welle | June 10, 2020

Parts of Eastern Iowa saw heavy rainfall and flash flood warnings yesterday as what was left of Tropical Storm Cristobal moved into the Midwest.

Tropical storms over the Gulf of Mexico usually break up before they reach Iowa, but this one remained a post-tropical depression in an extremely rare phenomenon, according to Meteorologist Brooke Hagenhoff at the National Weather Service. This system brought an abrupt end to the hot, humid weather that eastern Iowans had been experiencing as it was followed by a cold front that brought cooler, dryer conditions, according to an Iowa News Now article.

The post-tropical depression caused heavy rainfall in the state, and flash flooding occurred near waterways and in low areas. Along with posing threats to human safety, flash floods can also raise environmental concerns. Floods have the ability to pick up hazardous chemicals and materials and transport them into waterways. This can threaten the safety of drinking water as well as the plant and animal life that rely on Iowa’s waterways.

Severe storms hit eastern Iowa Tuesday night


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Shelf clouds, like the one depicted in this photograph from Flickr, rolled across Eastern Iowa during Tuesday night’s storms. 

Julia Poska | August 31, 2018

Severe storms swept through the midwest the evening of Aug. 28, causing flash flooding and wind damage from central Wisconsin through eastern Iowa.

Over 100,000 midwesterners lost power at some point during or after the storm, AccuWeather.com reports.

Within Iowa, the heaviest damage occurred in the Iowa City and Quad Cities areas. Flash floods soaked homes, businesses and even the University of Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium, which was drained almost immediately.

As of the morning of Thursday, Aug. 30, the National Weather Service forecasts a chance of more storms every day until Monday. Climate change projections warn Iowans to expect more wet weeks and severe rain events in coming years.

Three tornado warnings sounded across eastern Iowa Tuesday night as well:  southwest of Williamsburg, Iowa County; in Iowa City; and and in De Witt, Clinton County. The National Weather Service reported wind of 83 miles per hour at the Iowa City Municipal Airport.

Tuesday’s storm came less than a week after the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied Gov. Kim Reynold’s request for funding to help private individuals and businesses recover from severe storms earlier this summer, as reported by the Des Moines Register. FEMA did grant Iowa funding to repair public infrastructure.