Severe thunderstorm brings massive hail, prompting rare warning in Iowa, U.S.

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Severe thunderstorms brought strong winds and huge hail to Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday afternoon, July 9, 2021. The National Weather Service (NWS) issued what might be the city's first warning for hail of up to 10 cm (4 inches).

The Des Moines metro area was battered hard by severe weather on Friday afternoon. At 18:07 UTC (13:07 LT), the NWS issued a severe thunderstorm warning for parts of Boone and Green Counties for the hail of up to 6 cm (2.5 inches).

The warning spread to Dallas, Polk, and Story counties 11 minutes later, and hail reports began coming in shortly. 

At 18:40 UTC (13:40 LT), the warning upgraded for the potential of hail the size of a softball, with more than 7.6 cm (3 inches) of hail reported in Woodward.

This may be the first time the NWS Des Moines office has warned for a storm with up to 10 cm (4 inches) hail, said Daryl Herzmann with Iowa State University. The extent of damage is yet to be confirmed.

NWS forecasts flooding and strong storms for parts of the Midwest this weekend.

"A well defined upper-level trough will support the development of an organized surface low across the Midwest, and this will aid in the development of multiple mesoscale convective systems that could repeatedly affect the same general areas, particularly from Missouri to central Kentucky where several inches of rainfall will be possible along with numerous strong to severe storms," it wrote Saturday, July 10.

"Heavy rainfall and flash flooding may occur over portions of the Midwest and Mississippi Valley into Sunday (July 11)."

Featured image credit: Des Moines Police

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