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WEATHER

Tornado warnings in Iowa, Minnesota as rare 'Particularly Dangerous Situation' alert issued

USA TODAY

A tornado warning was issued for southern Minnesota and most of Iowa Tuesday as severe weather continued to pummel the Plains and Midwest.

The conditions make the area very susceptible to multiple strong tornadoes, according to the National Weather Service. The weather service issued a Particularly Dangerous Situation, a status "used in rare situations."

June Handsaker consoles brother Larry Handsaker after tornado damaged his house near Nevada, Iowa, on Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Tornado warnings extended into Minnesota and spanned several cities and counties in the central part of the state, including Goodhue County towns Red Wing and Cannon Falls. The service also issued warnings in Janesville in Waseca County as well as Montgomery and Waterville in Le Sueur County.

The threat for strong wind and a few tornadoes also remained across Faribault in Rice County, about 50 miles south of the Twin Cities, Albert Lea in Freeborn County and Richmond in Stearns County, the service reported around 5:20 p.m. local time.

Heavy rainfall passed through central Iowa early Tuesday ahead of severe thunderstorms that were forecast to bring the highest risk for severe weather by the afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

At least seven Iowa counties had reports of road flooding Tuesday, with the weather service reporting 3.5 inches of rain in Mason City, Iowa, in Cerro Gordo County. Flooding also was reported in Bremer and Grundy counties.

The intensity of the storm system was expected to peak early Tuesday evening as it reached the Missouri and Mississippi valleys as well as the Lake Michigan area. The service said supercells, the strongest thunderstorm type, could also form.

Iowa weather map

Minnesota weather warnings, watches

Contributing: Christopher Cann and Doyle Rice