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Rare Meteorological Event Causes Damage Before Tulip Time

Posted: Thursday, May 3rd, 2012 at 2:04 pm
Author: KNIA/KRLS News - Brad Gaspelin

The Winds that Struck Pella this morning were caused by a rare meteorological event, called a heat burst. Jim Lee with the National Weather Service explains that a heat burst occurs when a thunderstorm collapses and a dry layer of air heats up as its pulled downward. The burst are common in the high plains, but uncommon in Iowa. Still, they do happen a heat burst in Southwest Iowa last year produced 100 mph winds. The Heat Burst that hit Tulip Time this morning produced heavy winds that caused damage to craft tents on the Molengracht. Carol Van Klompenburg explains that the winds threw two other tents into the canal, and as they were being set up again, a tree fell and crashed into one tent. The highest measured gust in our area was 60 mph, recorded in Bussey, also hit by the burst. Lee says we should be ready for severe weather during the remainder of the week. There is a chance for thunderstorms for the rest of the week, although it will remain pleasant for much of Tulip Time. KNIA/KRLS is the one to count on for up to the minute severe weather coverage. Day or night we can bring you the information you need to stay safe during a severe storm.