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While children and grandchildren were trying to gather with their moms and grandmas today, extreme weather across most of the country made sure it was Mother Nature’s Day in a lot of the U.S. From the Rocky Mountains on toward the east, severe weather, including tornadoes, hail, snow and a tropical storm, were just some of the wild weather wreaking havoc and Mother’s Day plans for an estimated 33 million in more than 10 states.
While California basked in sunshine (not good weather in a drought), several states in the Great Plains, Colorado and Midwest dealt with a petulant Mother Nature and severe weather all day. Meanwhile, tropical storm Ana, which was the first named storm of the year in the Atlantic Ocean, was slowing down when it came ashore in the Carolinas Sunday.
In South Dakota alone, there was a tornado on one end of the state and snow toward the west in the Black Hills. The tornado touched down around 10:45 a.m. in Delmont, which is approximately 90 miles outside of Sioux Falls. Approximately 20 buildings were damaged. South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard reported that the twister did not kill anyone and the nine injured has not sustained major injuries. The tornado did affect water, phones or utility services, however.
Elsewhere in the state, there was a blizzard warning as almost two feet of snow fell in the Black Hills and over a foot of powder in Rapid City, a new record for a day in May. Many of those cars and trucks that braved the elements on Mother’s Day wound up stuck in heavy drifts on the highways, according to the South Dakota Transportation and Public Safety agency.
The late-season snowstorm also hit parts of the Rockies and Nebraska. Nearly 18 inches of snow came down in southern parts of Colorado. That added to the weather drama and trauma in a state that also experienced hail, some flooding and even tornado warnings during the weekend.
Tropical storm Ana made landfall on Sunday morning close to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. With maximum sustained winds of 35 about miles per hour, the storm was downgraded to a tropical depression by this afternoon. It is expected to move slowly through eastern parts of North Carolina tonight. The storm was expected to dump 1 to 3 inches of rain in the Carolina region.
This morning, Mother Nature unleashed a line of storms crossed the Dallas-Fort Worth area, causing significant delays and about 100 flight cancellations at Dallas airport This afternoon, there was hail reported in Texas and Arkansas, and tornado watches were issued through the evening for sections of Oklahoma, Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas and Arkansas. There were also severe thunderstorms in the Sioux Falls area.
The Texas weather patterns were the day after a tornado rated an EF-3, with winds up to 165 mph, struck a ranching and farming community 100 miles west of Fort Worth. Sparsely populated Cisco suffered one fatality, one person in critical condition and six buildings heavily damaged as well as six others on the outskirts near Lake Leon on Saturday. The rough weather on Mother’s Day hampered clean-up efforts in the Northern Texas farming area.
Families still gathered in these and other areas to celebrate mothers. However, the severe weather experienced by much of the country made it clear that it was Mother Nature’s day too.
By Dyanne Weiss
Minneapolis Star Tribune
San Francisco Gate