National Weather Service surveying damage after storms

Rare severe weather in Nebraska in December

NEHAWKA, Neb. (KLKN)- The national Weather Service had boots on the ground on Thursday, surveying possible tornado damage throughout the state.

“We issued 20 warnings, does that necessarily equate to 20 tornadoes? No. It just you know radar signatures they were capable of producing tornadoes or tornado like damage with straight line wind. That’s another reason why we survey. We really have to get ground truth information.,” said Suzanne Fortine a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

The National Weather Service of Omaha had two survey teams looking at two main areas of the state.

“We’ve seen quite a bit of very significant structural damage to houses with roofs off, several larger grain bins damaged. A lot of, we’ve only seen wooden power poles snapped at their bases,” said Fortine.

When teams are out surveying, it means they are out taking pictures and observing the path and destruction of the storm.

“It’s a way to sort of validate the warnings we issue and helps to calibrate as we now are ink the stage of warnings of catastrophic level or emergency level,” said Fortine.

It is very rare to see tornadoes in Nebraska in December.

“We looked back 50 years in the state of Nebraska, and there have only been 5 tornadoes per say that have hit Nebraska,” said Fortine.

Not only did the state see reports of tornadoes, but other weather related records were hit as well.

“Very historic day on many levels. Between the sever weather, it was the furthest north in December that the storm prediction center had ever issued a moderate risk of severe weather,” said Fortine.

With the amount of daylight limited during these winter months, meteorologists will be out again on Friday surveying the rest of the tornado damage.

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