Weather enthusiasts thought their eyes were playing tricks on them. The webpage for the National Weather Service in Aberdeen, South Dakota was displaying a red box inside of an orange box. That couldn't be... because that indicates a tornado warning during a blizzard warning.
However, on Monday March 31, 2014 that was exactly the circumstance in Yellow Medicine County, South Dakota.
While the insanity of that notion sinks in, it's worth reviewing the definition of each warning. Straight from the National Weather Service homepage, a blizzard warning means: "35 mph or greater wind speeds, considerable falling or blowing snow, and visibilities frequently below a quarter mile are expected to prevail for 3 hours or more." Meanwhile, a tornado warning means: "A severe thunderstorm has developed and has either produced a tornado or radar has indicated intense low level rotation in the presence of atmospheric conditions conducive to tornado development."
In this case, both verified. There was a weak tornado with visible damage present within Yellow Medicine County. To avoid sensationalizing (as if that is possible in this bizarre weather story), it is important to note that this tornado occurred due to a quick warm-up and strong low-level winds associated with thunderstorms just AHEAD of the incoming blizzard. Indeed the blizzard would arrive though, and according to Capital Weather Gang's Jason Samenow, there was a temperature drop from 79 to 10 degrees over the distance of just a few miles within Southeast South Dakota.
Louisianans like to call Mother Nature moody, but a blizzard warning and a tornado warning together, is nothing shy of weather witchcraft.
You can get forecasts from Meteorologist Josh Eachus weekdays on 2une-In from 5-7am and News 2 at Noon from 12-1pm. Additionally, you can get the fastest and latest forecasts and weather news by checking in with wbrz.com/weather, liking Josh on Facebook and following him on Twitter.