PELLA, Iowa — A large tornado briefly touched down Sunday evening just northwest of Pella, in eastern Marion County.
The National Weather Service says the tornado occurred around 6:43 p.m., but likely lifted just shortly thereafter.
NWS said Monday afternoon the tornado was rated an EF-1 with estimated peak winds of 100-110 mph.
A few minutes prior to the touchdown, a tornado warning was issued for portions of Marion County and Mahaska County.
Storm chasers and storm spotters in the area captured photos and videos of the tornado while it was on the ground, but say it quickly lifted and struggled to produce additional funnel clouds or tornadoes as the parent supercell thunderstorm moved east.
According to observations on the ground and information from the Marion County Sheriff's Office, some damage was reported to at least one farmstead.
No injuries were reported, however.
"We've been here over 50 years and this house and barn has been here since 1910," said Larry Terpstra, whose property was damaged. "It's seen a lot of bad weather, but nothing like this."
Marion County Sheriff told Local 5 he was relieved the tornado lifted before moving through the town of Pella, fearing the damage could have been more widespread.
"If it only hits a couple of farmsteads we feel bad for the people in those farmsteads where it did hit," he said. "But it's a lot better than a one, two, three-mile stretch where it's knocking out, or even in the more residential areas."
On July 19, 2018, an EF-2 tornado touched down in Pella, causing substantial damage to the Vermeer Manufacturing facility.
This occurred on the same day that an EF-2 tornado hit Bondurant and an EF-3 caused extensive damage in Marshalltown.
So far in 2021, the severe weather season has been relatively quiet in Iowa.
Hail storms occurred on Friday night across southern Iowa, and an EF-0tornado touched down near Woodward, Iowa back in May.
Through the middle of June, this has been an unusually quiet severe weather season.
June tends to be one of the most active severe weather months in Iowa, and is usually when the highest number of tornadoes in the state occurs.