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OTTUMWA — A rare round of early morning thunderstorms swept Iowa Tuesday, hitting southeast Iowa as the sun rose.

The severe weather was expected. The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm watch for most of the area at about midnight. A confirmed tornado hit Warren County, according to NWS storm reports. Damage was reported near Lacona.

The Ottumwa area saw strong winds and heavy rain. Officially, the rain came to slightly less than three-quarters of an inch. The NWS station at Ottumwa reported a 46 mph wind gust. Sporadic damage was reported from the storms.

Storms are expected to yield to partly sunny skies Tuesday, with a high near 89 degrees. But they will return, with at least a chance of storms through Friday morning. Temperatures will come down, though, with highs near 80 on Thursday and Friday.

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