Nearly a dozen tornadoes were reported touching down in Iowa on Sunday afternoon and evening, though the experts are working to determine just how many twisters appeared. Meteorologist Craig Cogil at the National Weather Service says it was a very active couple of hours. “We did have several reports across central Iowa of tornadoes,” Cogil says. “We are sending out a storm team to determine if there were 11 separate tornadoes or if it was several reports of the same tornado. They’ll find out the damage path, the intensity of those tornadoes.”
That team will be zeroing in on damage primarily in three counties — Grundy, Tama and Jasper. “The most damage is up by Reinbeck and Traer where we had reports of housing damage,” Cogil says. “That’s going to be the big focus, going up there and determining the path of that tornado and how much damage it did.”
Having as many as 11 tornadoes in one day is uncommon but not unprecedented, though the past few years were very quiet for twisters in Iowa. “We do average around 46 to 47 tornadoes a year in Iowa,” Cogil says. “So far this year, we don’t have a hard count. We’re still actually going through some of the events in June and determining how many we’ve had. Right now, I’d say right around 30 so far. Certainly, compared to the last few years, it’s quite a bit more active.”
Two people have been killed in tornadoes in Iowa so far this year. Both died in a twister that hit Keokuk County in April.