Today starts Severe Weather Awareness Week in the state of Iowa. We are quite familiar with severe weather in the state, with an average of about 46 tornadoes,hundreds of severe storms, and about a thousand storms that do not reach the severe level. National Weather Service warnings coordinator Jeff Johnson talks about what happens in a severe storm. They usually contain large hail and high winds. He says the hail ranges from penny-sized to an inch in diameter. Johnson says the biggest thing the Weather Service worries about during the spring and summer months are the formation of tornadoes – although things have been quiet recently. Johnson says we’ve been lucky the past couple of years in not seeing that many funnel clouds form in Iowa compared to the rest of the nation. Johnson says people should take things seriously when the weather service issues watches and warnings. He says watches are issued when severe weather is possible and you need to prepare…while a warning means severe weather is occurring or imminent, and you need to take cover. The weather service will hold a tornado drill Wednesday morning to make sure people are prepared in the event of a tornado touching down in their community.
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