Iowa is about two-thirds of the way through severe weather season, and National Weather Service Meteorologist Rod Donavon says it’s been a relatively quiet spring and early summer for tornadoes. He says 24 tornadoes have been spotted so far, and typically, Iowa has around 34 tornadoes by this time of year.
Although the number of twisters is down, the damage has been significant. The biggest tornado, hitting towns in Louisa and Muscatine County, was 440 yards wide and covered 16 miles. "That tornado occurred on June first and we rated that as an EF3, which is a pretty significant tornado," Donavon says, "and then we have also had several that we’ve rated as EF2, including one in Norwalk the other day."
Donavon says the threat for more severe weather diminishes a bit in July. "Our biggest climatological months are May and June, followed closely by July." Iowa’s busiest year for tornadoes was in 2004, when more than 100 twisters were reported across the state.