Iowans are being reminded of all the dangerous possibilities that come with spring, from flooding to tornadoes, as this is the first day of Severe Weather Awareness Week. Meteorologist Jeff Johnson, at the National Weather Service, says we should all brush up on safety procedures, though he notes, last year was relatively quiet.
“Last year, of course, we had the drought, which was bad, but the other side of that coin, we had a very tranquil severe weather season with only 16 tornadoes in the state.” That was the lowest number of tornadoes in Iowa since 1963.
Iowa averages 47 tornadoes per year. A record 120 tornadoes touched down in Iowa in 2004. During this Severe Weather Awareness Week, different themes will be covered each day.
“Flash flooding, the warning decisions, tornadoes on Wednesday, severe thunderstorms on Thursday and family preparedness on Friday,” Johnson says. “The week will be highlighted by the statewide tornado drill which will occur at 10 A.M. on Wednesday, the 27th.”
That tornado drill should be taken seriously, giving everyone a chance to think of what they should do if it were the real thing and where they would take cover. The Tornado Watch will be issued at 10 o’clock on Wednesday.
“And then at about 10:15, we’ll issue a Tornado Warning for our area that will go over the Weather Radio System, through the Emergency Alert System and through the other systems,” he says. Learn more at: www.weather.gov/dmx
By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City