Now that July has arrived, we’re out of the peak season for tornadoes in Iowa, although twisters can strike during any month of the year. Jeff Johnson, warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service, says the state’s tornado tally is well below average for the year so far, not that anyone’s complaining.

“The tornado numbers were still a little bit down compared to normal,” Johnson says. “We had ten and we average probably 30 every year, so our numbers were a little bit down but still we had some significant storms.” Based on the forecast, this holiday week’s weather shouldn’t include anything severe, but Johnson notes, that can always change in a hurry.

“We can get severe weather in July and August, even right on through the late fall,” Johnson says. “Even in November, it’s not unprecedented to get tornadoes. Remember Stratford here in ’05. We’re not out of the woods but we’re beyond the peak season and we still have to keep our guard out.”

Iowa’s first tornado this year struck on May 19th. The previous confirmed tornado touchdown in the state was 358 days prior. It set a record for the longest time Iowa’s been tornado-free in more than 60 years of record-keeping.

By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City