Tornadoes can strike during any month of the year, but they’re quite rare during the fall and winter months.
With fall arriving this week, National Weather Service meteorologist Craig Cogil says it appears 2015 will go down as a very light year for tornadoes in Iowa.
“So far, 30 tornadoes across the state through September,” Cogil says. “Normally, we average about 46 across the entire state in any given year, so tornado numbers this year have been a little lower than what we usually see.” This year, there were no deaths from tornadoes in Iowa and only four reported injuries. Cogil explains why the twister numbers were so low.
“Overall, we haven’t seen as many severe weather events this year as far as tornadoes are concerned,” he says. “Conditions weren’t as favorable as what we’ve seen in other years. That’s the big reason.” November 12th will mark the tenth anniversary of a tornado that struck the towns of Woodward and Stratford, while October 14th will mark the 49th anniversary of a tornado that destroyed parts of Belmond, killing six people and injuring more than a hundred.
“We’re certainly not out of the woods as far as tornado weather is concerned,” Cogil says. “The events that you mentioned as well as just a couple of years ago, on October 4th, up in northwestern Iowa, they had a few F3s and an F4 tornado occur, so even though we don’t typically see tornadoes in fall, the danger still exists.” The last reported tornado in Iowa was in Cedar County on August 18th.
(Reporting by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)