Weather-Service-logoThere are unconfirmed reports of a tornado derailing several cars of a freight train early this morning in western Iowa, yet, that’s among very few twisters spotted in the state so far this year.

Meteorologist Craig Cogil, at the National Weather Service, says the spring and summer months have been relatively quiet in Iowa the past three years. “Typically through this time of the year, we see about 17 or 18 tornadoes and the last three years, we’ve been right about 12 tornadoes,” Cogil says. “Certainly, we’ve been behind the curve as far as that goes and I don’t think anyone is going to complain.”

While last year had a slow start, there were eventually 58 tornadoes reported statewide. Cogil was asked if there’s a reason why the number is again so low this year. “No, not really,” he says. “It’s just the pattern that we get in and it’s just not been conducive for tornado development during the spring and early summer the past few years.” Cogil says Iowans need to be watchful for the potential for severe weather now and through the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.

“We’re going to see a couple of different systems move across the Midwest,” he says. “Particularly, we’re looking at tomorrow, on Thursday, the potential of severe weather across much of Iowa in addition to the threat of tornadoes. People just need to watch the weather and look for updates.”

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(Reporting by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)