We’re a week into spring now and with the change of seasons, Iowans know it also means changing weather and sometimes, severe weather. Meteorologist Mindy Beerends, at the National Weather Service, says this is Severe Weather Awareness Week.
There’s a different theme each day and today’s focus is on severe thunderstorms. “Tuesday, it’s how to receive warning information,” Beerends says. “Wednesday, information about tornadoes. Thursday, it’s preparedness and families, what they can do to prepare for severe weather, and Friday, we’ll be looking at flooding.” Last year was a relatively quiet year for tornadoes in Iowa.
“We had 43 tornadoes in the state of Iowa, just under the average of 48,” she says. “The activity usually peaks in May and June but every month in Iowa has seen a tornado.” This year is already very active for tornadoes with multiple reports of funnel clouds in late February and at least ten tornadoes touched down statewide in early March. Beerends says there will be a statewide tornado drill on Wednesday.
“If there’s no severe weather occurring or expected that day, the Weather Service will conduct a tornado drill between 10 and 11 AM,” Beerends says. “We’re really just trying to get everybody to ensure they can receive a tornado warning and also practice any actions that you would take in the event of a real tornado.” Learn more at www.weather.gov/dmx.
(Reporting by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)