A tornado destroyed about 75 percent of the southwest Iowa town of Thurman in mid-April, the same day a tornado smashed into Creston, doing major damage to a hospital. But State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says other than that outbreak of severe weather, it’s been “fairly quiet” in terms of tornado activity in Iowa this year. “May and June are peak months for tornado activity and June the 9th would be kind of the mid-point to the tornado season, so we’re not quite to the very heart of tornado season — but we’re pretty darned close to it, though,” Hillaker says. “But thus far it’s been, you know, fairly quiet as far as severe weather — both tornadoes and hail, and high winds and such.”
Forecasters recently divided the country into 100-square-mile increments and mapped out tornado touch downs. The research found that in the past 20 years, Iowa has had more tornadoes touch down than all but two states. Recent forecasts indicate a period of calm weather ahead for Iowa. “Of course that could change in just one afternoon and kind of make the season with one bad outbreak,” Hillaker says. “But so far we’ve avoided any really big, widespread events.”
According to the National Weather Service there were 50 tornadoes in Iowa last year. Twenty tornadoes were reported in Iowa on one day — April 9, 2011.