It’s Severe Weather Awareness Week

With winter behind us, we hope, Iowans need to get in the mindset to be prepared for different potential weather dangers associated with spring — like hail, lightning, flash flooding and tornadoes.

Jeff Johnson, the warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service, says today (Monday) marks the start of Severe Weather Awareness Week in Iowa. One key element will be a statewide tornado drill on Wednesday morning.

Each day this week will focus on different types of severe weather, including flash flooding, severe thunderstorms, developing a family emergency plan and how watches and warnings have changed in recent years. Johnson says 2013 was another unusual year as Iowa had very few tornadoes.   Iowa averages 48 tornadoes a year, but recorded 120 twisters in 2004. Johnson says it’s difficult to predict what kind of year will be ahead, especially after such a cold, snowy winter.

This month, the National Weather Service will hold storm spotter classes across Iowa. The classes offer information about cloud development, how to spot tornadoes and more. Learn more about Severe Weather Awareness Week and the spotter classes at