Is a Stormy Spring in Our Future?

Area weather has become a little warmer and looks to continue the trend for the next several days. With it comes a threat we in northern Iowa know all too well, tornadoes. Thankfully we have not be as impacted by wind and tornadoes as those to the south of us.

The experts are still studying the series of ten tornadoes that touched down in Iowa on March 5th, claiming seven lives and damaging or destroying dozens of houses. Meteorologist Dennis Todey, director of the USDA’s Midwest Climate Hub in Ames, says the strength of the tornadoes was very unusual, as they included a pair of EF-2s, an EF-3 and an EF-4.

Forecasters are trying to determine if this is a sign of more frequent early-season severe weather.

Temperatures in parts of Iowa that day were in the 60s and 70s, then the late afternoon storm brought tornadoes and hail, followed the next day by highs only in the 20s and 30s and several inches of snow. That clash of large masses of warm and cold air, Todey says, is textbook for tornadoes.

That can be a recipe for severe weather. Iowa also saw a massive outbreak of tornadoes during the derecho in mid-December, which was very rare.


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