Iowa’s Tornado Tally From Friday Reaches 17, May Go Even Higher

Western Iowa — At least one person has died, and the experts say at least 17 tornadoes touched down in Iowa on Friday afternoon and evening, including perhaps a half-dozen that are classified as EF2s, with winds up to 135 miles an hour. Meteorologist Craig Cogil, at the National Weather Service, says it may be several days before they have a complete tornado tally. Multiple teams are evaluating the damage, which Cogil says includes in-person surveys, as well as reviewing the radar data, satellite imagery, and videos.

The Omaha office issued 42 tornado warnings on Friday for its region of Nebraska and Iowa, while Cogil says the Johnston office issued perhaps another two dozen for western and central Iowa. He says they’re trained to handle such tense situations where seconds can mean a tremendous difference to anyone who may be in harm’s way.

There have been situations in recent years where National Weather Service staffers in Iowa had to leave their posts because tornadoes were heading directly for them.

Friday’s severe weather marks the second tornado outbreak in Iowa this month. On April 16th, there were 13 tornadoes that touched down in the state, so we’ve had roughly 30 twisters so far. Cogil says there’s no way to know what’s coming in the rest of the tornado season ahead.

He cautions, tornadoes can strike any time of the day or night and during any month of the year.


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