Has April Been Slow?


Some of you have asked us about how April so far is playing out severe weather wise, compared to other years. While severe weather season does not really begin until May in Iowa, we still do see a fair share of severe weather in April. So far this year, three tornadoes have been confirmed, all which occurred in March across eastern Iowa. These three tornadoes occurred back on March 15th, near the towns of McCauland, Low Moor, and Andover.

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As of today, it has been 159 days since a tornado warning has been issued across central and western Iowa. It has been even longer across northeast Iowa, as it has been 275 days since the last tornado warning has been issued. But how does this stack up to previous years?


Between 1980 and 2013, only 221 tornadoes have occurred in the month of April, which averages out to about 7 tornadoes each April. These 221 tornadoes that have occurred during this time span, account for 14.2% of tornadoes. May is when things begin to get more active, which is why between 1980 and 2013 that 25.2% of tornadoes have occurred in this month. June is when the season peaks, with 30.5% of tornadoes occurring in this month between 1980 and 2013.

Even though May and June is when Iowa typically sees the most amout of tornadoes, the state has had a few active months of April. In April 2001, 40 tornadoes were reported. This was only 17 tornadoes away from tying the record amount of tornadoes in a one month period, which occurred in May 2004. April 2006 was also an active year, with 23 tornadoes being reported that month.

So how does the long range look? The Climate Prediction Center has the state with normal temperatures in the 8 to 14 day temperature outlook. Looking at the long range models, there are a few weather systems in the next couple weeks that may provide severe weather across the country, but nothing in the state that currently catches our attention. Granted, anything more than a few days out will change, so it isn’t anything I would place a bet on. But as it stands now, April may go out quietly.

As always, check back to iowachase.com for the latest updates.


Zach Sharpe

My name is Zach Sharpe. I am the president and forecaster for the Iowa Storm Chasing Network. You can find me on Twitter @Stormchaserzach and on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/stormchaserzach/

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