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Is Tornado Alley Shifting? Iowa No. 1 in Tornadoes

Posted: Wednesday, November 14th, 2018 at 6:26 am
Author: Sally Y. Hart - KCII News

Iowa leads the country in a weather category this year – number of preliminary tornado reports. According to data from the Storm Prediction Center, through November 2nd Iowa has had 84 preliminary tornado reports, followed by Louisiana with 69. Those preliminary reports are then analyzed by the National Weather Service and finalized at the end of the year. Washington County Emergency Management Coordinator Marissa Reisen says the location of tornado alley is shifting, there’s a trend of those tornado-producing storms being in the Midwest more than Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, “They’re still looking at it, but it’s an interesting thing and something we need to be cognisant of since we’re in that state that hit number one this year. And a big contributor to that was our day of 21 tornadoes, which was the day that Marshalltown and Pella got hit. And the day that we had a very significant risk that the storms that were coming out of Des Moines were actually, I got a call from the Weather Service that they were coming at us and they shifted, thankfully for us especially since that was county fair week. But tornadoes can happen any time.”

Reisen says that tornado sirens in Washington County are tested every month of the year and if a warning is issued take it seriously and seek shelter. In 2017, Iowa had 55 tornadoes with the first one of the year in February and the last one in December. On Veterans Day in 2015 a tornado was on the ground in Keokuk and Iowa Counties, one of 19 tornadoes across Iowa that day.