Iowa data shows no tornado trend

Jul 3, 2004
Hotel room somewhere by an airport
Matt Milner, Ottumwa Courier, 3-15-05

OTTUMWA - There are only two things anyone can say with certainty about Iowa and tornadoes: They will happen and there's no pattern.

The National Weather Service unveiled an analysis of Iowa tornadoes over the past 25 years. The study examined not just the number of tornadoes, but when they occur and how strong they are. What the data show is that there is no real pattern to predict how many tornadoes 2005 will bring.

Jeff Johnson was one of the people who brought the study together. He said the state jumps around from year to year. In 2004 there were 120 tornadoes, shattering the modern record. In 2003, though, there were only 28. The average since 1980 is 47 tornadoes in the state.

"If you look at the numbers, first of all if you throw out the F-0s there's almost no trend," Johnson said.

The NWS report can be found here (PDF):