116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
A dozen tornadoes struck Iowa in Wednesday’s storms, the National Weather Service has confirmed — double the number of December tornadoes the state saw in the last seven decades.
The most active month historically in Iowa for tornadoes is June, with 810 tornadoes and 22 related deaths since 1950, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data. In comparison, in that same time period, Iowa had seen only six tornadoes in December — until this week.
The National Weather Service said it confirmed 12 tornadoes Wednesday, six of them considered “significant” on a rating scale.
- An EF2 tornado cut a 23-mile path through Pottawattamie County, around Underwood, at 4:24 to 4:27 p.m.
- Another EF2 struck Pottawattamie County near Neola, cutting a 6.7-mile path at 4:31 to 4:36 p.m.
- An EF2 cut a 26.1-mile path through Audubon and Cass counties, near Atlantic, from 4:50 to 5:08 p.m.
- An EF2 cut a 24-mile path through Guthrie and Greene counties, near Bayard, from 5:17 to 5:31 p.m.
- Another EF2 also struck Guthrie and Greene counties, for 17.4 miles near Bagley, from 5:21 to 5:34 p.m.
- An EF2 cut a 26.7-mile path through Greene and Webster counties, near Harcourt and Duncombe, from 5:43 to 6:01 p.m.
- A tornado of unknown strength cut an 18.8-mile path through Carroll and Sac counties, near Lake View, at 5:13 to 5:27 p.m.
- An EF1 with winds of 110 mph struck Floyd County around Rudd, carving a path for less than a mile at 6:58 to 7 p.m.
- Another EF1 hit Floyd County near Marble Rock, cutting an 8.2-mile path at 6:56 to 7:01 p.m.
- An EFO with winds of 85 mph struck Chickasaw County around Elma, carving a 5.4-mile path at 7:17 to 7:22 p.m.
- An EF0 also struck Howard County near Maple Leaf, cutting a 6.9-mile path at 7:24 to 7:29 p.m.
- And another EF0 hit Howard County, this time near Schley, carving a 4.5-mile path at 7:29 to 7:32 p.m.
No Iowan has been killed in a December tornado since at least 1950, according to the NOAA data, and none was killed in the ones that struck this week. However, the driver of a semi was killed near Walford when high winds not associated with a tornado flipped his rig. The Iowa State Patrol said the driver was not wearing a seat belt.
Tornadoes are rated on what’s known as the Enhanced Fujita scale — or EF for short — that goes from EF0 to EF5. On the low end of the scale, winds begin at 65 mph for an EF0. For an EF5, winds are at 200 mph or greater. An EF2 tornado is rated a “significant” storm with winds of between 111 and 135 mph.