Iowa on pace for slowest tornado year in five decades

Iowa is on pace to see the quietest tornado season in nearly 50 years, thanks to the drought.

State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says this summer’s extreme dry conditions have helped keep tornadoes at bay. The Gazette in Cedar Rapids reports that Iowa has recorded just 16 twisters this year.

Hillaker says that total is the lowest since 1963. Iowa has seen an average of 47 tornadoes annually over the last 33 years. There were 49 reported during another drought year in 1988.

Hillaker says the tornadoes that have hit Iowa this year were fairly weak.