Significant Weather Events

Browse through articles written by staff at the NWS in Des Moines on significant weather events to strike Iowa over the past few years. Severe weather damage surveys are included in this list. Articles are sorted by date from newest to oldest. Icons next to each date denote the type of weather event. The key to these icons is below.

Tornadoes T-Storm Wind Hail Heavy Rain/Flash Flood River Flood Heat
Winter Storm Blizzard Ice Storm Sleet Cold Other


  • July 6, 2014: Storm survey results from two tornadoes in northern Tama and southern Grundy County. Note: These tornado tracks were updated and additional tracks added after this report was written. Please see the 2014 Iowa Tornado Page for updated information.
  • June 30, 2014: Multiple rounds of severe thunderstorms produced seven tornadoes (four documented after this writeup was published), baseball size hail driven by powerful straight-line winds, and extensive flash flooding. Please see the 2014 Iowa Tornado Page for updated tornado information.
  • May 11, 2014: A line of thunderstorms generated several tornadoes in central Iowa, one of which hit the Lake Panorama region.
  • April 27, 2014: A complex of thunderstorms produced two swaths of straight-line wind damage over southeastern Iowa, including the Oskaloosa and Ottumwa areas. It then went on to produce a tornado in far northern Wapello County that tracked into Keokuk County.


  • June 12, 2013: A cyclic supercell spawned seven tornadoes over the course of a hour over north central Iowa, including a strong EF-3 in Belmond.
  • May 19, 2013: A strong thunderstorm complex tracked across central Iowa, producing three short-lived tornadoes and significant straight-line wind damage.
  • May 1-3, 2013: A rare May snowstorm brought over a foot of snow to portions of central Iowa. It was the strongest May snowstorm to ever hit the state.
  • April 8-11, 2013: A spring storm system brought a wide range of severe weather to Iowa, with convective severe weather to southern and central Iowa, and snow to the NW parts of the state.
  • February 26-28, 2013: A multi-day snowstorm dropped over a foot of snow across east-central Iowa in late February.


  • 2012 Des Moines Weather Review: A summary of the record setting warm and dry year that befell Des Moines and much of Iowa.
  • 2012 Iowa Tornado Review: A summary of an exceptionally quiet year for Iowa tornado activity, with only 16 tornadoes for the year and the earliest end of the Iowa tornado season on record.
  • December 19-20, 2012: A meteorological review of the powerful Iowa blizzard that struck Iowa just before the holidays. Heavy, wet snow coated power lines and trees, which snapped as winds increased to 50 to 60 mph.
  • May 1, 2012: Wind event over Story County and the city of Ames.
  • April 14, 2012: The Creston tornado storm survey summary, including radar imagery and photos.
  • March 2012 Warmth - Des Moines: Des Moines saw an unprecedented record warm March that would eventually propel 2012 into the record books as the warmest year on record for Des Moines.
  • March 2012 Warmth - Waterloo: Facts about the unprecedented record warm March in Waterloo.


  • 2011 Iowa Weather Review: A summary of the most significant weather events across Iowa in 2011.
  • 2011 Iowa Tornado Review: A summary of Iowa tornadoes for 2011.
  • August 23. 2011: A heat burst occurred in the late afternoon of August 23 across west central Iowa, producing winds of up to 60 mph and 10 to 15 degree temperature rises.
  • July 11, 2011: A powerful, long-lasting wind storm known as a derecho plowed through east central Iowa during the early morning of July 11, producing winds of over 100mph.
  • May 11, 2011: Damage survey of two short-lived tornadoes that hit the community of Lenox within minutes of one another.
  • April 9, 2011: One of the larger tornado outbreaks in Iowa history that occurred across northwestern Iowa and produced an EF4 tornado in Pocahontas County.
  • March 22, 2011: An early season tornado outbreak across south central Iowa.


  • December 11, 2010: A major blizzard across northern Iowa.
  • Summer 2010 Floods: Service assessment of the 2010 central Iowa floods
  • July 23, 2010: Damage survey from a pair of EF1 tornadoes in the Indianola area.
  • July 22, 2010: Damage survey for an EF1 tornado the went through the southeastern corner of the city of Pocahontas.
  • June 23, 2010: Bremer County, flooding, wind event, and brief EF1 tornado.
  • June 2, 2010: An intermittient EF2 tornado track across Ringgold County.



  • Summer 2008 Floods: Service assessment of the 2008 flooding in central and eastern Iowa.
  • May 30, 2008: Central and south central Iowa tornado event, including a tornado that hit the town ot Attica.
  • May 25, 2008: The Parkersburg/New Hartford EF5 tornado that carved a 43 mile track across northeastern Iowa and took nine lives.



Iowa Tornado Information and Climatology

***NEW*** Interactive seasonal tornado track pages for the state of Iowa

These pages contain the tracks of all Iowa tornadoes for a given year on a Google Map interface, and allow the user to download tracks for viewing in Google Earth. Also included on each page is an end of season sumary and table containing data for each tornado.

Other End of Season Reports for Previous Years

Recent Major Iowa Tornadoes is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.