WATERLOO — Barring a surprise storm this fall, 2013 will mark a record low year for tornadoes in Iowa.
The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported Friday that 15 tornadoes touched down in Iowa this year, the fewest such storms since comprehensive tracking began 33 years ago. The National Weather Service said that’s one less than the previous low of 16 set in 2012.
Iowa’s tornado season also was the shortest on record, stretching over 38 days from a May 19 storm near Adel to a June 26 twister near Vincent, according to the weather service. And before the May storm, Iowa set a record for consecutive days without a tornado at 359 days.
The strongest tornado this year was an EF3 twister, which have winds of up to 165 mph, on June 12. That tornado near Belmond in northern Iowa was on the ground for 6.2 miles.
One person died in an Iowa tornado this year. An employee of a car repair shop in Muscatine was killed when a tornado hit the area on June 24.
Iowa has averaged 47 tornadoes a year since comprehensive tracking began in 1980, according to a report by National Weather Service meteorologist Craig Cogil. The busiest month is June, when Iowa has seen 467 tornadoes since 1980.
Tornadoes in the fall are unlikely but possible. There have been 92 tornadoes in September, October, November and December since tracking began. Only one tornado has been recorded during that time in December.