The Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division and the National Weather Service have declared the week of March 23 through March 27, 2015 Severe Weather Awareness Week. Severe Weather Awareness Week is an annual event to remind Iowans that severe weather is part of living in our state and that understanding the risks and how to respond to them can save lives. Each morning during severe weather awareness week, we’ll be focusing on a different severe weather topic. The topics this year include:

  • Monday – Flash Flooding
  • Tuesday – Warning Reception
  • Wednesday – Tornadoes
  • Thursday – Severe Thunderstorms
  • Friday – Family Preparedness
Tornado Watch:

Issued by the National Weather Service when conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes in and close to the watch area. Watches are generally issued for the duration of 4-8 hours, well in advance of the actual occurrence of severe weather. During the watch, people should be prepared to move to a place of safety if threatening weather approaches. On rare occasions, the Storm Prediction Center will issue a PDS Watch or Particularly Dangerous Situation. This means that the NWS has a high confidence of long-lived destructive tornadoes.


Tornado Warning:

Issued by the National Weather Service when a tornado is indicated by radar or sighted by spotters. People in the affected area should seek safe shelter immediately.


Tornado Emergency:

A Tornado Emergency is issued by the National Weather Service. It is not a new warning, but is used to highlight a confirmed tornado which is expected to be strong and violent. A Tornado Emergency means that significant, widespread damage with a high likelihood of numerous fatalities is expected to continue.


Tornadoes In Iowa