Dickinson County Courthouse, Spirit Lake, Iowa

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Iowa Severe Weather Awareness Week 2024 - Are YOU Weather Ready?

Severe Weather Awareness Week in Iowa is March 25-29, 2024. This week is an opportunity to review the severe weather hazards, exercise your sheltering plan, and increase awareness before the typical peak of severe weather season.

Each day of the week focuses on one topic. Monday’s subject covers lightning. Lightning is the most common thunderstorm hazard, striking the United States 25 million times each year. Annually, lightning kills about 20 people in the United States, with hundreds more severely injured. Remember, when thunder roars go indoors or when you see a flash, dash inside!

Tornadoes will be the focus on Tuesday. On average, 50 tornadoes are recorded in Iowa each year. The least likely thunderstorm hazard also carries the greatest potential impact. This is why every Tornado Warning should be taken seriously!

Wednesday’s topic will be preparedness. The statewide tornado drill at 10am will be started with a special weekly test of NOAA Weather Radio and this is a great time for Iowans to practice their severe weather plans whether at home, work, or school. Dickinson County will test our outdoor warning sirens at this time.

Hail and wind safety will be covered on Thursday. Severe thunderstorms are defined as containing wind gusts of 58 mph or higher and/or hail of 1 inch diameter or greater. Although occurrences can be any month of the year, they most typically occur April through July.

Finally, Friday will focus on flash floods, which is the leading cause of severe weather related deaths. Anytime you encounter flooding, remember “turn around, don’t drown”.

Taking time during Severe Weather Awareness Week to review your plans will make you weather ready as we head into Iowa’s severe weather season. The National Weather Service is available at www.weather.gov and on Facebook and X/Twitter. Dickinson County Emergency Management can be found at www.dcem.us, on Facebook and X/Twitter.