Predictions show a busy hurricane, storm season in the Atlantic Ocean


Via Flickr.

Eleanor Hildebrandt | May 25, 2022

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting a higher number of hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean for the seventh year in a row.

In a forecast released Tuesday the NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad predicted between 14 and 20 storms, with six to 10 turning in to hurricanes with multiple running the risk of being Category 3 or higher. The forecast shows the severity of the storms will be similar to 2021, where four storms developed winds of higher than 110 mph and 21 were named.

Recently, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has noticed tropical storms are developing faster and more frequently. Iowa Capital Dispatch reported any storm, hurricane or not, could cause significant damage.

“As we saw from Superstorm Sandy, it doesn’t even have to be a hurricane to cause such devastation to communities,” FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell said.

FEMA is suggesting people across the country, not just coastal areas, prepare for emergency situations based on the forecasts from NOAA. Climate change is a part of why hurricane seasons are worsening and becoming more frequent. Criswell said FEMA is attempting to emphasize preparedness and mitigation as the climate alters and more severe weather events occur.

Iowa Experiences Intense Weather Patterns


Via Flickr

Josie Taylor | June 30, 2021

Iowa crops are experiencing an intense weather pattern this summer. Despite rain over the past week, some parts of Iowa are still in need of more moisture in order to benefit crops. Some storms were so severe it ended up causing damage to crops. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig said that the moisture is very needed, however there were flash floods in southeastern Iowa. 

This past week the average precipitation state-wide was 2.13 inches, when the weekly average is 1.09 inches. Prior to this week, over 90 percent of Iowa was experiencing abnormal dryness, and 44 percent of Iowa was experiencing severe drought. This is a drastic change. 

Northwest Iowa has reported to have inadequate soil moisture in over two-thirds of topsoil. In the opposite part of Iowa, the southeast, 60 percent of topsoil is adequate to surplus. 

Despite the intense changes, crop conditions have been stabilized, and 60 percent of Iowa corn is in good to excellent condition. Soybeans are also blooming earlier than past years. 

Gov. Kim Reynolds has given approval for state resources to be used in order to recover from the effects of this severe weather. This can apply to qualifying individual residents who are damaged by the weather.

Severe storms hit eastern Iowa Tuesday night


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Shelf clouds, like the one depicted in this photograph from Flickr, rolled across Eastern Iowa during Tuesday night’s storms. 

Julia Poska | August 31, 2018

Severe storms swept through the midwest the evening of Aug. 28, causing flash flooding and wind damage from central Wisconsin through eastern Iowa.

Over 100,000 midwesterners lost power at some point during or after the storm, AccuWeather.com reports.

Within Iowa, the heaviest damage occurred in the Iowa City and Quad Cities areas. Flash floods soaked homes, businesses and even the University of Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium, which was drained almost immediately.

As of the morning of Thursday, Aug. 30, the National Weather Service forecasts a chance of more storms every day until Monday. Climate change projections warn Iowans to expect more wet weeks and severe rain events in coming years.

Three tornado warnings sounded across eastern Iowa Tuesday night as well:  southwest of Williamsburg, Iowa County; in Iowa City; and and in De Witt, Clinton County. The National Weather Service reported wind of 83 miles per hour at the Iowa City Municipal Airport.

Tuesday’s storm came less than a week after the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied Gov. Kim Reynold’s request for funding to help private individuals and businesses recover from severe storms earlier this summer, as reported by the Des Moines Register. FEMA did grant Iowa funding to repair public infrastructure.