National Weather Service releases information on strength of tornados that rolled through Iowa

Tornado Damage News Graphic (Photo by Nikolas Noonan on UnSplash)
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The National Weather Service office in Des Moines has released information on the strength of tornadoes Saturday that impacted portions of Iowa.

The most devastation and loss of life was in the Winterset area southwest of Des Moines. At about 4:30 pm an EF 4 tornado, with speeds up to 170 miles an hour, followed a 69-mile long path from Winterset to Newton. There were six deaths including four from Blue Springs, Missouri who were described as visiting at Winterset.

In Wayne and Lucas counties, an EF 2 tornado developed northeast of Leon and continued east, grazing Garden Grove and ending east of Derby in Lucas county.  This was a distance of 19 miles with winds up to 122 miles an hour.

An EF 3 rated tornado developed as the one near Derby weakened. This one tracked south of Chariton and passed through the Red Haw State Park. This was a distance of 16 miles, with winds up to 138 miles an hour. One death was noted.

Another tornado was reported in the vicinity of Allerton and Corydon in south-central Iowa. It went about seven and a half miles and was rated an EF 2 with speeds up to 118 miles an hour. This one developed southwest of Allerton and skirted the southwest edge of the town and tracked northeast, passing east of Corydon.

Two other tornadoes Saturday have been rated as EF 2 and occurred north of Grinnell and south of Tama, Iowa.

The Des Moines office of the National Weather Service described the severe weather as three supercells that swept across Iowa, producing several tornadoes. Two supercells in southern Iowa produced three tornadoes.

The largest tornado moved across Madison, Warren, Polk, and Jasper counties for nearly 70 miles and at its peak produced winds of nearly 170 mph.

This is the first EF-4 tornado in Iowa since October 4, 2013, which occurred in Woodbury and Cherokee Counties in the northwest part of the state. This was the second-longest tornado in Iowa since 1980, behind the longest of 117 miles across southern Iowa which occurred on June 7, 1984.

(Photo by Nikolas Noonan on UnSplash)

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