National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Every year in the United States, hundreds of people are killed and thousands injured because of the weather. Dangerous weather can take many forms, ranging from violent tornadoes to crippling winter storms. With the notable exception of hurricanes, Iowa can experience any of these dangerous phenomena.

While there is nothing we can do to stop dangerous weather from affecting us, there are proactive decisions that can be taken to remain safe when the weather turns nasty. Weather safety and survival - no matter what the hazard - depends on the following key items:

          1. KNOW THE HAZARDS - Be aware of the hazards that you might face during a weather event.

          2. KNOW WHEN TO EXPECT DANGEROUS WEATHER - Monitor forecasts and information from your local
              National Weather Service Forecast Office.

          3. PAY ATTENTION - Be aware of all watches, warnings, and advisories affecting you.

          4. HAVE A PLAN TO STAY SAFE - Think about it before it happens and be ready to act to survive.

Click on a hazard below to see how YOU can be prepared and ready to react to dangerous weather

Tornadoes Thunderstorms Lightning Floods Heat
Winter Weather Droughts Wind Fog

    The following dates in 2024 have been designated for weather awareness in the United States or the state of Iowa:

  • Severe Weather Awareness Week: March 25-29, 2024
    * NEW for 2024 - Iowa / Nebraska Severe Weather Awareness Week Storymap
    Statewide Tornado Drill:  Wednesday, March 27, 2024 at 10 AM
  • Heat Awareness Day: June 6, 2024
  • Lightning Awareness Week: June 23-29, 2024
  • Winter Weather Awareness Day: November 7, 2024
Interested in visiting the NWS in Des Moines or having a staff member give an outreach presentation?
Visit Our Office Page and select the "Tours & Outreach" tab to find out more information and to schedule a tour or talk.
Want to become a severe weather spotter? Visit the NWS Des Moines Spotter Page to view current severe weather forecasts, read online training materials, and find when the NWS will be conducting a spotter training class near you!

Additional Information: