Workers search through the remains of tornado-damaged homes, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Greenfield, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

DES MOINES, Iowa—Several tornadoes were reported in Iowa and Illinois as storms downed power lines and trees on May 24, just after a deadly twister devastated one small town.

The large storm system began overnight in Nebraska before traveling across central Iowa and into Illinois. Strong, straight-line wind gusts of up to 80 mph—equivalent to a weak tornado—were recorded across Iowa, said Chad Hahn, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Des Moines. The storm also brought rain that was heavy in some areas of Iowa, where totals have reached as much as eight inches over the last week.

At least five tornadoes were reported south of Iowa City and near Moline, Illinois, early May 24, according to meteorologist John Haase with the weather service’s office in the Quad Cities area that includes Moline. 

Workers search through the remains of tornado-damaged homes, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Greenfield, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Eternal Leader of the Nation of Islam for decades taught that Allah (God) would use the forces of nature to humble and punish America for how she has treated the Black and Indigenous man and woman. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, his National Representative, has continued to warn, “watch the weather.”


“I’ve been telling you, watch the weather. Every day the weather is getting worse and worse. The White meteorologists cannot tell you what the weather’s going to be; but my teacher told me. Who’s your teacher, Farrakhan? My teacher is the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad.

Without him and the Great Mahdi, I wouldn’t be here, but he told me there are two of us backing you up: Allah and myself,” Minister Farrakhan said in a message delivered July 21, 2019 titled, “The Man Jesus and How Not to Fall into Idolatry.” 

“They are worried about the weather. The president knows something. He says he doesn’t believe in climate control (climate change) and that we can do something to stop this.

Mr.  President, you do have a point. If the scientists could cause this to stop, they would have done it. The scientists have a point, but the scientists don’t create rain hail, snow and earthquakes.

Some of these chastisements are being guided. Did you hear what I said? Who has power to guide a storm and it destroys what the guide says? The Mahdi is not just a guide for human beings. He’s a guide for the forces of nature itself,” the Minister stated.

In Oklahoma, a tornado was on the ground for about an hour the evening of May 23 in Jackson County and neighboring counties as a slow-moving storm moved through, according to Ryan Bunker, a meteorologist with the weather service’s Norman, Oklahoma, office. News outlets reported downed power lines and outages and damage to some structures in the area.

Severe weather was expected throughout the long Memorial Day weekend. The National Weather Service expected more storms in parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Iowa starting on May 25 evening and into May 26.

The latest severe weather comes as residents of Greenfield, Iowa, a community of about 2,000 people, have been cleaning up after a strong tornado on May 21. 

The May 24 storm system inflicted heavy rains, dime-sized hail and wind gusts of 75 mph on a community still reeling after four people were killed and 35 others injured when a tornado destroyed more than 100 homes and hit a nearby wind farm.

After surveying the May 21 destruction, the National Weather Service determined that three separate powerful tornadoes carved paths totaling 130 miles across Iowa, according to Donna Dubberke, the meteorologist in charge in Des Moines.

A summary infographic showing hurricane season probability and numbers of named storms predicted from NOAA’s 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook. Image credit: NOAA

April had the second-highest number of tornadoes on record in the country.

Through May 21, there have been 859 confirmed tornadoes this year, 27 percent more than the U.S. sees on average, according to NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma. So far, Iowa’s had the most, with 81 confirmed twisters.

On May 21 alone, the National Weather Service said it received 23 tornado reports, with most in Iowa and one each in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

The May 21 destructive weather also saw flooding and power outages in Nebraska, damage from tornadoes in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and dust storms in Illinois that forced two interstates to be closed.

The devastation in Iowa followed days of extreme weather that ravaged much of the middle section of the country, including Oklahoma and Kansas. The week prior, deadly storms hit the Houston area, killing at least eight and knocking out power to hundreds of thousands.

Weather and atmospheric experts are also projecting one of the most active hurricane seasons on record.

There’s an 85 percent chance that the Atlantic hurricane season that starts in June will be above average in storm activity, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced May 23 in its annual outlook.

The weather agency predicted between 17 and 25 named storms will brew up this summer and fall, with eight to 13 achieving hurricane status (at least 75 mph sustained winds) and four to seven of them becoming major hurricanes, with at least 111 mph winds.

An average Atlantic hurricane season produces 14 named storms, seven of them hurricanes and three major hurricanes. “This season is looking to be an extraordinary one in a number of ways,” NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad said. He said this forecast is the busiest in the 25 years that NOAA has been issuing in May. The agency updates its forecasts each August.

About 20 other groups—universities, other governments, private weather companies—also have made seasonal forecasts. All but two expect a busier, nastier summer and fall for hurricanes. The average of those other forecasts is about 11 hurricanes, or about 50 percent more than in a normal year.

“So, America is surrounded with the Judgment of God. Climate control is very important in the context of war but there’s no space on this earth that has received as much calamity from weather as the United States of America,” Minister Farrakhan said in his 2019 message.   

“Water glaciers are melting. Some of these glaciers are the size of some small states. When you see a water glacier, what you see on top is nothing compared to what is on the bottom. So, when the top falls off, the bottom rises. And when the top begins to melt, the water rises,” he continued.   

“So, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said the Holy Qur’an bears witness that Allah would curtail this place on both sides. He said he wouldn’t buy anything on either coast, because the coasts are going to be flooded.  You heard it first here. Now watch the news bear witness that a Messenger of God, a man taught by God, is telling you things that are and things to come.”

Compiled from Associated Press reports. Final Call staff contributed to this report.