ST. PAUL, Minn. – Severe weather across the country. Minnesota’s earliest-ever tornado. Indicative of what’s to come?
So far in 2017, there have been 587 tornado reports across the country. That number is not confirmed tornadoes, but rather preliminary reports to the National Weather Service.
Compare that to 371 tornado reports during the same time period in 2016.
Minnesota has already seen three damage-causing tornadoes in 2017, all three of which came on March 6.
"Three-quarters of Minnesota's tornadoes happen in May, June and July," says Minnesota's Assistant Climatologist Pete Boulay. "So that's the bulk of when we see tornadoes in the state. It’s too early to tell what kind of season we will have."
Boulay says an early start to severe weather season is not necessarily telling of what is to come.
"The number of tornadoes that we have seen reported has increased since the 1950s, mostly due to the population increasing," says KARE 11 Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson. "There are more eyeballs to see the tornadoes.”
Several tornadoes caused damaged in the southern part of the U.S. over the weekend.
In 2016, Minnesota had 37 confirmed tornados, according to NOAA. The state has not had a tornado death since 2011.