ST. PAUL, Minn. -- We are one week into March and our weather is already breaking records in Minnesota.
The National Weather Service confirmed Tuesday that two tornadoes hit communities in Minnesota on March 6--the earliest on record.
Before that, the earliest reported tornado was on March 18, 1968.
"We've only seen about 21 tornadoes since we started keeping track of tornadoes in Minnesota," said Pete Boulay, a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources climatologist.
According to Boulay, last month the average temperature in the Twin Cities was 10.3 degrees above normal making it the seventh warmest February on record. Also, the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport only recorded three-tenths of an inch of snow in the Twin Cities--tying for the least amount of snow in February on record.
"Winter finished out, meteorological winter (December, January, February) finished out 5.6 degrees above normal," Boulay said.
In the Twin Cities, we've had 18 months in a row of above normal temperatures.
"We're certainly seeing more winters like this than we've seen winter like if you remember the winter of 2013, 2014. Those winters don't come around very often anymore. Maybe once in 20 years now to have a real winter with a lot of snow and a lot of cold. We've had a lot more winters just like the one we've gone through," Boulay said.
With the warmer weather, the ice is melting out on the lakes. Lake Calhoun's ice out Tuesday is the earliest on record--more than a month earlier than average.
So what's going on?
"Could be part of climate change. That could be one of the factors going on with it. Just variability with winters has something to do with it too. Not to say we can't get still a cold winter, they just might not be happening as much with climate change," Boulay said.
He went on to say, "There is reason to be concerned about year after year of this kind of weather."
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