KMSP - We are barely 3 months into the year and the U.S. has already surpassed more than 400 tornadoes and thousands of reports of high winds and large hail. This is the busiest start to the year in a while. What may be even more amazing is that the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has already issued 3 high risk severe weather outlooks in 2017. That has never happened so early in a year since the high risk category was modified back in 2005. While severe weather typically ramps up dramatically in April, it is unusual to see such a string of severe weather for so many days in a row.
To show you how unusual high risk severe weather days are, one of the above images shows the last time a high risk day was issued for a particular area across the country. You can the locations that have been issued this year include the same parts of Georgia TWICE, northern Florida, and then parts of Louisiana & east Texas. For Minnesota though, it’s been nearly a decade for parts of southern Minnesota… but over 15 years for much of the western and northern half of the state! Comparing that to the last time we had a moderate risk day, you can really see how rare they are. Much of southern and eastern Minnesota had a moderate risk day just last year. Most of the state has seen one in the last 3 years, with really the only exception being the Arrowhead.