Wild year of weather so far in Minnesota

When it comes to weather in Minnesota, so far it's been a year of extremes.

“It’s been kind of a rollercoaster ride for the past few months,” said Jennifer McDermed, Fox 9 meteorologist.

Bemidji's Fourth of July tornado managed to rip up a garage, uproot trees and snatch off roofs -- even though it barely traveled a mile and lasted less than a minute. Fortunately, no one was injured.

“So far this year for the season of 2018, Minnesota has confirmed seven tornadoes and on average, when you combine the month of May and June, we have around 21 tornadoes, so we are well below average for this time of year,” said McDermed.

Last year, Minnesota saw 17 tornadoes by July 5. In 2016, there was a whopping 25 and the year before that there were 19.

Yet, like a pendulum, the weather spectrum seems to swing from one end to the next. In addition to a less active tornado season, there was record snowfall in April followed by the warmest May in Twin Cities history.

“June ended up being a very wet month for us and right now July is looking like it’s going to be a very dry month for us,” she said.

McDermed blames the wonky weather on one thing: the jet stream. But the key to the systems is where this jet stream hangs out.

“The reason why we’ve had such a difference in this season is because our jet stream has been pulled up so far north that it’s not able to reach down into the Gulf of Mexico, bring up that heat, bring up that moisture, which are very powerful ingredients for severe weather,” she said.

So while southwest Minnesota still copes with floods, McDermed says we can all relax - at least for the rest of July.

“It’s going to feel kind of like today, with another few degrees on top of it,” she said.

By the looks of the severe weather trend, Minnesota could be in for one of our quieter years. In 2013, the state only had 15 tornadoes, which appears to be one of the fewest in a season on record.