Updraft®

Tracking twisters: 52 tornado reports in Minnesota so far this year

It now appears more than a dozen tornadoes touched down last Friday

It’s been an active tornado year in Minnesota.

Preliminary reports from NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center show 52 tornadoes in Minnesota so far in 2020.

Severe weather reports in 2020
Severe weather reports in 2020
NOAA Storm Prediction Center

That’s nearly double the long-term annual average of 28 twisters reported by the Minnesota Climate Working Group between 1950 and 2018.

Minnesota tornado statistics
Minnesota tornado statistics
Minnesota DNR Climate Working Group

Tornado numbers vary widely year to year across the Upper Midwest, and that shifts longer-term averages. Recent trends indicate the number of tornadoes in Minnesota is rising overall. The 30-year average through 2014 is 36 tornadoes per year in Minnesota.

30-year tornado average by state through 2014
30-year tornado average by state through 2014
NOAA Storm Prediction Center

A baker’s dozen Friday?

Storm surveys continue to confirm additional tornado reports from last Friday, Aug. 14. Tuesday, NWS Twin Cities tweeted out information on an additional three tornadoes from last Friday in Todd and Morrison counties.

By my preliminary count that makes a total of 13 tornadoes in Minnesota on AUg. 14. Keep in mind preliminary reports are assessed to remove multiple sightings and ground survey confirmation. The final numbers for Friday and the 2020 season may still change.

A record 113 tornadoes skipped across Minnesota in 2010. That year features the biggest single-day tornado outbreak in Minnesota history with a total of 48 on June 17, 2010.

It’s interesting to note that if you look at the past 11 years starting with the record year of 2010, the annual average for tornado reports in Minnesota is closer to 43 per year.