Lack of Tornadoes in Minnesota: 2009

On June 17, 2009 the first tornado was reported in Minnesota in Wilkin County. Since 1950, The only other years that had not seen a tornado by this date are: June 19, 1951, June 23, 1952. Tornado statistics can be tricky. Over the years tornadoes reports have been increasing, but this doesn't mean that there are more tornadoes now than in 1950. Over time the ability to detect tornadoes has improved with better radar, trained spotting networks, and simply more people to see tornadoes. The population in Minnesota increased from about 3 million people in 1950 to about 5 million by 2000.

Along with the lack of tornadoes in Minnesota this year, there has been a lack of thunderstorms as well. Thunder has been reported at the Twin Cities International Airport on only 6 days so far through June 15, the average number of days with thunder is 12.

There are a couple of reasons why there haven't been any tornadoes in Minnesota so far in 2009. One factor in May was the dry spell over southern and central Minnesota. For the month of June, the boundary between warm muggy air and cooler air has stayed over Iowa and Missouri, keeping the severe thunderstorms south of the Minnesota border. For the United States as a whole through June 15 tornado counts are roughly average.

The Chanhassen National Weather Service provided a more detailed tornado list back to 1950.

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT...UPDATED
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
110 AM CDT MON JUN 15 2009

UPDATED THE LAST SECTION REGARDING METRO WARNINGS

...LATE START THIS YEAR FOR MINNESOTA TORNADOES...

THERE HAVE BEEN ONLY FOUR YEARS WITH A LATER START THAN THIS YEAR
FOR THE TORNADO SEASON IN MINNESOTA...1950...1951...1952 AND
1992. THE LATEST DATE FOR THE FIRST TORNADO OF THE YEAR WAS JUNE
23 IN 1952. TORNADOES BEGAN BEING COUNTED IN 1950.

HERE ARE THE DATES OF THE FIRST TORNADO IN MINNESOTA FOR EACH
YEAR...AND THE COUNTY OR COUNTIES IN WHICH THAT TORNADO OCCURRED.
IF THERE WERE MULTIPLE TORNADOES ON A GIVEN DAY...ONLY THE FIRST
TORNADO OF THE DAY IS LISTED.

1950...JUNE 15....WILKIN
1951...JUNE 19....MCLEOD/WRIGHT/HENNEPIN/ANOKA
1952...JUNE 23....SWIFT
1953...MARCH 21...STEARNS
1954...MAY 30.....STEARNS
1955...APRIL 19...LINCOLN
1956...MAY 10.....NOBLES
1957...MAY 14.....DODGE
1958...MAY 24.....WASHINGTON
1959...MAY 4......REDWOOD
1960...MAY 19.....FREEBORN
1961...MAY 14.....WASECA
1962...MAY 18.....WATONWAN/BLUE EARTH
1963...JUNE 9.....WASECA
1964...APRIL 13...OLMSTED
1965...MAY 5......STEARNS
1966...JUNE 5.....PIPESTONE
1967...APRIL 2....FARIBAULT
1968...MARCH 18...WATONWAN
1969...MAY 31.....DODGE
1970...APRIL 15...STEVENS
1971...MAY 31.....JACKSON
1972...MAY 24.....BLUE EARTH
1973...MAY 9......MCLEOD
1974...APRIL 27...NORMAN
1975...MAY 11.....NOBLES
1976...APRIL 14...ST LOUIS/LAKE
1977...MAY 4......SWIFT
1978...MAY 27.....JACKSON
1979...MAY 17.....NOBLES
1980...MAY 26.....LINCOLN
1981...MARCH 25...MORRISON
1982...MAY 10.....TRAVERSE
1983...JUNE 12....AITKIN
1984...APRIL 26...STEVENS
1985...APRIL 20...MURRAY
1986...APRIL 26...NOBLES
1987...MAY 10.....GOODHUE
1988...MAY 7......CLAY
1989...MAY 24.....SIBLEY
1990...APRIL 23...SWIFT
1991...MARCH 20...FARIBAULT
1992...JUNE 16....NOBLES
1993...MAY 6......LYON
1994...APRIL 25...ROCK
1995...APRIL 18...MOWER
1996...MAY 2......ROCK
1997...JUNE 5.....WINONA
1998...MARCH 29...NOBLES
1999...JUNE 5.....SCOTT
2000...APRIL 27...CHIPPEWA
2001...MAY 1......BLUE EARTH
2002...MAY 28.....WILKIN
2003...MAY 14.....BROWN
2004...APRIL 18...NOBLES
2005...MARCH 30...MOWER
2006...MAY 7......POLK
2007...MAY 23.....GOODHUE
2008...MAY 25.....ANOKA

TABULATING THE MONTHS IN WHICH THESE TOUCHED DOWN...THE MONTH OF MAY
IS THE MOST COMMON FOR MINNESOTA TO SEE ITS FIRST TORNADO.
MARCH....6
APRIL...14
MAY.....30
JUNE.....9

EARLIEST...MARCH 18 1968...6 MILES NORTH OF TRUMAN
LATEST.....JUNE 23 1952....3 MILES SOUTHEAST OF BENSON
FARTHEST NORTH...APRIL 14 1976...12 MILES NORTHWEST OF ELY AT BIG
MOOSE LAKE..TO 12 MILES NORTHEAST OF ELY AT BASSWOOD LAKE

FOR WISCONSIN...THE BADGER STATE HAS SEEN TWO TORNADOES THUS FAR
IN 2009. THE FIRST WAS ON APRIL 26 IN GRANT COUNTY WHILE THE
LATTER WAS ON JUNE 8 IN WAUKESHA COUNTY.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

ALSO...THERE HAVE BEEN NO TORNADO WARNINGS ISSUED ANYWHERE IN
MINNESOTA SO FAR THIS YEAR. SINCE 1986...THE FIRST TORNADO WARNING
HAS COME IN JUNE SEVERAL TIMES. THE LATEST DATES ARE LISTED BELOW.
THE NWS COMPUTER SYSTEM IS ONLY ABLE TO GO BACK TO 1986 TO RETRIEVE
DATES OF TORNADO WARNINGS.

1...1995...JUNE 27
2...1988...JUNE 19
3...1992...JUNE 16
4...2009...JUNE 14 AND COUNTING

--------------------------------------------------------------------

FINALLY...AND THE REASON FOR THIS UPDATE...THE NATIONAL WEATHER
SERVICE IN CHANHASSEN HAS YET TO ISSUE A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM OR
TORNADO WARNING THIS YEAR FOR ANY PORTION OF THE SEVEN COUNTY TWIN
CITIES METRO AREA.  THIS MAKES 2009 AS THE YEAR WITH THE LATEST
START TO WARNINGS FOR THE METRO.  THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS SET IN
1992 WHEN THE FIRST SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING WAS ISSUED ON JUNE
14.

SINCE 1986...THE AVERAGE FIRST WARNING FOR THE METRO AREA HAS BEEN
ON MAY 6.   AS FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNINGS...ONE THING TO
REMEMBER IS THAT IN 2009 THE NWS OFFICES ACROSS THE MIDWEST CHANGED
THE HAIL CRITERION FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNINGS TO ONE INCH IN
DIAMETER FROM THREE-QUARTERS OF AN INCH.  BUT EVEN IF THE HAIL
CRITERION WAS STILL THREE-QUARTERS OF AN INCH...IT IS DOUBTFUL
THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN ANY WARNINGS THIS YEAR ANYWAY.

$
FRIEDLEIN/KRAUSE
 
Last modified: January 6, 2017
For more information contact: climate@umn.edu