A tornado — you read it right — has hit Illinois this afternoon. Temperatures in the Chicago area hit near 70 just as hail hit the Wisconsin/Illinois border. A tornado watch is still up for sections of southern Wisconsin.
I’m sure I’m jumping the gun on colleague Paul Huttner, who writes the Updraft blog for MPR, but I couldn’t wait to find out whether Minnesota has ever gotten a tornado in November.
According to the Minnesota Climatology Working Group, a tornado has never struck Minnesota this late in the year:
In Minnesota, tornadoes have occurred in every month from March through November. The earliest verified tornado in Minnesota occurred on March 18, 1968, north of Truman, and the latest in any year on November 16, 1931, east of Maple Plain. Historically and statistically, June is the month of greatest frequency with July not far behind. May has the third greatest frequency, followed closely by August. Nearly 3/4 of all tornadoes in Minnesota have occurred during the three months of May (15%), June (37%), and July (25%).
In 1996, fourteen tornadoes touched down in the state on October 26, according to the National Weather Service.
But of the 1,653 tornadoes that have hit Minnesota since 1950, only one came in November.