We’re a full fortnight into Spring now and people are itching to get outside and start doing fun outdoor things. Mother Nature, however, especially for us in the Upper Midwest, refuses to let us escape Winter’s frigid grip. A strong low-pressure system working through the Central US over the last 24 hours has brought a swath of snow from the Dakotas through MN into WI and continues eastward through the Great Lakes. Areas around the Twin Cities got 6-10″ today and continues to pile up in WI. Meanwhile, on the warm side of this system, strong to severe thunderstorms rumbled their way from Indiana/Ohio all the way down to coastal TX. Strong winds accompanied severe storms from Columbus, OH down to Eastern TX into MS, and while that was the most widespread severe effect from this sytem, over 110 reports of large hail were also reported.
Storms like this aren’t rare for early Spring however. On this date in 1974, a similar but stronger low pressure system was making its way through the Central US. Over the Upper Midwest, a swath of snow fell across MN and WI accumulating up to 6-12″ (7.3″ specifically in the Twin Cities). What this system is more well-known for, however, is the widespread tornado outbreak that hit the Midwest down to the Deep South. 148 tornadoes happened over a 24-hour span in what became known as the Super Outbreak, the largest tornado outbreak on record in the US. This would remain the US record until the 2011 Outbreak which more than doubled that number! Luckily, no historic tornado outbreak will develop from this system, but we do have to be wary of all kinds of inclement weather this time of year!