Gulf of Mexico

Tornado Season Off to a Busy Start

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Mike Smith

Monday was a devastating severe weather day across the Midwest.

There were 531 severe weather reports with widespread damage and injuries. Thirty of those reports were tornadoes.

So far this year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Storm Prediction Center have recorded 298 preliminary tornado reports, almost double the average (average from Jan. 1 through Mar. 5 over the past 11 years).

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The 2017 tornado season has been off to an active start. There have been several fast-moving weather systems to the north tapping into moist unstable air from the Gulf of Mexico.

We have talked several times about the record warmth across much of the country, but the Gulf of Mexico has also broken a record. This is the first winter the average temperature never dropped below 73 degrees.

The extra warmth, moisture and instability has help lead to the increased severe weather this year.

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