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By the numbers: Tornadoes, floods and more for Severe Weather Awareness Week


It's Severe Weather Awareness Week – a time when more than a dozen agencies team up to address severe weather as temps go from cold, to cool, to hot.

"We all need to be prepared, because in Minnesota, it’s not a matter of if but when," said Joe Kelly, director of Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management, in a news release.

They're focusing on one topic for each day. Monday is alerts and warnings; Tuesday is severe weather, lightning and hail; Wednesday is floods; Thursday is tornadoes; and Friday is extreme heat.

Here's a look at some severe weather numbers in Minnesota:

39 touchdowns

That's the number of reported tornado touchdowns in the state last year – the earliest coming in May, the latest in August. The highest number recorded was 104 in 2010.

0 deaths

Still, there were zero deaths related to tornadoes last year.

9.9 tornadoes

The average number of tornado touchdowns in the month of June – the highest average for any month, the DNR says.

1:45 and 6:55 p.m.

The times of two scheduled annual statewide tornado drills on Thursday, April 14. The first is for businesses and other institutions, while the second is for shift workers and families.

10 miles

That's how far away from rainfall lightning can still occur. So even if it isn't raining where you are, there can still be a danger from lightning.

15 flood deaths

The number of people killed by floods in Minnesota since 2003. Floods have killed more people in the state than any other weather event. About half of all flash-flooding victims die while in a vehicle.

105-110 degrees

If the Heat Index (how hot it feels based on the temperature, plus humidity) will be 105-110 degrees Fahrenheit for more than two straight days, the National Weather Service will usually issue an alert of some type – including an advisory, watch or warning.

3 types of warnings

The National Weather Service has three types of weather warnings.

  • An "advisory" is used when a significant weather event is coming – and although it's less serious than the other warnings, it can still be dangerous or damaging.
  • A "watch" is when conditions are "favorable for dangerous weather to occur," and you should be prepared.
  • A "warning" is severe weather is imminent, and you should take cover and precautions immediately.

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