MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Friday marks the anniversary of the earliest tornadoes in Minnesota state history.

On March 6, 2017, three EF-1 tornadoes touched down in Minnesota. Two were near the Iowa border, in Freeborn and Faribault counties. The third was in central Minnesota, in Zimmerman, about 45 miles north of the Twin Cities.

The tornadoes damaged trees, power lines, homes, and other buildings, but there were no reports of injuries. They were part of a larger severe storm system that included damaging hail and winds.

Prior to 2017, the earliest verified tornado on record in Minnesota occurred on March 18, 1968, in Martin County.

Meteorologist Mike Augustyniak said that Friday’s anniversary is a good reminder for Minnesotans that “severe weather can occur much earlier in the season than many people realize.”

He added that, historically, nearly 75% of all tornadoes in Minnesota have occurred during the months of May, June and July.

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