Unusually warm winter in US leads to tornadoes in unusual places

Temperatures more typical of spring have dominated much of the country in recent weeks. The result has been some severe weather storms in places that don't usually get it during winter.

California, Illinois, Wisconsin and Kansas were all the recipients of tornadoes during the past week, which some would call a rarity, especially during the winter months.

Videos from the damage zones also showed a lack of snow, which just indicated how warm it was to support the recent bought of strong thunderstorms and tornadic activity.

The country is on track to finish the winter as the warmest on record in just a few short weeks, so saying there were tornadoes in communities that usually don’t see them in February actually makes the situation more normal than it would if any resemblance of winter existed.

The strongest of the tornadoes was an EF-2 that tore through southern Wisconsin with maximum winds of 135 mph.

The strong storms triggered the first Tornado Warnings ever issued in the Badger State during February and caused substantial damage to homes and businesses.


Badger State tornadoes

The first tornadoes ever recorded in Wisconsin in February occurred just after temperatures reached record status Thursday. Madison reported a daily record high of 59 degrees, and Milwaukee had a temperature of nearly 60 degrees.

According to the National Weather Service office in Milwaukee, the first tornado touched down in Green County, Wisconsin, and was on the ground for more than 8 miles. The second tornado, near Evansville, was a bit stronger and said it was on the ground for nearly 25 miles.

The storms damaged homes and barns, but no serious injuries were tied to the severe weather.


Golden State tornadoes

On Wednesday, the first tornadoes in more than 20 years struck San Luis Obispo County, California.

Preceding the event, the local National Weather Service office warned that funnel clouds and waterspouts were possible along the coast as a storm system impacted California.

Both the tornadoes that impacted Pismo Beach and Grover Beach were given initial ratings of EF-1 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.

Photos and video from Grover Beach showed damage to trees and occasionally some rooflines in the usually quiet beachfront community.

Locals in the area told FOX Weather the damage was not impressive.

The last time twisters were confirmed to have struck in California was in August during Hurricane Hilary.