At least 12 people have died after a severe storm system enveloped the Midwest Wednesday, marking the start of what appears to be another deadly tornado season.
According to the National Weather Service, tornadoes and powerful winds tore off roofs, downed power lines, tossed mobile homes and injured more than 150 people from Kansas to Kentucky, the New York Times said.
One of the areas that was hit hardest by these early-season storms was Harrisburg, a small town in southern Illinois. According to Lt. Tracy Felty of the Saline County Sheriff's Office, six people were killed in the storm and about 100 more were injured.
Another city damaged by the storm system is country music showcase, Branson, Missouri. An EF2 tornado smashed at least seven miles of the city's commercial strip, leaving 33 people hurt- most with minor injuries, CNN reported.
The number of tornadoes wasn't necessarily higher than normal for this time of year. But it was in densely populated areas, according to CNN meteorologist Sean Morris. Most tornado outbreaks in late winter or early spring generally occur in the southern and central Plains, which are less populated.
However, as the U.S. transitions into March and April, it's likely that severe weather events will increase in frequency, Greg Carbin, a warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center, told the New York Times.