COLLEGE STATION - Accuweather reports that the severe cold snap experienced across much of the Midwest is likely to play a key role in tornado threats this spring.

The weather forecasting service based at State College in Pennsylvania is calling for a slow start to the peak of severe weather across the United States.

However, its Feb. 17 story says tornado activity cold abruptly fire up and rival the most severe weather seasons ever.

The spring of 2011 was among the most active in recorded history with over 700 tornadoes and Accuweather says similar La Nina patterns are persisting this year.