Tornado Outbreak of August 18, 2005
 

Last updated: August 26, 2005

Event Summary

On August 18th 2005, a low pressure system tracked across southern Wisconsin during the afternoon hours. Thunderstorms developed in the early afternoon over southeastern Minnesota and shifted into western Wisconsin by mid afternoon. At the same time, a warm front was shifting through southwest Wisconsin providing a favorable wind profile for thunderstorms with tornadoes. At 245 pm CDT, the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK issued a Tornado Watch for southwestern Wisconsin through 9 pm.

For a map of the southwestern Wisconsin tornado tracks, click here.

More!

  • Wisconsin Emergency Management Situation Reports.
  • Radar loop of the storms from about 1:30 pm to 10:30 pm.

Dexter, Mower County, MN: 12:50 pm

A BRIEF TORNADO OCCURRED IN MOWER COUNTY 4 MILES NORTH OF DEXTER AROUND 1250 PM. IT HAD A 300 YARD PATH LENGTH, 20 YARD WIDTH, AND WAS RATED F0 INTENSITY. CONFIRMED DAMAGE INCLUDED CORN BEING FLATTENED AND A DAMAGED LIVESTOCK BUILDING. THIS TORNADO HAS BEEN RATED F0 ON THE FUJITA DAMAGE SCALE. TORNADOES THAT CAUSE F0 DAMAGE USUALLY HAVE WIND SPEEDS ON THE ORDER OF 40 TO 72 MPH.
 
BEGINNING LOCATION: 4.0N DEXTER
ENDING LOCATION: 4.0N DEXTER
Photos
Dexter MN damage


Centerville, Trempealeau County, WI: 2:18 pm

A BRIEF TORNADO OCCURRED IN SOUTHWEST TREMPEALEAU COUNTY WISCONSIN. THE TOUCHDOWN...WHICH LIKELY HIT AROUND 218 PM...KNOCKED DOWN TREES ABOUT 5 MILES WEST OF CENTERVILLE...JUST NORTH OF HIGHWAY 35 ALONG COUNTY ROAD G. THE TORNADO HAD A LENGTH OF ABOUT 50 YARDS AND WIDTH OF 25 YARDS. SINCE IT TOUCHED DOWN IN A GROVE A TREES...THAT WAS THE ONLY DAMAGE. THIS TORNADO HAS BEEN RATED F0 ON THE FUJITA DAMAGE SCALE. TORNADOES THAT CAUSE F0 DAMAGE USUALLY HAVE WIND SPEEDS ON THE ORDER OF 40 TO 72 MPH.
  
BEGINNING LOCATION: 5.0W CENTERVILLE
ENDING LOCATION: 5.0W CENTERVILLE
Radar Images
radar picture
0.5 deg Reflectivity at 218 pm
radar picture
0.5 deg Storm Relative Velocity at 218 pm

Photos
tree damage picture

tree damage picture

tree damage picture


Esofea, Vernon County, WI: 3:46 pm

A TORNADO OCCURRED AT APPROXIMATELY 345 PM JUST NORTH OF COUNTY HIGHWAY KK...3.2 MILES WEST OF ESOFEA. THE TORNADO REMAINED ON THE GROUND FOR 1.2 MILES...ENDING 2 MILES WEST OF ESOFEA. THE TORNADO HAD A WIDTH OF 25 YARDS AT ITS WIDEST.

THERE WAS TREE...AGRICULTURAL...AND STRUCTURAL DAMAGE. A MOBILE HOME ON CEMENT BLOCKS WAS COMPLETELY DESTROYED. THE OCCUPANT OF THAT MOBILE HOME WAS TAKEN TO THE HOSPITAL WITH MINOR INJURIES. ANOTHER RESIDENCE SUFFERED MINOR DAMAGE...WITH WINDOWS BLOWN OUT...OUTBUILDINGS DESTROYED...AND AN AUTOMOBILE TURNED 90 DEGREES. POWER POLES WERE SNAPPED...CORN FLATTENED...AND TREES WERE DAMAGE. THIS TORNADO HAS BEEN RATED F1 ON THE FUJITA DAMAGE SCALE. TORNADOES THAT CAUSE F1 DAMAGE USUALLY HAVE WIND SPEEDS ON THE ORDER OF 73 TO 112 MPH.
  
BEGINNING LOCATION: 3.2W ESOFEA
ENDING LOCATION: 2.0W ESOFEA

For a map of the tornado track, click here.

Radar Images
radar picture
0.5 deg Reflectivity at 344 pm
radar picture
0.5 deg Storm Relative Velocity at 344 pm

Photos
Esofea damage picture
Esofea damage picture

Esofea damage picture

Esofea damage picture

Esofea damage picture

Esofea damage picture

Esofea damage picture

Esofea damage picture


Viola, Vernon County, WI: 4:05 pm - 4:40 pm

A DAMAGE PATH WAS FOUND BEGINNING 2 MILES WEST OF THE TOWN OF LIBERTY /SOUTHEAST VERNON COUNTY/...OR 5 MILES WEST OF VIOLA...PRODUCED FROM A TORNADO. RECONSTRUCTING THE TIME FROM THE RADAR DATA...IT APPEARS THIS INITIAL TOUCH DOWN WAS AROUND 405 PM THURSDAY. THE TORNADO TRAVELED EAST ON A CONTINUOUS PATH JUST NORTH OF HIGHWAY 56...TO ABOUT A BLOCK NORTH OF VIOLAS NORTHERN MOST BLOCK IN THE TOWN AT 415 PM.

THE DAMAGE SURVEY REVEALED A LARGE SWATH OF WEST TO SOUTHWEST STRAIGHT LINE WIND DAMAGE TO THE SOUTH OF THE TORNADO TRACK WHICH DIRECTLY AFFECTED THE TOWN OF VIOLA. ALMOST EVERY TREE IN THE TOWN OF VIOLA HAS BEEN DAMAGED OR DOWNED. MOST HOMES IN THE VILLAGE HAD AT LEAST MINOR DAMAGE WHILE A FEW SUSTAINED MAJOR DAMAGE INCLUDING ROOFS BLOWN OFF. MANY GARAGES IN VIOLA THAT FACED WEST OR SOUTHWEST WERE DESTROYED BY THE DIRECT IMPACT OF THE WINDS. WIND ESTIMATES WITH THE TORNADO...AND ITS WINDS TO THE SOUTH OF THE TRACK...ARE IN THE 100 TO 120 MPH RANGE. DAMAGE FROM THIS TORNADO APPEARS TO BE IN THE *LOWER* F2 RANGE ON THE FUJITA SCALE. THE F2 RANGE ESTIMATES WINDS IN THE 113 MPH TO 157 MPH RANGE.

THE TORNADO CONTINUED TO ABOUT 1 MILE EAST OF VIOLA WHERE THE DAMAGE PATH THEN BROKE AS IT ENCOUNTERED A STEEP BLUFF...AND THE PATH THEN BECAME MORE SPORADIC. AT THIS POINT THE TORNADO HAD A 6 MILE PATH LENGTH. A BROKEN PATH CONTINUES THROUGH NORTHERN RICHLAND COUNTY TO JUST NORTH OF COUNTY MM AND HIGHWAY 56...TO JUST NORTH OF THE INTERSECTION OF COUNTY A AND COUNTY I...AND INTO BLOOM CITY NEAR HIGHWAY D. IT APPEARS THAT BLOOM CITY TOOK A DIRECT HIT. THE TORNADO PATH CONTINUED EAST-SOUTHEAST AND FINALLY LIFTED 1 MILE WEST OF HUB CITY. ON THIS BROKEN PATH FROM 1 MILE EAST OF VIOLA TO 1 MILE WEST OF HUB CITY...THE INTENSITY VARIED IN THE F0 TO F1 FUJITA RANGE.

THE TOTAL PATH LENGTH OF THIS PARENT THUNDERSTORM DAMAGE AND BROKEN TORNADO PATH WAS NEARLY 20 MILES LONG.
  

BEGINNING LOCATION: 2.0W LIBERTY /VERNON COUNTY/
ENDING LOCATION: 1.0W HUB CITY /RICHLAND COUNTY/

For a map of the tornado track, click here.

Radar
radar picture
0.5 deg Reflectivity at 410 pm
radar picture
0.5 deg Storm Relative Velocity at 410 pm
Photos
Viola damage picture

Viola damage picture

Viola damage picture

Viola damage picture

Viola damage picture

Viola damage picture

Viola damage picture

Viola damage picture

Viola damage picture

Viola damage picture

Viola damage picture

Viola damage picture


Muscoda, Grant County to Orion, Richland County, WI: 4:40 pm - 4:55 pm

AT 440 PM...A TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN 1 MILE WEST OF MUSCODA...JUST NORTH OF HIGHWAY 133 AND SOUTH OF WEST PINE ROAD. A BROKEN PATH OF DOWNED TREES WAS TRACKED NORTHEAST AFFECTING THE VERY NORTHERN PORTION OF THE TOWN OF MUSCODA. TREES WERE DOWNED IN THE PARK AND BOAT LAUNCH AREA JUST EAST OF HIGHWAY 80 ON THE WISCONSIN RIVER. DAMAGE WAS THEN FOLLOWED NORTHEAST ACROSS THE RIVER INTO THE SMALL TOWN OF ORION. THE TORNADO TRACKED THROUGH THE TOWN AROUND 450 PM...AFFECTING ABOUT 10 HOMES AND MOBILE HOMES IN THE PATH WITH MANY DOWNED TREES AND POWER LINES. STRUCTURAL DAMAGE TO HOMES OCCURRED MAINLY FROM FALLEN TREES. THE TORNADO PATH THEN CONTINUED TO 2 MILES NORTHEAST OF ORION WHERE THE DAMAGE CROSSED INDIAN CREEK ROAD AND HIGHWAY OO. THE PATH ENDED JUST PAST HIGHWAY OO ABOUT 1 MILE NORTH OF HIGHWAY 60.

IN THE TOWN OF ORION...MANY RESIDENTS HEARD THE ROARING OF THE WINDS PRIOR TO THE TORNADO APPROACHING AND TOOK SHELTER. THEY ALSO DESCRIBED UNUSUALLY LARGE WATER DROPS FALLING...WITH A WHITE COLOR...PRIOR TO THE TORNADO. THIS WAS POSSIBLY WATER PICKED UP FROM THE WISCONSIN RIVER FROM THE APPROACHING TORNADO /WATERSPOUT OVER THE RIVER/. THE PATH LENGTH OF THE TORNADO WAS 4.0 MILES WITH A WIDTH OF ABOUT 40 YARDS.

THE TORNADO WAS RATED F0 IN INTENSITY ON THE FIRST PORTION OF THE TRACK IN GRANT COUNTY AND THEN INCREASED TO LOWER F1 CATEGORY DAMAGE IN ORION AND TO THE NORTHEAST FOR ABOUT 1/2 MILE. TORNADOES THAT CAUSE F1 DAMAGE USUALLY HAVE WIND SPEEDS ON THE ORDER OF 73 TO 112 MPH.
  

BEGINNING LOCATION: 1.0W MUSCODA /GRANT COUNTY/
ENDING LOCATION: 2.0NE ORION /RICHLAND COUNTY/

For a map of the tornado track, click here.

Proximity Hodograph from the Blue River Profiler (5 miles west of tornado, within 10 minutes).

Radar
Orion damage picture
0.5 deg Reflectivity at 448 pm
Orion damage picture
0.5 deg Storm Relative Velocity at 448 pm
Photos
Orion damage picture

Orion damage picture

Orion damage picture

Orion damage picture

Orion damage picture

Orion damage picture

Muscoda damage picture

Muscoda damage picture


Eastern Monroe County to Juneau County, WI: 4:54 pm

A TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN AT APPROXIMATELY 454 PM ALONG COUNTY ROAD N...JUST EAST OF THE INTERSTATE 90/94 SPLIT IN EASTERN MONROE COUNTY. FURTHER DAMAGE SURVEYS YIELDED A BROKEN 10 MILE TRACK FROM COUNTY N...TO JUST EAST OF THE INTERSECTION OF HIGHWAY 21 AND COUNTY ROAD H...ENDING JUST WEST OF THE NECEDAH WILDLIFE REFUGE HEADQUARTERS ON GRAND DYKE ROAD AT AROUND 515 PM.

THE INITIAL TORNADO HAD A PATH LENGTH OF 2 MILES...WITH A WIDTH OF 25 YARDS....FOLLOWED BY AN 8 MILE CONTINUING BROKEN PATH OF DAMAGE. TOTAL PATH LENGTH WAS 10 MILES. THERE WAS TREE...AGRICULTURAL...AND STRUCTURAL DAMAGE. ONE HOUSE CURRENTLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION WAS COMPLETELY DESTROYED. 3 OTHER HOMES SUSTAINED MINOR DAMAGE. CORN WAS FLATTENED...AND THERE WAS SIGNIFICANT TREE DAMAGE AS WELL.

THIS TORNADO HAS BEEN RATED F1 ON THE FUJITA DAMAGE SCALE. TORNADOES THAT CAUSE F1 DAMAGE USUALLY HAVE WIND SPEEDS ON THE ORDER OF 73 TO 112 MPH.
  

BEGINNING LOCATION: 4.5E TOMAH /MONROE COUNTY/
ENDING LOCATION: 5.0WNW NECEDAH /JUNEAU COUNTY/

For a map of the tornado track, click here.

Radar
radar picture
0.5 deg Reflectivity at 448 pm
radar picture
0.5 deg Reflectivity at 452 pm
radar picture
0.5 deg Storm Relative Velocity at 448 pm
radar picture
0.5 deg Storm Relative Velocity at 452 pm

Photos
Monroe County damage picture

Monroe County damage picture


Southwest Adams County, Wisconsin: 5:39 pm

A TORNADO BRIEFLY TOUCHED DOWN ABOUT 3 MILES NORTHEAST OF THE INTERSECTION OF HIGHWAYS 82 AND 13...IN SOUTHWEST ADAMS COUNTY AROUND 5:39 PM. MOBILE HOMES WERE DAMAGED ALONG WITH NEARBY TREES 1/2 MILE NORTH OF THE INTERSECTION OF FERN AVENUE AND 11TH AVENUE...IN THE EAST OAK VALLEY AREA PORTION OF THE SPRINGVILLE TOWNSHIP. THE TORNADO TRAVELED NORTHEAST FOR ABOUT 3/4 OF A MILE AND HAD A WIDTH OF ABOUT 30 YARDS.

THIS TORNADO WAS RATED AN F1 ON THE FUJITA DAMAGE SCALE. MOST OF THE DAMAGE WAS IN THE LOWER F1 RANGE. TORNADOES THAT CAUSE F1 DAMAGE USUALLY HAVE WIND SPEEDS ON THE ORDER OF 73 TO 112 MPH.
  

BEGINNING LOCATION: 11.0S ADAMS
ENDING LOCATION: 10.5SSE ADAMS

Radar
Orion damage picture
0.5 deg Reflectivity at 539 pm
Orion damage picture
0.5 deg Storm Relative Velocity at 539 pm

Photos
Adams County damage picture


Last updated: August 26, 2005.


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