Strong west to northwest, sustained winds of 25 to 39 mph with gusts to 50 to 64 mph raked south-central
and southeast Wisconsin during the afternoon and evening hours of November 12, 2003. Refer to this
graphic for a plot of peak wind gusts. The image includes peak wind gusts from official NWS sites and
unofficial TV/school sites or severe weather spotters. A .thank you. is extended to WITI TV-6 in Milwaukee
and WTMV TV-15 in Madison for wind data archived at their many associated school sites in their respective
coverage areas, as well as to other severe weather spotters.
The strong winds were the result of deepening low pressure moving across northern Wisconsin. A strong cold
front trailing from the low pressure preceded the strong winds. Ahead of the cold front, temperatures were
in the 50 to 60 degree range, but behind the front temperatures dropped to the 30s and scattered snow showers
Officially, measured peak wind gusts of 52 mph were recorded at the Waukesha and Burlington airports.
Unofficially, peak wind gusts of 64 mph in Milton, Rock County (WTMV-15 Madison Weathernet site), and
61 mph on the southwest side of Watertown, Jefferson County (severe weather spotter). Most other locations
had gusts in the 45 to 55 mph range.
There were many reports of broken tree branches bringing down tree branches which resulted in electrical
power outages, and in some cases, whole trees were uprooted. Many commercial jet airplane flights were either
delayed or cancelled at the Madison and Milwaukee airports.