Ten Year Anniversary of Wisconsin Windstorm

An intense area of low pressure moved across the Midwest on November 10, 1998, producing near hurricane force winds, rain and snow across the region. The low, which tracked from central Iowa to western Lake Superior, resulted in record minimum pressures in Iowa and Minnesota and an unusually widespread high wind event across Wisconsin.  The strong winds lasted for much of the day.

The strongest wind recorded in the area was 73 mph near Appleton. Other gusts included 72 mph in Oshkosh, 71 mph near Antigo, 66 mph in Rhinelander, 65 mph in Suamico (northern Brown County), 63 mph in Green Bay, 62 mph at Wisconsin Rapids and Manitowoc, 61 mph in Marshfield, and 60 mph at Gills Rock in northern Door County.

The high winds caused one fatality and an injury in the area, both in Door County.  A 67 year old woman died a week after being blown down by a strong gust of wind. Her head hit the concrete ground, causing the fatal injury.

Trees, street signs and power poles were damaged or destroyed by the strong winds across northeast, central and north-central Wisconsin.  Numerous semi-trailers were blown over on area highways, necessitating the closure of the Tower Bridge (Interstate 43) in Green Bay.  A large portion of a roof of an elementary school in Winneconne (Winnebago County) was blown off.  The top of a water tower, holding 225,000 gallons of water, was partially blown off in Kaukauna (Outagamie County), forcing the evacuation of several dozen nearby homes.  Trees and power poles were blown down in many locations across the region. South winds were so strong and persistent over Door county that homeowners on north-facing beaches on the bay of Green Bay could walk into the bay for 50 to 100 yards without getting their feet wet.  The wind was also responsible for numerous power outages across the region.  Some areas were without power for nearly three days.

Below is a surface weather chart at 6 pm CST on November 10, 1998, which shows the center of the storm system (the red "L") over western Lake Superior.
Weather map for November 10, 1998

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