June 7, 2008 - Strong Tornado in Columbia County

    The following is the detailed report for the Columbia County tornado.  Images are located at bottom.

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MILWAUKEE/SULLIVAN WI
830 PM CDT SUN JUN 8 2008

...STRONG TORNADO FOUND IN COLUMBIA COUNTY EAST OF PARDEEVILLE...

THE NWS SURVEY OF THE STORM DAMAGE FROM SATURDAY AFTERNOON JUNE 7
REVEALED THAT A STRONG TORNADO...RATED EF2 ON THE ENHANCED FUJITA
SCALE...TOUCHED DOWN SATURDAY AFTERNOON IN COLUMBIA COUNTY.

THE STORM DAMAGE WAS EXTREMELY COMPLEX AND WAS ASSOCIATED WITH A
LARGE HP SUPERCELL (HEAVY PRECIPITATION SUPERCELL).

DOWNBURST STRAIGHT-LINE WIND DAMAGE CONSISTING OF NUMEROUS TREES
DAMAGED OR DOWNED EXTENDED FROM THE WISCONSIN DELLS THROUGH PORTAGE
INTO THE WESTERN PART OF PARDEEVILLE.  THIS DAMAGE WAS CONSISTENT
WITH WIND GUSTS AROUND 60 MPH.  THIS DAMAGE WAS ALSO FOUND ALONG AND
NORTH OF HIGHWAY 16 ALL THE WAY TO THE DODGE COUNTY LINE.

THE DAMAGE THEN BECAME WORSE IN THE CENTRAL AND EASTERN PORTIONS OF
PARDEEVILLE...WHERE WIND SPEEDS WERE LIKELY AROUND 70 MPH.  THE RAWS
FIRE WEATHER OBSERVATION MEASURED A GUST TO 73 MPH AROUND THIS
TIME...JUST BEFORE 230 PM CDT.

JUST NORTH OF THIS DEVELOPING DOWNBURST OF WEST TO NORTHWEST
WINDS...A TORNADO FORMED AROUND 232 PM CDT 1 MILE EAST-SOUTHEAST OF
PARDEEVILLE...JUST SOUTH OF THE INTERSECTION OF HIGHWAY P AND
PARDEEVILLE ROAD.

THE TORNADO WAS ON THE GROUND FOR ABOUT 18 MINUTES ALONG A PATH 8
MILES LONG...AND APPARENTLY LIFTED ABOUT 3 MILES SOUTH OF CAMBRIA
AROUND 250 PM CDT.  THE TORNADO TRACKED SLIGHTLY SOUTH OF EAST
DURING THE PERIOD.

WHAT WAS UNUSUAL ABOUT THIS STORM IS THE WIDTH OF WIND DAMAGE.
MINOR TREE DAMAGE WAS OBSERVED IN A 10-MILE WIDE PATH OVER NORTHEAST
COLUMBIA COUNTY IN THIS AREA...CONSISTENT WITH WIND GUSTS IN EXCESS
OF 60 MPH.  TREES TO THE NORTH OF THE TORNADO TRACK WERE BLOWN DOWN
FACING WEST...WHILE THOSE SOUTH OF THE TRACK WERE BLOWN DOWN FACING
EAST.

A 2 MILE WIDE SWATH OF MORE SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE WAS EMBEDDED...WHERE
WINDS WERE ESTIMATED IN THE 70 TO 90 MPH RANGE...OR EF0 TO EF1
DAMAGE.  THOUSANDS OF TREES WERE UPROOTED OR SNAPPED IN THE FIRST 4
MILES OF THE TORNADO TRACK FROM 1 ESE PARDEEVILLE TO 4 ESE
PARDEEVILLE.

WITHIN THIS AREA...AT TIMES SEPARATED BY 1 MILE OR MORE...WERE AREAS
OF EVEN STRONGER DAMAGE WITH SPEEDS OF 100 TO 120 MPH...INTO THE
LOWER END OF THE EF2 RANGE.  EVIDENCE STRONGLY SUGGESTS BRIEF
MULTIPLE VORTICES WERE LOCATED WITHIN THE MAIN TORNADO.  SMALL
SWATHS OF DAMAGE WERE FOUND WHERE NEARLY ALL TREES WERE SNAPPED OR
UPROOTED.  OTHER DAMAGE IN THESE SWATHS INCLUDED BARNS
DESTROYED...WELL BUILT HOUSES WITH ROOF DAMAGE AND WINDOWS BLOWN
OUT...AND A COUPLE DOZEN LARGE POWER POLES SNAPPED.  THESE SWATHS
WERE OFTEN JUST 100-200 YARDS WIDE AND LONG AND DID NOT SEEM TO
FOLLOW ANY LOGICAL PROGRESSION.

ONE OF THESE SWATHS DESTROYED JUST ABOUT EVERY WHITE PINE TREE IN A
GROVE OF 4000-6000 TREES ON ONE CITIZENS PROPERTY 3 MILES
EAST-SOUTHEAST OF PARDEEVILLE NEAR THE INTERSECTION OF PARDEEVILLE
ROAD AND HIGHWAY SS.  MOST OF THESE PINE TREES WERE SNAPPED RIGHT
NEAR THE GROUND LEVEL.

NEAR THE END OF THE TORNADO TRACK...A BARN WAS DESTROYED AND A GRAIN
SILO SHEARED IN HALF 3 MILES SOUTH OF CAMBRIA.  BEYOND THIS
LOCATION...ONLY STRAIGHT LINE WIND DAMAGE OF ABOUT 60 MPH WAS
EVIDENT TO THE DODGE COUNTY LINE.

BROAD ROTATION WAS INDICATED BY THE DOPPLER RADAR SEVERAL MILES
ACROSS...WITH AN EMBEDDED INTENSE CIRCULATION.  THUS...A TERM
SOMETIMES REFERRED TO AS A...MESOCYCLONE ON THE GROUND...PROBABLY
OCCURRED.  THE MULTIPLE SMALLER VORTEXES WERE EMBEDDED WITHIN THIS
LARGER CIRCULATION.

$$

CRAVEN/KAPELA

 


The following is an image of the damage map.   Tornado damage in red, significant wind damage within

 purple line, and minor wind damage within lime green line.   Blue arrows show primary wind direction, suggested

by direction most trees were blown down. 

 


The following is a zoomed image of the tornado path, and damage.  EF0 is up to 85 mph, EF1 is 

86-110 mph, and EF2 is 111-135 mph.  Most intense damage was estimated up to 120 mph. 


 

 

  Radar images of the storm from 232 pm to 250 pm CDT, Courtesy UCAR

 


 

Damage photos from NWS Storm Survey, about 3 miles east-southeast of Pardeeville/Springvale Wildlife Area. 

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Jeff Craven,  Science and Operations Officer

 

 


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