2010 WI Tornado Count = 46 (Updated Jan 10th)

During the calendar year of 2010, 46 tornadoes were documented in Wisconsin, which makes 2010 the 2nd busiest year on record.  In 2005, 62 tornadoes occurred in the Badger state.

The 45th and 46th Wisconsin tornadoes occurred on November 22nd.  November tornadoes in Wisconsin, though rare, are not unheard of.  Going back through the weather archives, we found that there have been a total of 7 documented tornadoes in Wisconsin in November.  At least one tornado was documented in Wisconsin in November in these years...1971, 1960, 1911, 1908, 1883.  Tornado documentation prior to 1950 wasn't as complete as it is today, therefore, some November tornadoes may be missing.

Five of the tornadoes in 2010 have been rated EF2, and one tornado had a path length of almost 31 miles.  No one has been killed by a tornado this year, but there have been a total of 21 injured people in four of the tornadoes.  In summary, there were 18 tornadoes rated as EF0, 23 rated as EF1, and 5 rated as EF2.  No Wisconsin tornadoes in 2010 were rated as EF3, EF4, or EF5. Details are in the table below. 

Unknown or missing information in the table below is indicated by a question mark, or left 'blank.".

Monetary loss estimates are not available for agricultural buildings or crops associated with the June 21st tornadoes.   The listed property damage amounts for the June 21st tornadoes reflect only private sector losses in residential homes and businesses, as provided by the Wisconsin Emergency Management team.

You'll want to check back with this Top News of the Day story on occasions as we obtain updated information.  Click on image for a larger version.   

 2010 Wi tor list

Below is a 2010 listing of the tonado count done by county.  Note: this will add up to more than 46 since some of the tornadoes traveled from one county into the next.

Dane -7, Jefferson -5, Polk -3, Green Lake -3, Waukesha -3, Barron -3, Racine -3, Ashland -2, Burnett -2, Kenosha -2, Marquette -2, Pierce -2, Winnebago -2, Iron -1, St. Croix -1, Dunn -1, Buffalo -1, Clark -1, Jackson -1, Crawford -1, Lafayette -1, Columbia -1, Sheboygan -1, Rock-1, Walworth -1, Brown -1.


Below is a map showing the general locations of the tornadoes that occurred in Wisconsin in 2010.

 2010 WI tor plot 


Wisconsin normally has 21 tornadoes each year based on 1971-2000 data.  Below is a statistical breakdown of how many tornadoes normally occur each month in the state.  We round up the 20.5 to 21.  

 Jan

Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Total
0.0 0.0 0.2 1.3 3.0 5.9 5.1 2.8 1.8 0.3 0.0 0.0 20.5

The last F5/EF5 tornado to affect Wisconsin was the Oakfield tornado on July 18, 1996.  Below is a breakdown of the strength of tornadoes going back to 1982.

February is the only month with no documented tornado in Wisconsin going back to 1844.  However, once again, documentation prior to 1950, especially in the 1800s, wasn't as complete as it is today.  Therefore, a February tornado may have occurred, but we just can't prove it.

Below is year-by-year breakdown of Wisocnsin tornadoes by strength (F-Scale/EF-Scale).  In 1982, the NWS started to rate all tornadoes using the old F-Scale rating system.

Table 4.2.2 - 2 Wiscosnin Tornado Ratings 
Year F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 Total
1982 1 9 6 0 0 0 16
1983 16 10 3 1 1 0 31
1984 10 8 10 3 2 1 34
1985 3 7 6 0 0 0 16
1986 4 4 5 1 0 0 14
1987 8 8 0 0 0 0 16
1988 8 19 7 1 0 0 35
1989 9 7 1 0 0 0 17
1990 0 6 3 0 0 0 9
1991 5 3 2 0 0 0 10
1992 6 16 2 2 0 0 26
1993 27 9 1 0 0 0 37
1994 8 18 6 2 1 0 35
1995 5 2 0 0 0 0 7
1996 11 7 2 0 0 1 21
1997 6 6 2 0 0 0 14
1998 16 3 3 2 0 0 24
1999 8 2 0 0 0 0 10
2000 11 6 1 0 0 0 18
2001 7 4 0 1 0 0 12
2002 18 5 2 1 0 0 26
2003 10 4 0 0 0 0 14
2004 22 10 2 2 0 0 36
2005 43 16 2 1 0 0 62
2006 10 2 0 0 0 0 12
2007 13 3 1 1 0 0 18
2008 23 13 1 1 0 0 38
2009 11 5 0 0 0 0 16
2010 17 24 5 0 0 0 46
TOT 336 236 73 19 4 2 670
Year F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5

Below is a month-by-month breakdown of the number of tornadoes in Wisconsin from 2010 going back to 1844.  The grand total through 2010 is 1457 documented tornadoes. Were there more tornadoes than 1457 - yes.  Documentation of tornadoes in the 1800s up to about 1950 was hit or miss.  Unless a tornado went right up Main Street during the daylight hours, it probably was never reported or documented.. 

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec  
Totals 3 0 18 102 225 426 323 190 125 30 9 6 1457
% Total 0.2% 0.0% 1.2% 7.0% 15.4% 29.2% 22.2% 13.0% 8.6% 2.1% 0.6% 0.4%  

Below is the yearly tornado count for Wisconsin going back through 1960:

WI Yearly tor count

You can find additional information for a variety of Wisconsin severe weather events by clicking here.

You can find additional information (Storm Write-ups) on some of the more newsworthy tornadoes in south-central and southeast Wisconsin by clicking here.

Severe weather spotter information and other resources can be found by clicking on our SkyWarn Page.

Specific information on how to tell the difference between tornadoes, funnel clouds, rotating wall clouds, and just plain scary-looking clouds, read this document.

Information about our Scary Looking Cloud Club can be found by clicking here.



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