May 22nd Wisconsin Severe Weather Summary - Updated 345 pm May 31st

Updated - 345  pm Tuesday May 31st

What's new - added picture of hail stone in Marquette County

Documented Wisconsin tornado count for May 22nd.........11. 

Documented Wisconsin 2011 tornado count through May 30th......26.

Average annual Wisconsin tornado count for 1981-2010...........23.

Note:  all information and graphics are preliminary and may change.


 A Top 10 Day for Wisconsin for the Second Straight Month


A severe weather episode in April, 2011, produced the 6th highest number of tornadoes in a day for Wisconsin on record, the highest for any day in April. The severe weather episode on May 22nd ended up with the 10th most tornadoes in a day across the state, the second highest for any day in May. It has been a busy start to the severe weather season for the state, with the total of 26 tornadoes already surpassing the new 1981-2011 annual average of 23.  The old average was 21 per year for the period of 1971-2000.

The severe weather was generated by a low pressure system which passed through Minnesota into northern Wisconsin Sunday, May 22nd, dragging a cold front through the state.  A strong jet stream aloft combined with a strong low-level jet stream about 5000 feet above the ground level to create strong wind shear that lead to supercell thunderstorms with embedded mesocyclone rotations in the updrafts. Several lines of strong to severe thunderstorms formed ahead of the cold front, beginning in the early afternoon and lasting until midnight Sunday night. While initially many of the storms were discrete cells, the storms eventually filled in over southern Wisconsin Sunday evening, producing a bow echo through far southeast Wisconsin. Tornadoes and hail were the main threats early on across the state, with damaging straight line winds becoming the main threat with the development of the bow echo.  Some of the hail stones were on the order of 4 to 4.25 inches in diameter in parts of Waushara, Winnebago, and Marquette County. The southern parts of Walworth and Kenosha County experienced thunderstorm straight-line winds gusts to probably around hurricane-force (74 mph or higher).

The table below lists the top 10 days in Wisconsin for number of tornadoes going back to 1844.


     ...RANK...      ...DATE...      ...NUMBER OF EVENTS...

         01          AUG 18 2005               27

         02          MAY 08 1988               24

         03          JULY 03 1983              22

         04          JUNE 08 1993              18

         05          JUNE 23 2004              17

         06          APRIL 10 2011             15

         07          JUNE 07 2008              13

         07          AUGUST 09 1979         13

         09          JULY 18 1996               12

         10          MAY 22 2011                11 


Quick Summary of May 22, 2011 Tornadoes

EF2...two           EF1...three           EF0...six

Fatalities...none       Injuries...3 minor at a camp ground in Wood County

 

Time
(PM CDT)
County
Start
End
EF
Path
Length
Path
Width
Max Wind
233-238
Price
12.7 SW Park Falls
10.2 SW Park Falls
EF1
2.8 miles
600 yds
N/A
423-427
La Crosse
La Crosse
La Crosse
EF2
2.3 miles
150 yds
120 mph
447-500 Monroe
1 SW Rockland
2 SE Sparta
EF1
8 miles
125 yds
N/A
515-646

Monroe/Juneau Wood/Portage

4 NW Tomah
9 SE Plover
EF2
65 to 68 miles
800 yds
120 mph
539-541
Price
4.5 W Prentice
4.3 W Prentice
EF0
1 mile
390 yds
N/A
552
Price
4 NNW Prentice
4 NNW Prentice
EF0
1 mile
420 yds
N/A
601-604
Price
6.5 ESE Phillips
6.9 ESE Phillips
EF0
1.9 miles
370 yds
N/A
626
Price
17 NE Phillips
17 NE Phillips
EF0
0.8 miles
280 yds
N/A
733
Green Lake
2 SSW Kingston
2 SSW Kingston
EF0
0.1 miles
30 yds
70 mph
747-755
Green Lake
0.3 NW Markesan
4.5 NNE Markesan
EF0
4.7 miles
50 yds
N/A
N/A
Barron
Brill
Brill
EF1
2 miles
300 yds
95 mph

 
 Graphic Showing Tornado Paths (click on image for larger version)                                   

     

Note:  a very long-track tornado spun up in Monroe County northwest of Tomah on May 22, 2011, and moved northeast into southern Wood County and traveled through the area south of Wisconsin Rapids and then into southern Portage County and ended about 9 miles southeast of Plover.  This track is on the order of 65 to 68 miles....one of the longest tornadoes in Wisconsin's recorded history. Preliminary results indicate that this tornado was the 15th longest tornado in Wisconsin.  The longest-tracked tornado in Wisconsin was 170 miles in Pierce and Iron Counties on April 5, 1929.   The 1929 tornado killed 12 people and injured 100 on a track from southwest of River Falls to the Van Buskirk area.

It is still possible this long-tracked tornado may be split into two separate tornadoes, pending additional investigation by the Green Bay and La Crosse NWS offices.   


Damage Survey Results (including pictures)

The NWS offices in Milwaukee/Sullivan, Green Bay,  La Crosse, Minneapolis/Chanhassen, and Duluth conducted surveys.  Detailed information from each office can be found here:

La Crosse

Green Bay

Minneapolis

Duluth

Milwaukee/Sullivan (see below)

A damage survey in Green Lake County in conjunction with the Green Lake County Sheriff and the Green Lake County Emergency Management Director found evidence of two separate tornadoes in Green Lake County.  Details follow......

PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MILWAUKEE/SULLIVAN WI
341 PM CDT MON MAY 23 2011

..TIME...          ...EVENT...      ...CITY LOCATION...                ...LAT.LON...
..DATE...         ....MAG....      ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST..     ...SOURCE....
          

0733 PM     TORNADO          2 SSW KINGSTON          43.67N 89.14W
05/22/2011                              GREEN LAKE          WI   LAW ENFORCEMENT

            EF0 TORNADO SPUN UP AT AN ESTIMATED TIME OF 733 PM AND
            LASTED LESS THAN 1 MINUTE. ESTIMATED WINDS OF 70 MPH.
            THERE WAS DAMAGE TO LARGE TREE BRANCHES...A SHED DOOR AT
            A FARM WAS PUSHED IN AND A PLASTIC GREENHOUSE WAS LIGHTLY
            DAMAGED. PATH WIDTH OF 30 YARDS...PATH LENGTH 0.1 MILE.
            INFORMATION FROM COUNTY SHERIFF AND NWS STORM SURVEY.

0747 PM     TORNADO          NW MARKESAN             43.71N 88.99W
05/22/2011                              GREEN LAKE         WI   LAW ENFORCEMENT

            EFO TORNADO STARTED 0.3 MILES NW OF MARKESAN AND ENDED
            4.5 MILES NNE OF MARKESAN. PATH WIDTH 50 YDS...PATH
            LENGTH 4.7 MILES. TORNADO BEGAN AT 747 PM AND ENDED AT
            755 PM. LARGE TREE BRANCHES DOWN. 2 SMALL TREES UPROOTED.
            INFORMATION FROM COUNTY SHERIFF AND NWS SURVEY.

Below is a graphic showing locations of the two EF0 tornadoes in Green Lake County...

Green Lake Tor plot

 

Pictures of typical tree damage associated with the tornado in the Markesan area....

 damage pic 1

damage pic 2

damage pic 3

Below is a picture of a hail stone that fell near Oxford in Marquette County

Oxford hailstone



Local Storm Report Graphic (Includes hail, wind and rain reports) for South-central and Southeast Wisconsin

(Clickk on image for larger version)

  

Note:  two areas in south-central and southeast Wisconsin experienced wind damage in addition to any hail that fell (not totally reflected in the graphic above). One swath of wind damage extended from southern Rock county across southern Walworth County through Kenosha County and southern Racine County.  Another swath extended from southern Dodge County across Washington County. Based on damage reports, peak wind gusts in both swaths were in the 60 to 90 mph range.  Damage consisted of uprooted trees, broken tree branches, and torn gutter, siding, and roff shingles.  There was a report of a removal of 1/4 of a barn's roof in the area south-southwest of Iron Ridge in Dodge County.

Summary of Preliminary Local Storm Reports

More Graphics of Preliminary Local Storm Reports


Radar Loops Showing the Path of Green Lake Tornadoes (highlighted by the black circle)

                  

Summary of Preliminary Local Storm Reports

More Graphics of Preliminary Local Storm Reports

 




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