8/18/05: NOW: Great Lakes Area

Feb 8, 2004
Detroit, MI
Current SPC Mesoscale analysis at 18z indicates that continuous clearing is occuring invof of the warm front/OFB draped over IL/WI, with insolation/instability increasing - with CAPEs now >2000J/KG spread across the region. Cloudcover along/near the WF has prevented stronger instability to develop most of the afternoon so far. Effective bulk shear continues to be very strong across eastern IA/northern IL/southern WI, ranging from 50-65kts in the warm sector along/south of the WF. Backing SFC winds invof of the WF is contributing to strong low-level shear as well (helicity >250 M2/S2). I think the rest of the clouds that are still lingering in northern IL will quickly burn off within the next hour or two, allowing for more ample instability to develop -- when this occurs, I'd expect strong supercells to develop.
I'm becoming quite concerned about this new cloud deck that has advected/formed overhead. We had sunshine from about 12:00-2:00, but it is now fully overcast once again with the temperature starting to fall. The wf must be very close to here.

Edit: No sooner did I post, (the sky was as dark as it was at 6 AM this morning 10 seconds ago), then the sky began to lighten and we had a few moments of full sunshine. We're moving in the right direction. :)

Post-event edit: Uncanny.
Any chasers in SW WI might be interested in Richland County, WI. There is a storm entering that county that is taking on supercellular characteristics (hook echo, meso). No TOR's yet.

Tornado Warning just issued for Richland County. Very strong rotation couplet near Viola moving to the ESE.
This storm has produced damage, both to trees and homes, winds were est. to be 90mph.

Also, the Warning statement says the storm is moving east at 15, however it appers to be moving SE at around 30mph for those who are chasing the storm. There also is new development on the south side of this storm, moving toward the tornadic cell, which could lead to reduced vis. from the southern side of the storm.

EDIT, storm still appers to be heading SE or ESE, not east as the severe statement states. Speed 35-40mph.
Well, it appears that the TOR-warned storm is rooted right on the warm front -- and has definitely taken on a supercellular appearance... Instability is >3000 j/kg (SB) invof of the storm -- with deep-layer shear >45kts as well... I'd see no problem with this storm producing more tornadoes (it's already produced at least one) and given the storm low-level flow (yielding particularly strong 0-1km SRH), a few tornadoes could be pretty strong... I hope somebody is on this storm...
I hope somebody is on this storm...

This area of WI is not fun to chase in, as goes for most of SW wisconsin. Its all rolling hills and the roads can get crazy at times. Unless you're lucky, your best bet is to find a high spot and watch it if you could.
Not at all surprised to see all these reports of tornadoes so far... There has been at least a 8-12 tornado reports from the pair of supercells in southern WI. Latest SPC mesoanalysis still showing a tornado-friendly envirement, with very strong deep-layer shear and >300 0-3km SRH (locally higher), with instability >2000J/KG across most of the region, which is yielding supercell composite params in the >12 range invof of the main supercells. Rotation appeared to have died down (the Madison-area supercells) a tad on radar earlier, which led to the expiration of the earlier warnings -- but spotters/hams reported multiple tornadoes on the ground, which led to another TOR for this storm.
Damage has been reported in the city of Stoughton (pop ~12k) just to the southeast of Madison. There is a MAJOR velocity couplet northeast of Stoughton just N of US-51 and just W of I-90. Any motorists on the interstate are gonna have to deal with a potentially VERY large tornado emerging from the rain. :!:

Edit: Gr Level 3's LLDV is showing a value of 137kts. If windspeeds on the ground are anywhere near that, then this is definitely a significant tornado.
Just to let you all know, Andy Wehrle who posts often on this board, was in the path of a dangerous supercell thunderstorm at 6:37 when I told him that a tornado was turning right toward him as the supercell started to become a right mover. His IM box indicated a "log off" at 6:41 PM.

Milwaukee/Sullivan is going on the air now LIVE with a tornado message with a dangerous tornado with considerable damage in SE Dane County.

Please everyone pray that Andy is ok and that his house did not sustain damage. However the reports of the torandoes and house damage near his location are not good.


Alex Lamers
Andy is OK but they are still going Live on NWR and stressing the serious nature of the storm!

Stay safe out there if you live in SE WI particularly S Jefferson county. This sounds like it could be F3 or higher.

...Alex Lamers...
Apparently debris has been falling out of the sky in portions of Jefferson County. Still a classic signature with good couplets and gate to gate.

...Alex Lamers...
It is absolutely incredible to watch the velocities from this storm; it appears that the meso that produced the Stoughton tornado has now weakened, but that another one is forming about 5 miles to the east. Fort Atkinson (pop 12k) is in the immediate path of this developing tornado.

W O W.
I don't like the looks of these mergers. If this heads even a few degrees north of east I am in trouble.

They are still live on the air here on NWR, saying this is the most serious storm of the summer and giving very detailed information on where the tornado is. They are doing an excellent job and the service they are providing seems similar to Moore, OK tornado.

...Alex Lamers...
Based on the reports of the tornadoes/damages... I'd think the NWS would have considered issuing a Tornado Emergency -- considering there are a few populated cities in the path of these strong/violent tornadoes (Fort Atkinson, Jefferson, Whitewater...)!
New velocity couplet and associated TVS are JUST west of Fort Atkinson at this time, and anyone chasing this needs to realize that this tornado is probably wrapped in rediculous rains so be careful.

A good friend of mine and fellow meteorologist in Rock County WI bagged his first tornado today. He also stated that local news reports a tornado crossed busy interstate 90 and overturned several vehicles. Hopefully we are just limited to injuries today as southern WI is densely populated relative to the Plains.
The NWS in Sullivan has done an excellent job with this situation. They have had an extraordinary amount of lead time and the live broadcasts have provided excellent detailed information.

I tell ya...I have newspaper clippings falling out of the sky here and i was 25 miles away from the tornado. And...you can see the puncture holes from debris in the clipping. It was falling out of anvil level clouds. Also there is a great CC lightning show going on as well.

They were interviewing people from Stoughton, WI in Dane County and a guy rated damage a 10 on a scale from 1 to 10 with houses "gone". Cell phone pictures show a LARGE wedge tornado.

...Alex Lamers...
I haven't seen a supercell this long lived in WI ever. It's a classis cyclic supercell. The same one that hit Stoughton is still rotating like a beast! I can't beleive I didn't go North.
If the 24 or so tornadoes verify in Wisconsin, it will
set a monthly record and a daily record for tornadoes
for the month of August.

I looked at data for August for Wisconsin, from 1950-2004.

As more information streams in about the tornadoes in Wisconsin,
here are some links to the local tv stations and newspapers to check
out, I would check them from time to time overnight and on Friday,
to see what information is added about the tornadoes.
Local TV Station Links in Wisconsin

La Crosse WI:
http://www.wkbt.com/ -Ch. 08
http://www.wxow.com/ -Ch.19

Madison WI:
http://www.channel3000.com/index.html -Ch. 03
http://nbc15.madison.com/ -Ch.15
http://www.wkowtv.com/index.php/home -Ch. 27

Milwaukee WI:
http://www.todaystmj4.com/ -Ch. 04
http://www.fox6milwaukee.com/ -Ch. 06
http://www.themilwaukeechannel.com/index.html -Ch.12
http://www.cbs58.com/ -Ch. 58

http://www.madison.com/ -Madison WI
http://www.jsonline.com/ -Milwaukee WI

WIFI place close to the campground, and my laptop, cannot beat that,

I have a blog now, LOL.

Mike (Time to sit by the campfire)
Channel 4 in Milwaukee showed footage of a house that had no exterior walls remaining and the contents of the house were lying to the east of the foundation.

A bank slip was found in milwaukee county from the stoughton area, over 60 miles away.

...Alex Lamers...
Granted this several hours after the fact but I live in Sussex (5 miles N of Waukesha) and I witnessed leaves or what seemed be shredded corn stalks and a battered Mountain Dew label falling from the sky in the front of my complex. All I can say is, purely amazing.

I just talked to Mark Sefried, who was chasing with Scott Kampas, and they witnessed the Stoughton tornado. They also said they were much too close to it, however, said that it reminded them of the Hesston, KS tornado from 1990. THey said the tornado and sky were just filled with debris.