Sturtevant Tornado, Update

How appropriate that our weather completely calms down after a crazy week of weather now that I am back from vacation.  I have become legendary in our newsroom that every time I leave town, we have some wild weather. This is not something that I am happy about. Being a meteorologist, you want to be here when big events happen. I was on the Gulf coast of Florida last week and will have pictures and a blog tomorrow about the oil clean-up efforts.

We have a wonderful forecast all week with cooler temps and way less humidity. Enjoy the quieter weather.

Now, on to the update on the unusual Racine county tornado that happened Sunday afternoon. Here is the latest National Weather Service description.

Information on Racine County Tornado…Updated 4:00 PM 6/28/2010

Early in the afternoon on Sunday June 27, 2010, a lone thunderstorm developed in far southeast Wisconsin. The thunderstorm was small in size and short in height, but began to rotate as it moved into eastern Racine County. Funnel clouds began to be reported near Sturtevant, WI by local law enforcement at around 1:25 PM CDT. Downed trees and roof damage were noted along Corliss Ave just east of Wisconsin St. Two doors of the Sturtevant Fire Department were blown in (corner of Corliss and 90th St). The tornado then tracked east-southeast, flipping and moving two trailers about 50 yards as well as snapping three light poles in the same parking lot just east of Willow Rd. Additional downed trees were observed just west of the Wal-Mart parking lot along Hwy 11.  Dozens of trees were damaged and a few were uprooted.  The tornado dissipated just west of Elmwood Park at 128 pm.  However, the responsible thunderstorm continued east-southeast towards Lake Michigan.the lake, and a possible waterspout was sited right off the shoreline between Chicory Rd and County Rd KR.  Below is a map with the path:

This was a “surprise” tornado. It was not forecast by anyone and was impossible to issue any early warnings. There was no watch at the time and the storm was not a typical tornado producer. The storm followed the earlier clouds and rain and reminded me of the Hartford, Wisconsin tornado that happened on Father’s Day four years ago. The storm is known as a low-topped supercell. A supercell is a thunderstorm with a single rotating updraft. Most tornado producing thunderstorms have cloud tops above 40,000-50,000 feet. Yesterday’s storm had cloud tops below 30,000 feet.

After the storm passed, I received a great email from a viewer named David Fabian. He is the webmaster for his subdivision’s web site in Mount Pleasant. He has a nice map of where they had damage and has a lot of great photos of the damage. Take a look at the link:

Finally, a viewer also sent in to ulocal on a video of the possible waterspout from Sunday’s storm. It is 22 minutes long and I can’t definitively say whether you can see the funnel or not, but still worth taking a look at.

No severe weather in our forecast this week. Thanks for reading and have a great day.



3 Responses

  1. Welcome back Mark. If there was only some way you could have known this period would be active. Wait….

    Odd little low top supercell. I will leave it at that.

    • I’m not ready to schedule vacations around LRC.
      🙂 Mark

      • …yet 😉

        The presentation of the LRC was very successful @ AMS Miami 2010.

        This summer will be a great case study for the upcoming abstract.

        Have a great week!

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