I apologize for the late post. It turned out to be a rather hectic day.
Another crazy weather day in Wisconsin. What looked to be a rather mundane afternoon and evening surprises with funnel clouds, flooding, and a tornado warning.
The tornado warning was issued for central Washington county around 7:15 and lasted until 7:45 PM. This was a doppler radar indicated tornado issued because of strong rotation noted by the radar. Previously, the storm had dropped 1.25″ of rain in 30 minutes in West Bend creating some street flooding.
The storms first started in Fond du Lac county during the late afternoon along the lake breeze boundary. This boundary was the focus for the storms into the evening. It provided enough lift to get the storms going and also the boundary created enough sheer to get the storms rotating. There were reports of funnel clouds in SE Fond du Lac county around 4:00 PM. Here is one of the pictures sent to us on ulocal.
The storms then calmed down for about an hour before re-firing in Washington county. As I watched the radar it appeared that the outflow boundary(area of winds pushing away from a diminishing storm) of the earlier convection converged with the lake breeze right over West Bend. The storm stayed in place for about an hour and caused some flooding.
The storm slowly moved southeast toward Jackson and began to rotate. The National Weather Service issued the tornado warning at 7:10 for central Washington county. Thankfully, the storm never produced a tornado. There were plenty of scary looking clouds.
Much to the chagrin of many of our viewers, we stayed on the air during the warning to keep people up to date on the storm and warn them of the possible tornado. We were airing “The Bachelor” at the time. I understand the frustration of the viewers, but it is our obligation as a news station to keep people informed about severe weather. I received over 140 emails and we had hundreds of calls to the newsroom of viewers not too excited we were staying wall-to-wall. As a meteorologist, this is a very tough call. I do not want to cry wolf, but the radar had a visible hook and rotation was ongoing for about 20 minutes. I would hate to think about the outcry if we decide not to go on and a tornado hits and injures or kills someone.
Thanks for reading.