Tornado Count & More Severe Weather

***Watch WISN 12 News for the latest on the potential for severe weather!***

Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 Blog!  In yesterday’s blog I asked which season do you prefer…winter or summer.  The results were somewhat surprising, since I thought summer would win hands down!  Below is the percentage breakdown of how you voted.

  • Summer  52%
  • Winter  48%

I have a feeling the prolonged days of hot and humid weather, along with the flooding rains and numerous tornadoes have had many saying enough is enough, let’s change seasons! 

Speaking of tornadoes, the National Weather Service updated the statewide tornado count recently.  Through Tuesday, August 17, 2010, 38 tornadoes have been documented in Wisconsin.  This makes 2010 tied with the 3rd busiet tornado year on record.  Here is a list of the top 3 tornado years on record.

  • #1  62 tornadoes, 2005
  • #2  43 tornadoes, 1980
  • #3  38 tornadoes, 2008
  • #3  38 torandoes, 2010

Since it is only August 19, I think there is a good chance we add to this total, keep in mind this is statewide.  On average Wisconsin see’s 21 tornadoes each year.

While the setup is not very good for tornadoes in our part of the the state on Friday, there is a chance of severe weather.  Remember for severe weather to occur these ingredients must be in place: moisture, lift, and instability.

By Friday afternoon a warm front will push through the upper Midwest and into the western Great Lakes.  This will swing by near the peak of afternoon heating.  As a result showers and thunderstorms are likely to develop.  Below is the forecast position of the low and warm front at 7 p.m.  The green shaded area represents the possibility of rain/storms.  Just click on the image to enlarge.

While a few showers or t-storms could be around for the start of Friday, the focus will be on the afternoon and evening.  The Storm Prediction Center’s outlook for Friday does place much of southern Wisconsin in the slight risk for severe storms.  Breaking this down even further, the map below shows the percentage probability of seeing severe weather within 25 miles of a point.

The main severe weather threats would include hail and strong winds.  We’ll watch this closely, but the better chance for severe weather in Wisconsin may reside in central and northern parts of the state.  If severe weather does occur, turn to WISN 12 for the latest information.

In the meantime, Thursday will be mainly dry, but just a slight chance of an afternoon/evening shower or t-storm.  Warmer and more humid with highs in the low to mid 80s.

Hang in there, Fall isn’t too far away, but it is still August and we are staring at another stretch of warm and humid days.

Have a great day!

Jeremy Nelson


4 Responses

  1. Still a bit fuzzy on the tornado counts.

    1. While numbers are less for prior years, does that mean that tornadoes did not happen – or they were not observed?

    2. In looking at the data, it appears that some of the reports are very near to one another yet counted separately. If a tornadic supercell drops a tornado, it lifts, and touches down a mile away again – is that one tornadic storm or two tornadoes?

    Granted, it has been an active year in the Midwest/Northern Plains – but I am not very confident in measuring it by tornado reports.

    • I hear you. I would say hands down if we had the number of people spotting/chasing that we have today,along with the technology there would be a year in the past that was close to 75-100 tornadoes for the state.


  2. Jeremy….where do you get the integrated liquid and frozen hydrometeors map for predicting cloud cover?

    • Those are on the Real Time Weather site. Just search RAP weather. I think it is the first thing that appears. Then look at the RUC/NAM/GFS stuff.


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