Mississippi EF-5 Tornado & Wisconsin’s Weekend Weather

***Watch WISN 12 News for the latest weather information and live reports from Alabama!***

Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog.  Before we discuss the weather you can expect this weekend close to home, I want to pass along new information from the tornadoes that hit the south.

The National Weather Service is continuing to conduct storm assessment surveys of the reported 211 tornadoes that hit the U.S. on April 27.  One of those tornadoes has now been classified as an EF-5…the strongest and most violent type of tornado.  That tornado hit Smithville, Mississippi with winds estimated at 205 mph.  It was the first EF-5 or F-5 tornado to hit the state since 1966!

Here is a list of the most recent EF-5 tornadoes in the U.S.

  • Smithville, MS  April 27, 2011
  • Parkersburg, IA  May 25, 2008
  • Greensburg, KS  May 4, 2007

Without question more tornadoes will be rated EF-5 from this most recent outbreak.  The pictures are so hard to believe because the tornadoes hit such a vast area producing widespread damage.  And just the sheer number of tornadoes that day will likely make this the worst tornado outbreak ever!

The picture below is the the path of the Smithville tornado as it spin through the town. 

Smithville Mississippi Tornado

While a slight risk of severe weather exists on Saturday from the mid-Mississippi river valley to the southern Plains, I’m not expecting anything along the lines of what we saw this past week.

On Saturday, a warm front will try to nose into southern Wisconsin.  The surface map below shows the warm front(red color) over the southwest part of the state at 1 p.m.  A trailing cold front is quickly on its heels in Minnesota and Iowa.

The cold front will produce southeast Wisconsin with a chance of showers and t-storms late Saturday.

Surface Saturday April 30

With the warm front holding off its approach until late in the day, gusty southeast winds will rule.  That means winds flowing over the chilly Lake Michigan waters will keep lakeshore areas cooler for much of the day.  Our in-house high resolution computer model…the RPM…is indicating the cooler temperatures near the lake on Saturday at 1pm.

Notice that areas like Milwaukee will be in the 50s, while inland closer to Lake Geneva and Jefferson readings will be in the low to mid 60s!

RPM Temperatures Saturday April 30

As surface winds turn a little more south late in the day, after 4pm, I expect Milwaukee to bounce into the 60s for a time.  But areas like Port Washington and Sheboygan will suffer the ‘cooler by the lake’ syndrome all day!

Scattered showers and t-storms are possible late Saturday, likely holding off until after 5pm in the metro.  Any t-storms that fire should stay below severe levels.  I just don’t think enough heat and moisture will be in place to get the storms to reach severe criteria.

Make sure to watch WISN 12 News for the latest timing on the rain chance for Saturday, and don’t forget to use our interactive radar to track the storms from your home or on the go.  Just click here Interactive Radar

Please leave your thoughts and questions in the comments section of the blog.  Look for the long range May-Summer forecast in this weekend’s blog!

Have a great day!

Jeremy Nelson


7 Responses

  1. Hi, Jeremy —

    FYI — The pictures and the maps you refer to in the 4/29 blog aren’t there — at least not on my computer screen — just large empty spaces.

    Also a question — On Sat. 5/7, we’re having a brat fry fundraiser — an outdoor event in a grocery store parking lot in Beaver Dam. can you give me a hint as to what type of weather to expect?



    • Jeremy —

      Ignore the FYI part in my first post. I got off the WISN site — and came back a minute or two later and all the graphics are now in place.

      If you have time, please do answer the question. about next Saturday.



    • Don,

      As long as the slow moving low clears by Saturday, which I hope it will, May 7 should be dry. Before the signature storm arrives there should also be a smaller system that passes by, but hopefully that is not until Sunday. Just stay updated all week long and check back from time to time.


      • Jeremy,

        Thanks for the info. I hope that your hope about the slow moving low moving out by the 7TH comes to reality. Maybe if we both hope hard enough?? 🙂

        Am I hoping in vain if I hope for a light breeze and temps in the 60’s to low 70’s on the 7TH??


  2. Jeremy,

  3. Jeremy,
    I know the signature storm is expected to arrive around May 10th, do you think northern wisconsin will see any accumulating snow from this event especially once the backside pushes in? Also, do you think the warm up tha occured April 10th will repeat itself around May 31st which would be close to 90 degrees if so? And if that is the case, yet again will we see severe weather similar to the April 10th outbreak in wisconsin?

    • These are all things I will discuss in the long range forecast coming up this weekend. But right now snow may be tough to come by if the low stays west of say Madison or LaCrosse. And also the time of season…certainly it can still snow now, but the signature storm is looking like it may pull some warmer air north. I still don’t think the models have a good handle on it…but I’m not surprised.

      A big warm-up should return around Memorial Day or the 31st as you mentioned. Severe wx? I’ll talk about that too in the long range.

      Thanks for posting.


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