June over the years has been the prime time for the onslaught of severe storms, several tornadoes and of course it is the first month of meteorological summer. It was five years ago on June 7, 2007 that North Central Wisconsin experienced two significant tornado touchdowns, along with the second largest hail stone ever to fall in the Badger State in Port Edwards. First, let me touch upon the twisters that left their impressions on our area.
The first tornado on that Thursday was associated with a supercell thunderstorm which caused a brief tornado near Wisconsin Rapids at 3:26pm. Although merely an EF0, this storm was most remembered for dropping hail of 5.5" in diameter in Port Edwards, along with producing damage to approximately 6,000 homes and business, along with 500 vehicles that sustained damage from the large hail. This storm went on to produce golf ball size hail in Plover & Stevens Point, which also broke the windshield on a mail delivery truck.
The second twister touched down a little over 9 miles east of Mosinee in Marathon County at approximately 4:00pm. This EF2 tornado with winds of 115-125 mph caused damage to a number of homes in the area, before lifting at 4:14pm near Pike Lake. Winds of 60 mph where reported at the Central Wisconsin Airport in Mosinee from this storm.
This same storm regenerated and as it moved into Shawano County developed a tornado that would be on the ground for 47 minutes starting at 4:31pm, covering a little over 40 miles, from just east of Mattoon to 10 miles ENE of Lakewood near the Oconto/Marinette County line. At it's worst, the tornado was an EF3, with max winds of 150-160 mph. Locations in our area that sustained major damage included Zoar Settlement (Menominee Co.), White Lake (Langlade Co.), and Markton (Langlade Co.). This supercell also producing hail ranging from 1 to 3" in diameter. In all, the Bear Paw Outdoor Adventure Resort was severely impacted, along with many homes in populated areas, and a wide swath of trees in forested locales along the path of this tornado. To this day, we can still see on visible satellite images on clear days the path of this tornado across this part of the state. Storm reports from June 7, 2007 illustrate the magnitude of the event along with the map of the tornadoes below.
Additional photos, satellite and radar data, along more from this severe weather outbreak can be found on the NWS Green Bay website.
Meantime, June 7-8th, 1984 will be remembered in southern Wisconsin for one of the worst tornadoes to hit the Badger State. Known as the Barneveld tornado, it struck during the early morning hours of June 8th. Only 1 of 3 confirmed F5 tornadoes in Wisconsin history, this twister traveled 36 miles across parts of Iowa & Dane Counties. Worst of all, this was a part of a total of seven tornadoes that hit across southern Wisconsin during this span of time. The Barneveld tornado has gone down as the second most costly twister in state history, just behind the Oakfield tornado on July 18, 1996. Much more can be found on this severe storm & tornado outbreak on the NWS Milwaukee website.
As of June 7, 2012, only 1 tornado has been reported in Wisconsin, which was the Marathon City to Rib Mountain twister on May 24th. We are fortunate that this tornado was merely an EF0 and caused relatively minimal damage in our viewing area. No less, be on guard in the days and weeks ahead, because the odds are favorable for severe storms to once again roll through Wisconsin.
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