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Welcome to our updated severe weather archive page. After hours of struggling with the page designing, we have arrived with this fresh new look. On this page, you will find writeups about some historic and memorable severe weather events which happened across our coverage region, all the way down to our local backyard. Also, we show you graphically all severe thunderstorm and tornado events which ocurred as well. As a bonus, we'll even throw in some average thunderstorm days, and other related information.
(DISCLAIMER): All information, data, and graphics presented on this page was created manually in our office. No gaurentee exists as to completeness or accuracy of such information. Since all severe weather records prior to 1950 are considered incomplete, our staff cannot be held responsable for the accuracy of these records. All data is published electronically and assumed valid when posted. You use this information "at your own risk".

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CASE STUDIES:
This section will focus on those exceptionally "significant" severe outbreaks which have taken place over our coverage region. We'll provide all the facts we studied for each event, and how they produced the severe weather. You might say this section is for those "rare" events.

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This section will list the worst tornado events in Wisconsin history. This list dates back to 1865. Please keep in mind that events prior to 1950 are preliminary, and are not verified by the NWS.
Year/Date Deaths/Injuries Counties Affected
June 29, 1865 24/100 Vernon
March 10, 1876 09/15 Grant
May 23, 1878 19/25 Iowa, Dane, Waukesha, and Milwaukee
Sept 29, 1881 12/?? Buffalo
May 18, 1883 25/100 Racine
*June 12, 1899 117/125 St. Croix, Polk, and Barron
July 07, 1907 26/?? Clark, Jackson, and Juneau
Sept 21, 1924 26/114 Eau Claire, Clark, Marathon, Taylor, Lincoln, and Oneida
Sept 21, 1924 10/50 Barron, Rusk, Bayfield, Sawyer, and Ashland
April 05, 1929 12/100 Pierce and Iron
June 04, 1958 19/110 St. Croix and Dunn
**June 7-8, 1984 09/200 Lafayette, Iowa, and Dane
November 11, 1911 09/10 Rock

Notes:
* This storm would become known as the "New Richmond Cyclone".
** This storm would become known as the "Barneveld Tornado".

Shown below is the top ten (10) tornadoes with the longest track across Wisconsin.
This list dates back to 1878.
Date Track Length (miles) Counties Affected
May 23, 1878 150 Iowa, Dane, Waukesha, and Milwaukee
May 18, 1898 110 Eau Claire, Clark, Langlade, Marathon, and Lincoln
Sept 21, 1924 120 Eau Claire, Clark, Taylor, Marathon, Lincoln, and Oneida
Sept 21, 1924 90 Barron, Rusk, Bayfield, Sawyer, and Ashland
July 16, 1926 85 Bayfield, Ashland, Iron, and Vilas
*April 05, 1929 170 Pierce and Iron
June 13, 1930 80 Treapealeau, Jackson, Clark, Marathon, and Lincoln
June 13, 1930 75 Pierce, Dunn, and Eau Claire
May 10, 1953 100 Pierce, St. Croix, Polk, Burnette, Washburn, and Douglas
May 10, 1953 100 Buffalo, Trempealeau, Chippewa, and Eau Claire
Sept 28, 1971 75 Chippewa, Clark, Marathon, and Lincoln
Sept 28, 1971 75 Langlade, Marathon, Marinette, Oconto, and Menominee
June 05, 1977 73 Fond Du Lac, Dodge, Washington, and Waukesha

Notes:
* This tornado track is the longest documented one within the state.

Here are some additional historic tornado events from the last 100 years: (1900-2000)
  1. *The largest tornado outbreak: July 3, 1907 producing 14 deaths.
  2. **Deadiest tornado: September 21, 1924 resulting in 26 deaths.
  3. Deadiest year for tornadoes: 1924 with 43 total deaths.
  4. ***Deadiest month for tornadoes: September of 1924 with 36 deaths.
  5. Year with the most tornadoes: 1980 with 47 storms.*
* While 1980 had the most tornadoes in a year for Wisconsin, the current all time annual tornado count stands at 70 tornadoes documented in 2005.

Here are some famous and memorable twisters to hit our state.
  • Palm Sunday Outbreak: 11 April 1965. 6 tornadoes, 3 deaths, and 65 injuries.
  • State Fair Park Tornado: 11 August 1969. 146 injuries but no deaths.
  • Oshkosh Tornado: 21 April 1974. 35 injuries but no deaths.
  • The Barneveld Tornado: June 6-7 1984. 9 deaths and 200 injuries.
Notes:
* A family of 3-4 separate but intense tornadoes moved through westcentral and central Wisconsin. Specifically, the counties of Clark, Jackson, Monroe, Juneau, Green Lake, and Sauk were hit. A total of 14 deaths was reported.
** This storm began in Eau Claire county, and lifted in Oneida county. 26 persons died.
*** Two separate events this day...
a) a strong tornado with a 120 mile long path from Eau Claire county, through Clark, Marathon, Taylor, Lincoln, and Oneida counties producing 26 fatalities, and
b) another tornado with a 90 mile long track from Rusk, Barron, Bayfield, Sawyer, and Ashland counties, resulting in 10 more fatalities.

Central Wisconsin historic severe facts

This is special data for the local central Wisconsin area. It covers the period from 1970 to 2006, and only shows the more significant events. Click on thumbnail for larger image.

Extremely Large Hail Extremely Damaging Winds Significant Tornadoes




The following is historical tornado data for our coverage region. Remember, this is only for tornadoes. Large hail and damaging wind facts are just below this.

Date Time (If known) Location Number of Tornadoes Injuries Deaths
04/11-12/1965 100pm to 100am Midwest/Great Lakes region 51 3,148 260
21 April, 1967 1230pm to 900pm Northern Illinois* 52 1,248 57
24 January, 1967 200pm to 200am Iowa, Illinois, & Wisconsin 30 268 7
04/3-4/1974 ?? Midwest Area** 148 total in 24 hrs 6,142 315 Total
06/7-8/1984 200pm to 200am Upper Great Lakes Area 42 319 13
17 June, 2010 ?? Minnesota*** 77 -- 3
04/9-10/2011 ?? Primarly Iowa and Wisconsin**** 43 -- 0

Notes:
* Mainly northern Illinois was affected, but some storms also happened in Iowa and lower Michigan as well.
** This event occurred in Illinois, Indiana, and lower Michigan of our coverage region, and was part of the "Super Outbreak" of tornadoes that year. In all, 148 total twisters happened in a span of 24 hours, with 36 of those within our coverage region. There were 315 total fatalities, 51 of those in our coverage region. This event still stands as the single worst event in U.S. history.
*** Other then Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin also received tornado touchdowns. In Wisconsin, only 1 tornado was reported. Damage was in the millions of dollars all tolled. Four F4 tornadoes occurred in Minnesota.
**** Although details are sketchy, this event spanning a two day period, produced widespread damage totaling 2.2 billion dollars. There were 16 confirmed tornadoes in Wisconsin, including an F3 tornado which moved across northern Marathon and Lincoln counties. Iowa reported 21 twisters, including an F4 tornado which occurred south of Pocahontas Iowa. Amazingly, there were NO reported fatalities in this event!
Strong/Violent tornadoes across our region (Graphical)

This table represents those tornadoes which were ranked F3/EF3 to F5/EF5 in magnitude. It spans the period from 1970 to 2006. Click thumbnail for larger image.

Deadly Tornadoes Tracks/Fujita Rating

Extremely large hail and damaging winds (Graphical)

This table shows all the documented significant wind and hail reports from across our coverage region. The data is valid from 1970 to 2006. Click thumbnail for larger image.

Extremely Large Hail Extremely Damaging T-Storm Winds

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