June 21, 2010 - Eagle, Wisconsin - EF2 Tornado
A strong tornado strikes Eagle, Wisconsin with maximum winds near 130 mph. The supercell thunderstorm traveled east and produced an additional tornado in Muskego, Wisconsin along with damaging winds.
EF2 Tornado Suprise
The ingredients for severe weather were minimal during the day across Wisconsin but were expected further south across central Illinois along an outflow boundary. Storms had fired across northeast Iowa that moved in our direction but they were weak. Our local meteorologist mentioned no severe weather was likely through the rest of the evening and I agreed.
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I was attending a church service for an hour and purseeded to walk out to find a threatening anvil overhead to my west. I was surprised and checked my iPhone for weather data and tornado warnings were lit across the screen across southern Wisconsin. Storm chasing was in store, but I didn't have any gear with me. Impending nightfall would doom any chance of seeing a tornado or severe weather, but we decided to be on standby mode. We stopped at TGI Friday's restaurant to grab a bite to eat with my girlfriend and wanted to get light of the situation. Each minute passed and I became puzzled as to how this even was unfolding and why there was no particular threat earlier just 3 hours before hand. I started to get bombarded with text messages from friends about the impending tornadic storm about 35 miles to our southwest near the city of Whitewater, Wisconsin. During our dinner, the lightning to our west was evident as anvil crawlers reached out at us. There were a few instances of positive cloud to ground lightning strikes well out ahead of the storm. Quickly, the storm moved closer to our position we headed back to her place down the road to track the storm.
Strong Tornado Reported!
The supercell had numerous tornado warnings associated with it across Jefferson and then eventually Waukesha County. The towns of Whitewater, Palmyra, and Eagle were in the danger zone as the storm developed more of hook echo signature. The Milwaukee news stations were broke in to cover this potential severe weather situation. As the storm came closer to Eagle, the velocity couplet had become stronger and storm chasers confirmed a strong tornado near Eagle headed near Mukwonago. At this time, Milwaukee County was starting to feel the affects of the supercell's forward flank downdraft. Our location was getting bombarded with numerous cloud to ground lightning strikes along with heavy rain. Some small hail occurred and strong inflow winds were blowing from north to south. After all said and done, our area was spared from any significant damage.
Eagle, Wisconsin - Tornado Damage
I traveled back to Waukesha on I-43 and noticed some tree damage south of the freeway towards Muskego, Wisconsin which was later to be determined by an EF1 tornado. Heavy tree damage was noted south of I-43 around the Muskego lake and surrounding vicinity. The storm also caused some very heavy rainfall amounts. My weather station recorded 1.92 inches of rain that fell in an hour.
We took a trip to survey the damage in Eagle and the damage was more extensive than had imagined. Trees and many homes were damaged across the southern part of town. We took photos along Highway 67 near the the Old Knoll Cemetery. It was amazing that no one was killed and only minor injuries occurred thanks to the warnings from TV meteorologists and National Weather Service Milwaukee/Sullivan personnel. The tornado that struck Eagle was rated an EF2.
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