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July 22, 2010 - Southern Wisconsin Tornadoes

Severe Weather ignites tornadoes across Dane, Jefferson and Waukesha counties along with historic flash flooding across Milwaukee County.

Milwaukee, WI Flash Flooding and Tornadoes

Our chase started north of Madison, Wisconsin as an elevated line of thunderstorms formed along an outflow boundary sagging southeast. The Storm Prediction Center issued a Tornado Watch for all of Southern Wisconsin around 4:00 p.m. Soon after the watch was issued, the first tornadic warned storm of the day developed northwest of DeForest, Wisconsin. We traveled west on highway V to find the area of rotation. The mesocyclone came into view but was slightly obscured by rain. It had a nice wall cloud and tightened up into a funnel for a brief couple of minutes to our north before dissipating. Storm Chasers became more visible near our location watching this feature very close. Soon, a new wall cloud formed to its east and traveled into Dodge County promoting more tornado warnings.

The next storm in the line was to our south and took I-90/94 south and positioned ourselves east of Waunakee, Wisconsin on highway 19. The rotation with this storm was very broad, however it was enough for the national weather service to issue a tornado warning. We traveled east back toward I-90/94 and watched the storm's inflow from the backside rise in a form of a tail cloud.

The Southern Storms

While chasing these training line of storms, James and I noticed the storms to our southwest of Madison, Wisconsin started to become more dominate. We headed quickly south on highway 73 through the city of Deerfield, Wisconsin and intercepted one supercell with a wall cloud southwest of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. It had tightened up near our position producing a small funnel cloud but soon dissipated as it moved east. We followed the supercell with the rotating wall cloud all the way to Mukwonago, Wisconsin and decided to let it go. As we did, the supercell produced an EF2 tornado in Big Bend, Wisconsin.

We were getting reports of another supercell behind us producing tornadoes in Dane and Jefferson Counties near Fort Atkinson, Edgerton and Whitewater, Wisconsin. We waited for this storm to hit our location but the storm was weakening some and the rotation looked very broad.



Flash Flooding

The other story was the significant flash flooding that occurred across much of Milwaukee. Many areas across Iowa, Dane, Jefferson, Waukesha and Milwaukee counties received between 3-7 inches of rain. Storm Chaser Steve Sopko was located north central Milwaukee and snapped these photos. He said it was the worst flash flooding he had seen and many cars were caught off-guard and immobilized.

Make sure to browse the chase logs section for additional Storm Chasing Fever Chasing Adventures.

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