July 27, 2009 - Iowa County, Wisconsin - Satellite Funnel Cloud
Severe thunderstorms produce isolated weak tornadoes across southern Wisconsin.
Satellite Funnel Cloud - Wisconsin
During the early morning elevated strong thunderstorms formed ahead of low pressure system across southern Minnesota. The storms were near Wausau, Wisconsin traveling east and started to veer more towards the southeast. James and I argued whether to chase these isolated cells and we hoped they could exhibit some rotation. 0-1km SRH was forecast to reach 200 by early afternoon. High helicity values combined with decent low pressure provided the opportunity for storms to rotate. We hit the road and destined for the Wisconsin Dells.
The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) issued a severe thunderstorm watch for all of central and southern Wisconsin. James was discouraged but we maintained to keep chasing despite the lower probability of tornado development according to SPC.
The main isolated storm was to our north as we sat at a McDonald's in the Dells. We decided to let that storm go by to our east, since there were new storms developing to our west. We repositioned and headed for southwest Wisconsin. Soon, a tornado warning was issued for the storm near the Dells. We kicked ourselves knowing we should have maybe stayed with that storm, but kept with the plan of chasing the new storms to our west.
We approached Lone Rock, Wisconsin and stopped at a McDonald's to use the bathroom. The meteorologist on television was outlining many tornado warnings to our west. We drove south across the Wisconsin River to find ourselves in horrible terrain. It was probably one of the worst landscapes I've ever chased through. We finally found an opening on a hill to find the tornadic warned supercell directly to our northwest with the wall cloud in the distance. Of interest was a satellite funnel cloud that formed directly in front of our position for about 10 minutes. The storm was engulfed by rain from another storm to its west and we decided to travel to Mineral Point, Wisconsin to get in position for another storm.
This storm produced another wall cloud that had some good inflow on the backside rising into it. This storm did have the potential to produce a tornado, but another storm's forward flank downdraft cut off the inflow.
We decided to head home and call it a day to witness a pretty cool sunset in Madison, Wisconsin. Over 13 tornado warnings were issued for the storms, producing three tornado touchdowns in Lafayette, Green Lake, Marquette and Crawford counties.
Make sure to browse the chase logs section for additional Storm Chasing Fever Chasing Adventures.