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Local News

June Brought Severe Weather to Wisconsin


Parker Wallis 

A cold front from the North generated Level 2 (out of 5) thunderstorms across the state on Tuesday, June 27th, which cut through northwest Wisconsin with damaging winds, heavy rain, and large hail in cities like Wausau, La Crosse, Green Bay, Madison and Rochester, as reported by the Storm Prediction Center.

Earlier this month, the state saw its ninth tornado of the year on June 15th, generated by a cold front leading into Northeast Wisconsin. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), an EF1 tornado touched down in Manawa between 5:52 PM and 5:56 PM, traveling 3.1 miles with peak winds 90 MPH and a maximum width of 120 yards. 

Though the storms left tens of thousands of people without power and caused massive damage, no injuries or deaths caused by the tornado were reported.

On that same day, however, Milwaukee County reported deaths caused by severe weather. The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office responded to two probable heat-related deaths, one a 39-year-old woman in Milwaukee, the other an 89-year-old man in Greenfield.

On June 14th, Milwaukee County reported that the body of a 10-year-old boy had been recovered after he was swept into a drainage ditch due to heavy rains. Two men jumped in after the boy, but they have yet to be found. 

In recent years, Wisconsin has been wracked with destructive weather conditions. In the summer of 2021, severe thunderstorms demolished more than 600 trees in Milwaukee, and the Midwest last year experienced 39 tornadoes in a single week, taking the lives of 88 people and causing millions of dollars in damage. In mid-December of that year, temperatures reached up to 61 degrees in Milwaukee, and Madison experienced higher, some of the highest temperatures ever recorded during the month of December for both Milwaukee and Madison. 

Other extreme weather events Wisconsin experienced in 2021 include a drought, overnight tornadoes (July 28th-29th), an EF3 tornado in Boscobel, large hail (September 7th), a warm October, January rime ice (when water droplets on cold surfaces freeze in fog and form needle-like crystals), and more, according to the NWS. 

Scientists have constantly stressed the risk of severe and destructive weather events increasing in prevalence as a result of climate change. Global carbon dioxide levels are currently at the highest point in human history, passing 400 parts per million, a threshold beyond which scientists warn will lead to more devastating results.

As Wisconsin enters into July and deeper into the summer season, make sure you have a way to receive weather alerts to warn of potential storms and extreme weather events.