The National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed that 8 tornadoes passed through Wisconsin during the week of June 15th, bumping up the statewide total to 15 tornadoes in 2022.
Three tornadoes touched down in the La Crosse area in west-central Wisconsin, as reported by the local NWS office. The Green Bay office initially confirmed 3 tornadoes in the area from June 15th’s storm system, followed by 2 more confirmations in the area reported on June 17th and 18th, respectively.
Of the three tornadoes in west-central Wisconsin, one passed near Tomah, Oakdale, and Wyeville, roaming 20.9 miles in 36 minutes before ending in the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge.
Another started east of La Farge in Vernon Country, traveling 6.2 miles in 7 minutes as it caused damage through the rural parts of the county.
The third formed in the southern part of Mauston before traveling 8.4 miles northeast to Juneau County and ending near the Wisconsin River, on ground for a total of 9 minutes.
In the Green Bay area, Seymour, West Bloomfield, Silver Cliff, Navarino, and Bowler were all affected by these recent tornadoes, two of which were categorized with EF1 ratings.
With peak winds between 90 and 115 mph, many counties reported tree and structural damage in their respective areas, and nearly 100,000 homes and businesses reported losing power by the morning of June 16th, according to PowerOutage.us. Interstate 90 was closed for more than three hours due to trailers blown onto their sides and blocking the roads, and the town of Silver Cliff estimated $3 to $5 million in damage due to the severe weather.
Despite the destruction, the NWS has reported no injuries or deaths caused by the natural disasters. So far, none of the tornadoes in Wisconsin this year have resulted in casualties, as reported by the NWS.
Around this time last year, no tornadoes occured in the state, the first one of 2021 having been confirmed on June 24th. In total, last year saw 43 confirmed tornadoes in Wisconsin, higher than the state’s average of 23 tornadoes per year. The year 2005 holds the record for the most tornadoes in Wisconsin (62 total).
The NWS says that tornadoes peak from May to August in Wisconsin, especially between the hours of 3 and 9 PM. On average, June is known to be the busiest month for tornadoes.
Currently, NWS survey teams are searching for evidence of more potential tornadoes as part of the most recent storm system. Among other ways to prepare, stay alert, and be safe, ReadyWisconsin recommends residents to “listen to NOAA Weather Radio or to commercial radio or television newscasts for the latest information.”