Grant County twister is Wisconsin’s 4th this yearA tornado touched down in Grant County during Tuesday night's storms.
By: By Maureen McCollum, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
A tornado touched down in Grant County during Tuesday night's storms. It's one of just a small number of twisters to hit Wisconsin this year.
The twister had winds that reached up to 120 miles per hour. It destroyed one house in Bloomington, along with several farm outbuildings. Luckily, the family was uninjured.
That brings this year’s tornado count to four. According to Wisconsin Emergency Management, the average is 23.
National Weather Service meteorologist Todd Shea says the number of tornadoes is down nationally.
“And that’s because of the heat and drought conditions," he says. "Just basically, hot and quiet weather that we’ve experienced for a great chunk of the summer season here.”
Wisconsin’s tornado season is typically in the spring and summer. Shea says it’s not that unusual for tornadoes to form in early fall. He says Tuesday’s storm was brought on by a change in the air mass.
“It got very warm yesterday and there was enough humidity around," he says. "It was just kind of the right conditions for storms to grow explosively. While most areas received wind, hail, and heavy rains, enough conditions just came together for a brief instance in the southwest part of the state to produce what looks like a very short-lived and small tornado.”
Some of the more notable late-year tornadoes include one that damaged much of downtown Ladysmith on Labor Day, 2002 and in 2010, a tornado hit southern Wisconsin around Thanksgiving.