First off I would like to highlight the fact that the NWS of Green Bay and La Crosse have finished their storm surveys from Sunday’s tornado event and have added some content to their summary pages. Green Bay has added a nice little graphic indicating the track of the tornado through Wood and Portage counties. La Crosse has added a radar loop of the same storm as it passed through Monroe and Juneau counties. They also have a graphic of the track. The NWS Duluth does not have a dedicated page for the tornado surveys in Price county but have released a public information statement describing 5 seperate weak tornado touchdowns.
As to the question of how the length of the Saratoga tornado here is a preliminary statement from the NWS of Milwaukee:
A very long-track tornado spun up in Monroe County northwest of Tomah on May 22, 2011, and moved northeast into southern Wood County and traveled through the area south of Wisconsin Rapids and then into southern Portage County and ended about 9 miles southeast of Plover. This track is on the order of 70 miles….one of the longest tornadoes in Wisconsin’s recorded history. Preliminary results indicate that this tornado was the 15th longest tornado in Wisconsin. The longest-tracked tornado in Wisconsin was 170 miles in Pierce and Iron Counties on April 5, 1929. The 1929 tornado killed 12 people and injured 100 on a track from southwest of River Falls to the Van Buskirk area.
I was surprised to learn that the northwestern Wisconsin 1929 tornado was on the ground for 170 miles! So it looks like the Saratoga tornado could end up in the top 15.
Having such strong and frequent tornadoes this year in our area and around the nation reminds me to remind you that there are many ways you can keep track of and stay safe from severe weather. The most crucial aspect is keeping track of the weather as it evolves. Pay attention to the National Weather Service and StormTrack 9 severe weather outlooks to get a good idea of when and where severe storms will occur. If a tornado warning is issued for your area, make sure you know where to go to stay safe. Don’t go shopping when a tornado warning is in effect. Postpone activities that would take you away from shelter. Wait until the storm passes before venturing out. As we saw during the Alabama and Joplin, Missouri tornadoes, it is not a good idea to be out driving, at the gas sation, or in a big box store during a tornado warning.
As far as keeping in touch with the latest severe weather information, StormTrack9 offers several tools for viewers in Northcentral Wisconsin.
First and foremost it is our policy that we will break into live programming when there is a tornado warning (or other signifcant dangerous storm) for the area. Depending on the nature of the threat we might stay on the air continuously until the warnings have expired. If you hear tornado sirens, you can turn on StormTrack9 and we will be on the air with the latest information. For tornado warnings and all other weather advisories we also will run a crawl on the screen that contains pertinent information.
If you happen to be driving around Northcentral Wisconsin and severe weather threatens, you can tune to several area radio stations for periodic live updates from StormTrack9. Those stations are Big Cheese 107-9, Today’s Best Country Y 106.5, Mix 96.7, and Classic Rock 103-3.
Our website, www.waow.com, offers a plethora of tools to keep informed. Similar to on TV, you will find crawls running on the website whenever a weather warning or advisory is in effect. During times of significant severe weather you will find our live TV broadcast streaming on waow.com.
On our weather page (http://www.waow.com/weather) you will find several links to additional useful tools. The Personal Forecast offers an hour-by-hour daily forecasts as well as severe weather alerts that are delivered to your email inbox or to your cell phone/wireless device. The newest feature of the Personal Forecast is the Interactive Futurecast, which is a more graphical representation of the forecast information.
Another option for getting severe weather alerts delivered immediately to your smart phone/cell phone is our “Text Alerts“. Besides getting text message alerts of warnings in your specific county you can sign up for a daily forecast and news bulletins.
Our most location specific option for staying safe during severe weather is “Weather Call”. StormTrack9 has partnered with WeatherCall to deliver phone messages to your home location whenever a severe weather warning is issued and your home lies within the warning area. Sometimes a warning might be issued for a part of Marathon county. If you have weather call, you will only be notified if your home location is within the warned area of Marathon county.
For those who like to take a more active role in monitoring severe weather we also offer Itrack Interactive Radar. This tool allows you to track and analyze storms as they happen. You can even zoom down to street level!
Besides on TV and our website you can also get interesting and informative weather updates on Twitter and Facebook. You can follow each meteorologist on the StormTrack 9 team on Twitter (just search our names), and you can check out our facebook page here.
Have a nice Wednesday! Meteorologist Justin Loew.
This post was written by jloew on May 25, 2011