SUPERIOR, Wis. — A preliminary report from the National Weather Service in Duluth indicates two tornadoes hit northern Wisconsin on Saturday, July 18.
The report, which may change as more data is collected, says two brief EF-1 tornadoes touched down: one in Douglas County and another in Ashland County.
In Douglas County, north of Maple and Blueberry near Lindgren Road and County Road O, a tornado is believed to have touched down for two minutes, according to the weather service. At 1:43 a.m., meteorologists saw a dramatic increase in radar-detected rotation just south of Maple and issued a tornado warning. Minutes later, a tornado developed, knocking down dozens of trees and snapping some off near the base.
“Just as soon as it developed, the area of rotation weakened considerably,” the weather service report said.
Winds peaked at an estimated 100 mph, and the tornado's path was estimated to be 0.4 miles long and 50 yards wide.
Douglas County Emergency Management Director Dave Sletten said on Monday morning they have not yet received any reports of property damage caused by a tornado.
About an hour later, the weather service said they believe another brief EF-1 tornado occurred in Ashland County near the community of Sanborn within the town of White River near the intersection of County Road E and Petrin Road/Wisconsin Highway 112.
This tornado is believed to have lasted two minutes, traveling a distance of 0.6 miles at a width of 50 yards. Winds peaked at an estimated 110 mph.
“Additional imagery may result in longer path length, but overall, this tornado was extremely short in duration and path length, with a rotation signature appearing on radar for just one scan,” the weather service report said, adding they scan the low-level environment every three minutes.
According to the weather service, damage was localized to just a few properties and included a major loss of roof panels on a garage and the total collapse of a metal outbuilding. This tornado did not have a tornado warning due to its very brief nature, the weather service said.
According to the weather service, these types of tornadoes can spin up extremely quickly and are much more difficult to anticipate on radar compared to traditional supercell tornadoes.