National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


During the afternoon of May 22, 2011, strong to severe thunderstorms developed ahead of a cold front across southeast Minnesota, northeast Iowa, and western Wisconsin.  These thunderstorms produced large hail, damaging winds, and six confirmed tornadoes.  Between 1:18 p.m. and 6:19 p.m., there were 11 Severe Thunderstorm Warnings and 11 Tornado Warnings issued by the National Weather Service in La Crosse, WI.  Seven of the eleven Tornado Warnings were issued on a severe thunderstorm which moved from northern Howard County (northeast Iowa) northeast into Portage County (central Wisconsin).  Average lead time on the tornado warnings was approx. 13 minutes.

There were a total of 6 tornadoes in our area, including three EF2 tornadoes.  One of the EF2 tornadoes hit La Crosse, WI and produced damage from river to bluff on the south-central part of the city.  It was the first tornado to hit La Crosse since 1966 and perhaps one of the strongest ever to the area.  Wisconsin had 11 tornadoes on May 22, 2011 which was the 2nd most ever for any day in May.  Besides a few minor injuries, impact from the storms was mainly property damage.

May 22, 2011 Radar Loop and Severe Weather Warnings from 1:35 pm to 6:20 pm.
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