Severe thunderstorms leave three people missing, nearly 500 000 customers without power across Midwest, U.S.

mauston wisconsin severe thunderstorms damage june 2022

Severe thunderstorms hit the U.S. Midwest from June 13 to 15, 2022, causing widespread damage and leaving nearly 500 000 customers without power. Severe weather is now shifting to the Northeast.

On Monday, June 13, severe thunderstorms brought heavy rain and damaging winds to a wide swath of the Midwest and parts of the South, leaving three people missing.

According to Milwaukee fire and police officials, the body of a 10-year-old boy who was swept away by floodwaters in a drainage ditch on Monday evening was found on Tuesday, but two adults who entered the water in an attempt to rescue him are still missing.

Most of the property damage and power outages on June 14 and 15 were in Ohio, where more than 360 000 customers were in the dark, followed by Indiana with 50 000 and West Virginia with 51 000.

The Storm Prediction Center has confirmed the powerful wind storm on Monday night across the Ohio Valley as a derecho.

“We have confirmed 3 separate E-F1 tornadoes, as well as a pocket of intense straight line winds from a macroburst,” meteorologists from the NWS office in Cleveland said.

Showers and storms tracked east and northeast across parts of southeast Minnesota and northeast Iowa into western Wisconsin on the morning of Wednesday, June 15 but they were mostly non-severe at this time, although there a few did produce some hail and stronger wind gusts, NWS office in La Crosse said.1

By early afternoon, another round of storms fired off over southeast Minnesota and northeast Iowa.

These storms were slow to strengthen, but as they pressed into southwest Wisconsin, they began to increase in strength. What was initially a hail and wind threat turned to tornadoes in west-central Wisconsin. In addition, straight-line winds in this same location produced a swath of wind damage. 

Much of the storms exited into eastern and southern Wisconsin after 18:00 CDT and continued to produce more severe weather as they marched east. 

La Crosse meteorologists said one tornado was on the ground in Monroe County near the community of Tomah shortly after 16:00 CDT. Power lines and large trees were down in the area and there was damage to at least one structure.2

Another tornado was reported in Mauston, Juneau County, where a hospital was damaged, trailers flipped over and roofs were blown off.

The third tornado touched down in Navarino, Shawano County.

As of 10:00 UTC on June 16 (05:00 CDT), there were more than 210 00 customers still without power across the Midwest and into Mid-Atlantic – 90 000 in Wisconsin, 65 000 in Ohio, 33 000 in Michigan, 12 000 in West Virginia, and 11 000 in Indiana.

Showers and thunderstorms will continue to develop ahead of a frontal system as it moves east across the lower Great Lakes and upper Ohio Valley later today, NWS forecaster Pereira said.3

Scattered severe thunderstorms are expected to spread across parts of the Northeast and Ohio Valley this afternoon and evening.

Large hail, damaging winds, and a few tornadoes can be expected.

Some strong to severe thunderstorms with large hail and damaging wind are also expected to develop farther west along the front as it stalls across the central Plains and lower Missouri Valley today.

The front will continue to push south and east, focusing additional showers and thunderstorms across the Northeast, Mid Atlantic, and Ohio Valley on Friday, before moving offshore, with much cooler and drier conditions spreading across the region in time for the weekend.

References:

1 Severe Storms, Tornadoes Of June 15, 2022 – NWS La Crosse

2 More Than 100,000 Power Outages, Buildings Damaged After Tornado and High Winds in Central Wisconsin – June 16, 2022 – TWC

3 Short Range Forecast Discussion – NWS Weather Prediction Center College Park MD – 409 AM EDT Thu Jun 16 2022

Featured image credit: NWS, Sean Macaday

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