La Crosse County Sees Earliest Tornado On Record

Researchers Confirm Tornado After Surveying Damage From Storms This Week


Damage in La Crosse County originally attributed to high winds during Monday night’s storm is actually the result of a tornado.

The National Weather Service researchers confirmed the tornado after surveying the area Wednesday.

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The twister touched down north of Barre Mills, skipping northeast for 3 miles. NWS researchers say the storm only lasted for 5 minutes and was rated a EF1 on the 5-point scale used to rate tornadoes.

The tornado is the earliest on record in western Wisconsin, after the region experienced a mild end to winter.

“Once you lose the snow cover early in the year, you’re able to heat up a little bit more and can develop stronger thunderstorms,” said Dan Baumgardt, science and operations officer at the NWS La Crosse office.

Baumgardt said the tornado was difficult to identify at first.

“We had a lot of sporadic wind damage across the area on Monday night, and so this was just kind of a little narrower more concentrated path of a little bit more damage,” Baumgardt said.

The tornado caused damage to trees and farm property along its path.