25th Anniversary of the Oakfield, Wisconsin F5 tornado

July 18th, 2021 |

An F5 tornado struck the village of Oakfield, Wisconsin late in the day on 18 July 1996 (NWS Milwaukee story). An animation of GOES-8 (GOES-East) Visible images (below) showed the development of supercell thunderstorms as they moved east-southeastward across the area. Oakfield is located just southwest of Fond du Lac (KFLD), and is denoted by the yellow ‘+’ symbol on the images. Overshooting tops were evident on these thunderstorms.

GOES-8 Visible images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-8 Visible images [click to play animation | MP4]

The corresponding GOES-8 Infrared Window images (below) revealed cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures as cold as -63.6ÂșC (darker shades of red) at 2345 UTC, which was approximately 30 minutes prior to the tornado moving through Oakfield (the GOES-8 imager instrument was actually scanning the Oakfield area at 2348 UTC).

GOES-8 Infrared images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-8 Infrared images [click to play animation | MP4]

On a larger-scale view of GOES-8 Water Vapor images (below), a sharp gradient of warm-to-cool brightness temperature — orange/yellow to blue enhancement, portraying the gradient of dry air to moist air — highlighted the presence of a middle-tropospheric jet streak that was moving southeastward across the state.

GOES-8 Water Vapor images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-8 Water Vapor images [click to play animation | MP4]

Examples of Derived Product Images from the GOES-8 Sounder can be seen here.

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