The recent tornado in Madison is a rare occurrence, but it is not the first time it has happened this late in the season.
There were no severe thunderstorm warnings leading up to the tornado that swept through the east side of Madison and parts of Sun Prairie Saturday afternoon. Fortunately, there were no reported injuries. The summer-like characteristics associated with the passing storm system helped to produce the tornado.
Todd Shea, the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the La Crosse National Weather Service talked about the rarity of the tornado itself. Shea described the environment in which the storm formed by saying, "You have all that moisture in the atmosphere in October that we can develop thunderstorms. And even if the thunderstorms aren't huge and seem severe with a lot of other severe weather threats; if again, the set up is just right it can produce little spin up tornadoes like they saw in the Madison area."
The National Weather Service has done their survey and determined that it was an EF-0 tornado with winds in excess of 70 to 80 mph. The tornado was on the ground for roughly ten minutes and traveled nearly five miles before dissipating.
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