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Surveying Sunday's storm damage from above


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Surveying Sunday's storm damage from above

By Jesse Ritka. CREATED Nov 19, 2013 - UPDATED: Nov 19, 2013

HUSTISFORD - Now that the winds have died down, it was possible for TODAY’S TMJ4’s Chopper 4 to fly up into the quieter skies to take a closer and longer look at all damage caused by the 100 mph winds from Sunday's storms. 

TODAY’S TMJ4’s Jesse Ritka rode a long first flying to Hustisford where is it even more obvious from above that the storms in Wisconsin only brought damaging winds: all the debris is spread mainly from the southwest to the northeast. 

The powerful winds pushed trees and parts of buildings all in one general direction, the wind was moving so quickly that a piece of metal from a roof was wrapped completely around a tree that was in its path nearly a half mile away.

People in Allenton were cleaning up and taking advantage of the sunshine and calmer wind, most of the damage was northeast of the town itself, but the 100 mile per hour estimated wind speeds caused plenty of trees to be uprooted and damage to be done.

In Illinois, there is a lot more destruction and evidence of a tornado touchdown is more apparent from the air since debris doesn’t always have a clear origin.  From a helicopter there is a clear difference in the damage between the straight line winds in Wisconsin and the swirled and scattered damage path from Illinois’ powerful tornadoes.

But there has been clear aerial evidence in Wisconsin of the circular, cyclonic destruction; one of the most recent is the video and pictures from the EF-2 tornado that touched down in Eagle in June of 2010.

Surveying the damage from above like this actually helps forecasters learn more about the severe storms and validate their warnings.  The more knowledge acquired about strong storms, the faster and better meteorologists are able to give warnings about incoming inclement weather.

Jesse Ritka

Jesse Ritka

Jesse Ritka joined TODAY’S TMJ4 and Storm Team 4 in February 2011 as the “Live at Daybreak” weekend meteorologist. Growing up in Prior Lake, Minnesota, Jesse has always been fascinated by storms.