Wisconsin severe storms Friday night cause havoc, leave damage

Severe storms swept through southern Wisconsin Friday night, July 28.

Reports varied between large hail, torrential rain, high amounts of power outages, and widespread, thunderstorm-related wind damage.

The storm reports graphic above does not even show all the damage across the area, because the reports were taken from the evening hours when it was dark outside. More reports came in during the aftermath Saturday morning as the sun helps illuminate the devastation. 

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Storm damage in Washington County (Lisa Michaels)

Initial cellular storms that popped in portions of Waukesha and Racine counties produced very large hail. Some areas saw hail that was between a ping-pong ball and baseball in size!

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"Spiky" hail during July 28 severe weather (Courtesy: Hannah in East Troy)

Hail wasn't the only thing that could have caused damage. Widespread severe damaging winds with gusts of 60 to 70 mph arrived from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday.

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Storms that condensed into a severe line of storms produced widespread damaging winds – and even a few areas of rotation.

This line caused the most wind destruction and also created a significant number of power outages; at 11 p.m Friday night, nearly 83,000 people were without power. Early Saturday morning, nearly 60,000 people remained without power.

Because the atmosphere had so much moisture to tap into, many areas experienced torrential rainfall that whipped around in the intense winds. Most areas saw at least an inch of rain, with some locations receiving up to 1.5" to 2" or more.

Ironically, two years ago to the exact day – July 28 to July 29 – it was the anniversary of another severe storm event that moved through southeast Wisconsin. That storm brought 12 tornadoes and widespread damaging winds.

The National Weather Service issued several tornado warnings for parts of southeast Wisconsin on Friday night, too – covering parts of Dodge, Jefferson, Racine, Walworth and Waukesha counties.

FOX6 Weather Extras

Meanwhile, FOX6Now.com offers a variety of extremely useful weather tools to help you navigate the stormy season. They include the following:

FOX6 Storm Center app

FOX6 News app

FOX Weather app


We have a host of maps and radars on the FOX6 Weather page that are updating regularly — to provide you the most accurate assessment of the weather. From a county-by-county view to the Midwest regional radar and a national view — it’s all there.


When the weather gets a little dicey, schools and businesses may shut down. Monitor the latest list of closings, cancellations, and delays reported in southeast Wisconsin.