Southeast Wisconsin severe weather: 6 tornadoes reported

Severe storms prompted tornado warnings, multiple reports of possible tornadoes and a 73mph (near hurricane force) wind gust in Milwaukee Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 12.

Preliminary reports from the National Weather Service indicate possible tornadoes reported in:

  • Whitewater -- Walworth County
  • Elkhorn -- Walworth County
  • Pewaukee -- Waukesha County
  • Burlington -- Racine County
  • Brown Deer -- Milwaukee County
  • Franksville -- Racine County

The NWS has to survey the site/damage to make a final determination. 

The FOX6 Weather Experts said a line of thunderstorms developed along a cold front. There was just enough sun ahead of the storms along with just enough wind shear to create strong winds and brief spin-up tornadoes. 

Preliminary storm reports indicate a mix of possible tornado touchdowns and straight-line wind damage. 

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The National Weather Service will try to survey areas on Thursday to determine if tornadoes did touch down. 

FOX6's Tom Wachs said it might be difficult to do given that any tornadoes that did touch down were weak and mixed in with strong winds coming straight out of the storms. Unlike supercell thunderstorms where the tornado occurs in the rear of the storm, tornadoes that occur within a line are at the front of the storm or the beginning of the line. 

As of 2:30 p.m., more than 14,000 We Energies' customers were without power, down from 20,000 earlier in the afternoon. 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.