Tornado phenomenon explained - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Tornado phenomenon explained

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - It has been a wild and dangerous week across the Midwest. Tornadoes have ripped through states leaving a lot of damage.

In Pilger, Nebraska, twin tornadoes touched down damaging as much as 75% of that town. Tornadoes are not uncommon to us in the Midwest, but to see two tornadoes next to each other is rare, so we asked News 18 Meteorologist Andrew McCawley about that phenomenon.  “Normally, you'll get one strong tornado and sometimes, you'll get a smaller one to wrap around it.  That's called a satellite tornado,” McCawley says. “Often, we'll get the twin tornadoes when it's a splitting supercell so it starts out with one and splits into two.  They'll split according to the winds in the atmosphere."

Tornadoes have damaged towns all over the Midwest this week, including right here in Wisconsin.  Twisters struck in Verona and Platteville causing millions of dollars of damage.  It's been many years since a tornado was spotted in Eau Claire.  "I’ve heard of people calling it the Eau Claire bubble,” said McCawley. “I've not seen any specific scientific evidence of that, but when you compare western Wisconsin’s landscape to the Great Plains, the Great Plains are very flat and that doesn't stop storms... there's not a whole lot in their way, but the rolling hills and the landscape of Wisconsin, that does help to break up systems just a little bit," said McCawley.

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