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December 21, 2012 Sun Prairie tornado outbreak
Topeka Tornado.jpg
'
Date of tornado outbreak: December 21, 2012
Duration1: 62 minutes
Maximum rated tornado2: F6 tornado
Tornadoes caused: 4
Total Damages: $50 billion (2012 USD)
Total Fatalities: 153
Areas Affected: Madison, Cottage Grove, Sun Prairie

1Time from first tornado to last tornado
2Most severe tornado damage; see Fujita scale

The December 21, 2012 tornado outbreak was a 4-tornado outbreak recorded around Sun Prairie, a small community near Madison, Wisconsin.

Confirmed tornadoes

Confirmed
Total
Confirmed
F0
Confirmed
F1
Confirmed
F2
Confirmed
F3
Confirmed
F4
Confirmed
F5
Confirmed
F6
4 1 0 0 1 0 1 1

List of tornadoes

List of confirmed tornadoes - December 21, 2012
F#
Location
Time (UTC)
Path length
Comments/Damage
F0 NNW of Cottage Grove 1204 1.4 miles 0 deaths - A tornado formed just north-northwest of Cottage Grove and moved through the northern parts of the town.
F3 Madison 1207 0.7 miles 3 deaths - Directly struck the Madison Isthmus, damaging the state capitol and caused irrepairable damage to the Memorial Union.
F5 Sun Prairie 1219 1 mile 0 deaths - Caused incredible damage (and about $4 billion damage) to eastern Sun Prairie, but there were no deaths.
F6 Sun Prairie 1246 6.2 miles 150 deaths - Lots of moisture from Lake Michigan and dry cold air from the northwest led to a significant tornado that would form. The city was inconcievably damaged ($45 billion damage). This tornado was the first F6 tornado ever recorded (it had 325 mph winds) and the widest. At first, it was considered to be an F5, but a thorough study of the ground swirl pattern revealed a strength beyond F5. Combined with the fact that 325 mph winds measured at ground level with Doppler radar, which is 7 mph above the F5/F6 threshold, this tornado was upgraded to an F6 in March 2013.

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