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Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Chippewa, Barron, Dunn, Rusk Counties

A Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been issued for most areas north and west of Eau Claire – including Chippewa County, Dunn County, Barron County and Rusk County.

If you are out at Rock Fest you need to seek shelter immediately if you have not.

The Barron County Sheriff’s Department says there are power outages across the county and trees down.

A TORNADO WARNING has been issued in Polk County and Barron County. Please seek cover immediately. Cars, mobile homes, campers are not safe places to be. Go to a basement or interior room.


TORNADO WARNING issued for Barron County and Polk County. Seek cover immediately.

Posted by WQOW News 18 on Friday, July 19, 2019

The Barron County Sheriff’s Department says there are power outages across the county and trees down.

A trained weather spotter has measured an 84 mph wind gust near Cushing in NW Polk County. Storm is moving SE at 45mph. Seek shelter if in the path of storm, preferably basement.

The National Weather Service has issued a TORNADO WATCH for parts of Western Wisconsin. Refer to the map for locations, as this warning could be expanded as the evening goes on.

The Stormtracker 18 Weather Team says a combination of hot, humid air and an approaching low pressure system is creating a volatile environment that supports the rapid development and strengthening of thunderstorms over Minnesota. Once formed, they will move east this evening.

If a warning is issued, go inside a sturdy building to the lowest floor, preferably a basement. Go to a small, interior room with as many walls between you and the outside wall as possible. Cover in blankets, pillows, bike helmets, etc. and wear shoes. The time to prepare your shelter is during the watch, before a warning is issued. Mobile homes and campers are not safe during severe weather. Make sure you have access to a sturdy storm shelter on a moment’s notice.

News 18 will break into programming for warnings that are issued, and you can also find updates at or on the WQOW Stormtracker 18 Weather App.

Matt Schaefer

Matt Schaefer was promoted to Chief Meteorologist in July of 2019 and has been our evening meteorologist for News 18 since June of 2016. Prior to that, he was our Saturday meteorologist starting in September 2014.

Matt was born and raised in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He enjoys all the extremes that mother nature throws at the Badger State: from severe thunderstorms to blizzards to subzero temperatures.

Matt studied meteorology in the Midwest as well, earning his Bachelor’s of Science in Meteorology at Valparaiso University in Indiana. There, Matt was heavily involved in VUTV Weather, the Valpo student chapter of AMS/NWA, and VUSIT (Valparaiso University Storm Intercept Team). He’s logged more than 20,000 miles chasing and studying severe storms all across the country and witnessed nine tornadoes including six in one day!

Matt describes himself as a Wisconsin boy at heart and enjoys cheering for the Packers, Brewers, Badgers, and Admirals just to name a few. He loves simply being outdoors and enjoys the Wisconsin wilderness especially in fall, and whitetail deer season!

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