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Severe Thunderstorm Watch issued for parts of Western Wisconsin

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The National Weather Service has issued a SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH for the areas shaded in pink in the map until Midnight (12 a.m. Saturday). This includes Barron, Dunn, Pierce, Polk, and St. Croix Counties.

A watch means that conditions are right for severe thunderstorms to form. Prepare for that potential and make sure you're able to get to a severe weather shelter in a minute or two should a warning be issued. Keep your TV tuned to News 18 as a crawl will show up once a warning is issued followed by a cut in with additional details.

Other methods of receiving warnings include NOAA Weather Radios, your smartphone (as long as you haven't deactivated emergency alerts), and the free Stormtracker 18 Weather App. Make sure your phone is OFF of silent/vibrate mode in order for warnings to alert you.

Stormtracker 18 Meteorologists say a line of strong thunderstorms in Minnesota are continuing to move northeast. Threats initially will be large hail, damaging winds, and possibly an isolated tornado or two. As the evening goes on, threats will morph into mostly a damaging wind threat. As storms move east further into Wisconsin, especially east of the watch area, they'll start to weaken.

If a warning is issued for your area, seek shelter in an interior room away from windows, preferably in a basement. Due to high frequency of lightning, avoid using wired electronic devices or the shower as lightning can travel through pipes and wires in house.

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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