As of today, there have been 31 tornadoes across Milwaukee this year, above the annual average of 23, mainly because of the 15 tornadoes in north central Wisconsin on April 10th. There have been 8 EF0, 16 EF1, 6 EF2 and 1 EF3 tornado in Merrill.
From 1950 until 2010, the Unites States had 52 EF5 tornadoes, the most violent twisters. It had been 3 years (May 11, 2008) since the last EF5 tornado was in Parkersburg, Iowa, but this violent spring produced 6 EF5 tornadoes.
Wisconsin has had 3 EF5 tornadoes since 1950 including; June 4, 1958 in Menomonie that killed 20 people, June 7, 1984 Barneveld Tornado that leveled everything in the town except the water tower and killed 9. The third EF5 tornado in Wisconsin was on this date in 1996 in Oakfield at 7:15pm.
The tornado initially touched down 4 miles NW of Oakfield as an EF1 tornado and quickly developed into a monster EF5 just east of the village with estimated winds up to 265 mph. Unbelievably, no one was killed and less than 20 were injured in the damage that included 60 homes and 6 businesses that were completely destroyed. An additional 130 homes and businesses suffered damage. Nearly 500 acres of crops were destroyed at a cost of nearly $1 million and total damage was near $40 million. A total of 12 tornadoes hit Wisconsin that day in 1996.