Hazard Support

On a volunteer basis, WisconsinView supports Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) as a coordinating entity for the application of remote sensing imagery during and after events such as tornadoes and floods.

Satellite imagery from optical and radar sensors makes it possible to locate and quantify areas affected by hazards. GIS technicians use processed imagery to map tornado damage swaths and flooded areas.

The mapping of tornado swaths with satellite imagery in Wisconsin dates back to the Siren Tornado of 2001.
WEM LogoInternational Charter Logo

Flooding: June 2008

WisconsinView coordinated the processing of imagery provided through International Charter activation. In all more than 25 satellite images were processed. Initial results of the radar analysis were made public 24 hours after receiving the data.
Lake Delton by Wisconsin State Journal June 10, 2008Radarsat-1 flood map

Flooding: August 2007

Flooding events in Southern Wisconsin prompted the first use of satellite imagery by WisconsinView to monitor flooding. Results were limited by cloud cover and data availability.
Kickapoo river NDVI flooding in pink.Newtonvalley 2007 by Jayne Stokke

Tornado: NE Long-track June 7, 2007

Reports of a long-track tornado prompted WisconsinView to examine "Wisconsin Today" daily MODIS imagery where the swath was clearly visible and still is years later.
July 9, 2007  satellite image of Long Track swath.Long-track swath 2007 in Feb 2009.
  • Batzli

Tornado: Stoughton August 18 2005
The tornado outbreak led to WisconsinView mapping the 3 most discernable swaths of the 27 reported tornadoes. In this case we used a combination of Landsat MODIS and ASTER imagery. We were limited in use of Landsat by clouds but made use of ASTER (aboard Terra) for the first time.
Swath of Stoughton Tornado 2005Storm over Stoughton. Photo by Sam Batzli
  • Batzli, Wolter, Olsen
  • Landsat, MODIS, Aster
  • Legacy website

Tornado: Madison June 23, 2004

This relatively mild tornado occurred in our "back yard" and allowed a rapid field survey. In this case we used GPS PhotoLink (AcrMap extension) to geolocate field imagery with a GPS track.
Map of GPS track and damage points, Madison.Damage example Madison 2004
  • Lillesand, Olsen
  • Ikonos, GPS PhotoLink

Tornado: Siren June 18, 2001
Swath of Siren Tornado June 18, 2001
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