This paper presents an analysis of a thunderstorm system that spawned a downburst and an F4 anticyclonictornado in the West Bend, Wisconsin area in the early morning of 4 April 1981. The tornado caused threefatalities and was one of the strongest occurring in the United States during 1981. A weakly defined bowecho of level 3 intensity was observed by the radar located at Neenah, Wisconsin during the storm. Thethunderstorm tops were measured to only 7900 m (26 000 ft) and no apparent severe weather signature inthe infrared satellite imagery could be detected. The occurrence of this severe storm event is seen to haveimplications on present and future short-term operational forecasting technology.