INTERESTING WISCONSIN WEATHER EVENTS
July 2012: Record Breaking HeatImage courtesy of NWS at Milwaukee July 6th, 2012
March 2012: Unprecedented Record WarmthThis was prepared by GRB NWS climate focal point, Roy Eckberg
March 2012 started out seasonably cold with high temperatures in the 20s and 30s during the first week of the month. A winter storm brought 4 to 8 inches of snow to northeast Wisconsin on the 2nd and 3rd. Some of the coldest weather in weeks moved into the area on the 5th. Low temperatures dropped to 4 degrees below zero at Eagle River and Antigo, 1 degree above zero at Rhinelander, Green Bay reported 3 degrees above zero and Appleton 5 degrees above zero. The cold weather did not last long as temperatures soared into the 40s and 50s on the 5th. Wautoma reported a high of 59 degrees while Wisconsin Rapids warmed to 56 degrees. Temperatures soared well into the 50s to lower 60s on the 6th. Even the typical cooler locations along the lake warmed into the 60s with the Manitowoc Airport reporting 63 degrees.
A brief cool down on the 8th and 9th dropped high temperatures back into mainly the 30s and 40s, unseasonably warm temperatures returned by the 10th. In the Green Bay forecast area which covers 22 counties across north-central and northeast Wisconsin, at least one location reported a record high temperature or record high minimum temperature on every day between the 10th and 24th except for the 13th. On the 13th, a cold front that moved across the area the night before brought temperatures closer to normal. The peak of the heat wave occurred from the 14th to the 24th when daily departures from normal were anywhere from 25 to 40 degrees above normal for each date. On the 20th, Green Bay averaged 37 degrees above normal for the date. This established a new record for the greatest daily above normal temperature departure for any single date since records began in 1886. The old record of 34 degrees above normal occurred on March 8, 2000. More record highs were reported on the 27th at Marshfield. Many daily record high temperatures and record high minimum temperatures were broken by 10 to 20 degrees between the 14th and 24th. Many locations also reported the earliest 80 degree temperature for so early in the year. Many sites also recorded the most number of days above 60, 70 and 80 degrees during the month of March. Usually during the spring, night time lows fall back into the 40s due to the cooler ground, longer nights or the cooling effects of the lake-breeze off the Bay of Green Bay or Lake Michigan. During this warm spell, this was not the case as most sites away from the bay and lake reported lows well into the 50s to around 60. At Wausau, the low temperature of 60 on the 21st was the earliest low temperature of 60 degrees. The previous earliest low temperature of 60 was 62 degrees on April 16th, 1921 or nearly a month later than the newly established record. It was the same story for Wisconsin Rapids which reported a low of 60 degrees on the 21st. The previous earliest low temperature of 60 degrees was 64 degrees on April 15, 1929. The combination of unseasonably warm days and mild night allowed for many locations to record number of cooling degree days for the month of March. In matter of fact, some sites reported the 1st cooling degree ever during the month of March. The above normal temperatures came to an end on the 29th and 30th.
Overall, March 2012 will go down in the record books as the warmest March on record. Departures from normal were from 14 to 17 degrees above normal for the month away from the Bay of Green Bay and Lake Michigan. Temperatures near the bay and lake averaged 10 to 13 degrees above normal for the month. Most locations broke their previous warmest March on record by an astounding 4 to 6 degrees! The main impacts of the extremely warm March were to agricultural interests. The green up and flowering of plants occurred 4 to 6 weeks earlier than normal. The early warmth concerned area growers due to the potential for a hard freeze later in the spring which would cause significant damage to crops. Also, the National Weather Service in Green Bay began to issue freeze advisories in late March when nights were expected to fall to 28 degrees or lower. The freeze headlines normally do not start until late April or early May. During the extremely warm stretch of weather, several grass fires were reported across the area. One of these fires forced Interstate 43 to shut down near Green Bay for a short period of time. One benefit to home-owners of the unprecedented warm was that less fuel was used to heat homes during the month.
Sep 02, 2011 - Thunderstorm Downburst Slams Fox ValleyA small cluster of intense thunderstorms produced wind gusts over 70 mph and widespread damage across central and east-central Wisconsin during the morning of September 2, 2011. Thousands of trees and power lines were blown down by the thunderstorm cluster. Numerous buildings were also damaged by fallen trees and the high winds. Power was knocked out to over 60,000 people at the height of the storm. Many thousands were still without power 12 hours after the event.
Highest measured thunderstorm wind gusts:
(40 ft elevation)
|Point Beach State Park||65|
One of the hardest hit areas during the storm was Appleton. Widespread 70 to 75 mph wind gusts were experienced in the city, with isolated winds estimated at around 95 mph. Damage in the Appleton area alone was $5.3 million.
Below is a radar image at 9:36 AM near the time of strongest winds in the Appleton area. Doppler radar measured winds over 80 mph several hundred feet above the ground near Appleton (circled area on "Velocity" image).
courtesy NWS GRB
Jan 31- Feb 03, 2011 BlizzardInclement Weather through Wednesday - Blizzard & Lakeshore Flooding! Blizzard on the Way (Updated 1:30 pm) A very strong area of low pressure will track northeast into the mid-Mississippi Valley region by this evening, and into the eastern Great Lakes by Wednesday afternoon. This track places much of southern Wisconsin in a swath of heavy snow that would fall this afternoon into Wednesday morning. Additional accumulations of 2 to 6 inches are possible north of a Fond du Lac to Lone Rock line...with 6 to 16 inches south of there. The heaviest snow will be in the far southeast and near Lake Michigan where lake enhancement is likely. Light lake effect snow will be falling through the day in the east. The heavier snow associated with the next low pressure center will start in the late afternoon and early evening. The graphic below shows approximate times for the onset of heavy snow.
Dec 11-12, 2010 Winter Storm
Snow Amounts from Dec 11-12, 2010 Winter Storm
A powerful winter storm moved across the region Saturday and Sunday leading to blizzard and winter storm warnings. The heaviest snow across Southern Wisconsin fell northwest of a Madison to Sheboygan line. Snow amounts of 10 to 13 inches were common across Sauk, Columbia, Marquette, Green Lake, Dodge, and Fond Du Lac counties. Farther south and east, snow amounts were less due to warmer temperatures keeping the precipitation mainly rain. The Milwaukee metropolitan area didn't change over to all snow until early Sunday morning, resulting in generally 1 to 3 inches southeast of a Milwaukee to Lake Geneva line.
There were two contributions to the milder temperatures: (1) The mild waters of Lake Michigan which were in the lower 40s, and (2) the more northward track of the surface low which actually went over Milwaukee instead of following a Northern Illinois to Southern Lake Michigan track.
Strong northerly winds of 20-35 mph with gusts up to 50 mph affected the region beginning Saturday night, and especially Sunday morning and afternoon. These strong winds created whiteout or near whiteout conditions due to blowing snow in open areas across much of southern Wisconsin. Very cold temperatures settled into the region on Sunday and Sunday night with low temperatures Monday morning in the single digits, but slightly below zero west and north of Madison.
High Winds October 26th, 2010
The October 26-27, 2010 Record Extratropical Cyclone Last updated 10/28/10 4 pm One of the strongest storms in the history of the central U.S. affected the region on October 26-27, 2010, producing wind gusts over 50 mph across much of the Midwest, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes from southeast Wisconsin and northeast Illinois to northern Alabama, and a blizzard over northern Minnesota and North Dakota. As the storm reached peak intensity late during the afternoon on October 26 over Minnesota, the lowest barometric pressure readings ever recorded in the central United States occurred. A reading of 28.21" (955.2 mb) was recorded at Bigfork, MN, a pressure that is found in Category 3 hurricanes! As the storm moved near Wisconsin, a new state record was set for lowest air pressure. Superior, WI, recorded a pressure of 28.39" (961.3 mb) on October 26. The previous state record was set in Green Bay in April 1982.
Rainfall September 22nd & 23rd, 2010
Significant Flooding in Central Wisconsin on September 23, 2010 Very heavy rainfall late on September 23, 2010, exceeding four inches in parts of Wood, Portage, Marathon and Waupaca counties, produced significant flooding across central Wisconsin. Hundreds of homes were impacted in central Wisconsin alone and crops were lost due to the flooding rains. Several area rivers exceeded flood stage during the event. The Yellow River at Babcock crested at the highest level ever recorded at the site, reaching 6.4 feet above flood stage. The Wisconsin River at Rothschild (Marathon Co.) reached the second highest level ever recorded there, but almost three feet below the historic 1941 flood. Two-day rainfall amounts across the NWS Green Bay service area ranged from just under a half inch in southern Manitowoc County to nearly 6 inches in western Wood County.
Tornado Path June 7th, 2007
Shawano-Menominee-Langlade-Oconto Counties Long-Track Tornado A long-track tornado touched down at 4:31 pm east of Mattoon in Shawano County and continued northeast to the Oconto-Marinette County line. The tornado was on the ground for at least 40 miles, and was over 1/2 mile wide at times. Over 14000 acres of trees were snapped or flattened and many dozens of buildings were damaged or destroyed. The twister was rated an EF3 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, with estimated winds of 140 to 160 mph. Damage by this tornado alone exceeded $15 million (property and timber).
Tornadoes Across Fox Valley Area June 23rd, 2004
Tornadoes Over Central Wisconsin and the Fox Valley - June 23, 2004 A deepening low pressure system entered the state in the early evening hours of June 23, 2004 dragging a cold front with it. Thunderstorms formed into a bow echo west of the area, then intensified and became tornadic as they moved farther east along a warm front. Five tornadoes formed over Central Wisconsin and the Fox Valley during the evening hours. Three of the tornadoes skipped along the ground for miles. Two touched down only briefly.
Map of Storm Reports
Hay wagon and semi-trailer overturned by the tornado on Radley Road in Waupaca county
Collapsed barn on Radley Road.
Asphalt on Radley Rd scoured out by the tornado near STH 22.