Since North Central Wisconsin has enjoyed a respite from the wild weather of the past few weeks, it is a great time to look back at some of the other interesting items in the world of weather.
Lets start with how wet this summer has been in Wausau. Outside of the rounds of severe storms, the rain bucket has been brimming with rainfall since the start of June. Here's the breakdown for this June & July compared to the other rainy years of the past. Note that we only were a mere .08" of an inch short of the highest amount from a 110 years ago.
Of course with the copious wet weather, we have alleviated the drought conditions in much of the Badger State. Here's a side by side comparison of where we were back on June 1st and where we are as of August 3rd. For comparison, Yellow shaded areas are Abnormally Dry, Light Brown is Moderate Drought, Orange is Severe Drought, and Red is Extreme Drought.
June 1, 2010 August 3, 2010
Meantime back out in Vivian, South Dakota on July 23rd, a supercell thunderstorm dropped the largest hail stone in U.S. weather history, checking in at a whooping 8" in diameter. That's roughly the same width of a bowling ball. On the left is the actual hail stone and to its right is the crater that it left after falling from roughly 50,000-60,000 feet up in the clouds to the ground below. Needless to say, if hail of this size hit anyone that was outdoors, it could have been lethal.
You can find out more information on the storms that caused this hail and other severe weather damage in parts of the Dakotas at the NWS Aberdeen website.
Last but not least, finally the saga of the leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, off the Louisiana coast is coming to an end. Way back in April when the explosion happened and spewing of the oil was hitting its peak, it seemed odds were the oil well wouldn't be capped until one or both of the relief wells had been completed. Fortunately, a temporary cap placed on the well in mid-July finally stopped the flow of oil into the Gulf, and what should be the final stages on sealing off the oil well completely are on the verge of being wrapped up. Thank Goodness!! No less, this disaster did leave a notable mark on wildlife, the jobs of many folks that depend on the Gulf for income from fishing, shrimping and clamming, along with the coastal towns that had to close their beaches due to the onslaught of oil. There is never a good time for a situation like this to arise, but to write the final chapter to this disaster just a couple of weeks before the height of the hurricane season is certainly a huge plus. There will likely be more to talk about in relation to the active tropics weather-wise in the weeks ahead.
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