What a Difference a Year Makes

We have been rather fortunate across North Central Wisconsin to mostly miss out on the severe flooding that has hampered not only the southern third of Wisconsin but a good portion of the Upper Midwest .  Certainly the weather pattern so far through nearly the first half of 2008 has been not only snowy, but also wet for us in the Badger State .

I recently read in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (prior to the deluge of storms and heavy rain that pounded Milwaukee ) that up through Saturday June 7th, there was still one lingering pile of snow found in the atrium of a parking garage at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin .  This pile at one time during the heart of the winter months rose as high as 40 feet thanks to all of the plows pushing it into this one location.  I’m not sure if there is a record for the last sightings of snow, but this would certainly be notable to say the least.  Interestingly enough here in Wausau, the last bit of snow on Granite Peak usually melts anywhere from late May to the first couple weeks of June…and that’s at an elevation over 1500 feet.  Needless to say with the recent heavy rain, that dirty patch of snow in Milwaukee is long gone.

A few other interesting weather tidbits this spring compared to last year is how cool it has been.  By the last day of spring in Wausau in 2007 there were 20 days that reached the 70s, 17 days in the 80s, and 1 day in the 90s.  This year we have had exactly the same number of 70 degree days (through 6/16), but only 1 day in the 80s and none in the 90s.  Many would probably be glad to let the air conditioners rest a little longer, but for those that like to see their gardens in bloom or for the farmer’s crops, it has been a slow start to the warm season thus far.  Good news however when it comes to precipitation through this point in the year as both Rhinelander and Wausau are running a surplus of +1.17” and +2.59”  respectfully through the middle of June.  Last year at this time Rhinelander was running a deficit around 1 inch and Wausau a little over 4” below average.

One constant when it comes to the weather in the state is that severe weather hit once again during the first two weeks of June with plenty of reports of hail, wind damage and many tornadoes, including the infamous date of June 7th.  As of last check through June 16th approximately 24 twisters have touched down, which puts us above the yearly average for Wisconsin of 21.  Unfortunately with still the summer and early fall seasons to go, that number will likely climb higher.

Here are some links for more information:

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Article 6/7/08-Lingering Snow is a Dirty Reminder 
Latest Wisconsin Tornado Count- Milwaukee National Weather Service (NWS)  
Climatic Data for Wausau and Rhinelander-Green Bay NWS  
Historic June Rainfall in Southern Wisconsin-Green Bay NWS  
Latest Map of Road Closings Related to Flooding in Southern Wisconsin  

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