As we kick off this second week of July, the weather continues to remain active in the western Great Lakes. Not only did we see some severe storms on Sunday which produced penny to nickel sized hail in Loyal, but then on Monday a severe line of storms plowed through the southern third of the state with heavy rain, damaging winds, and more hail, up to quarter size in diameter. A slow moving cold front will be crossing through Central Wisconsin on Tuesday, scouring out the humid air and allowing for more in the way of sunshine at least through the remainder of the week. However, don't expect those dew points in the 60s and 70s to stay away for too long, as south to southwesterly winds will likely kick back into the region before the end of the week.
Meantime, out in the tropics, Hurricane Bertha became the first hurricane of the season in the Atlantic. An interesting coincidence is on the exact same date of July 7th in 1996, the first hurricane of the Atlantic season also developed. And the name of that storm...Hurricane Bertha. The names of these storms do get recycled every 5 years, although there are instances where a name may be retired off the list if it caused major destruction or death. A good example of this was back in 2005 where a total of 5 names were retired off the official list (the most ever in one year), which were Dennis, Katrina, Rita, Stan and Wilma. Katrina and Rita were retired for obvious reasons, although Wilma didn't cause too much damage to the U.S. it did pound Cozumel, Mexico, and while over open water became the strongest hurricane on record in the Atlantic basin with a minimum pressure of 882 mb. We are still about a couple months away from the peak of the hurricane season, so we'll likely have plenty more to talk about in the weeks ahead.
And here's an interesting item from the folks in California. You know those labels that are on the side windows of new cars that include the mpg (miles per gallon) and all of the great features the vehicle has to offer. Well it appears that new cars sold in California starting in 2009 and 2010 in New York will include a global warming score. This will be on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being an environmentalist nightmare and 10 being top of the line for helping out the environment. Just another way to gauge what the best kind of car or truck you may want to buy. Now if we could only perfect cars that run on alternate fuels or at least renewable ones. Only time and technology will tell on how far we can go.
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