Dodging the Heat...Not the Storms

Needless to say the weather pattern from last Wednesday through this past Sunday was an unsettled one in the Wisconsin River Valley .  Severe thunderstorms rolled through the area on 4 out of the 5 days during that stretch of time, and did leave some wind and hail damage in its wake.  Remarkably, we didn’t have any twisters that touched down in association with these storms locally, but did have one funnel cloud report last Wednesday just north of Wisconsin Rapids and our largest hail report as of late in Plover, which measured in at 2.25” in diameter.  Meanwhile, the rumblers that rolled through during the weekend produced one very brief tornado that touched down in Menasha, which is just to the south of Appleton .  Sunday there was a tornado warning in Door County for a storm cluster, which if you check out this radar image there is clearly a hook echo that developed on the line of storms.  However the damage report that came in from this storm was from downdraft winds.  Nevertheless, if we ever had an image like this of a storm over Central Wisconsin , it would be time to head for the basement.  By the way, as of July 21st, a total of 30 tornadoes have been confirmed in the state, which is above the average of 21, but still well below the record number of 62 sited in 2005.

On that note, we have been providing plenty of live severe weather coverage on our 24/7 Digital Weather Channel this spring and summer whenever watches and warnings have been issued for our area. I think so far I have had a couple of marathon wall to wall events with severe thunderstorms and just about every weekend at least one or two live updates to pass along.  From a weather perspective, this is a fabulous channel to turn to whenever storms are happening and is a great way to learn more in-depth about how the storms form, along with what we look for when a storm is strong to severe. Trust me, its hard to get all the information in during a severe storm event in less than 3 minutes during the newscast. Just as a reminder, you can access our 24/7 channel right here on the webchannel by clicking on the “Live Video” link on the main page.

With our active weather, the mercury has yet to crack the 90 degree mark in most of Central Wisconsin .  It isn’t unusual that we go through the whole summer without topping 90, but on average in Wausau we climb into the 90s about 4 to 5 times in a summer.  The farther north you go in the Badger State , the lower the number is.  Here’s a map with the breakdown and you’ll notice that some spots in the Northwoods barely have more than a couple days on average above 90, while southern Wisconsin tends to have anywhere from 10 to 15 days simmering in the 90 degree heat. 

Speaking of which, the tropics are heating up a bit now with Tropical Storm Christobal sliding up the eastern seaboard and Dolly, which as of this writing was a tropical storm but will likely strengthen to a hurricane before making landfall somewhere between northeastern Mexico and southeast Texas around the middle of this week.  If nothing else, this storm will spread some wet and windy weather into south
Texas , which has been experiencing severe to extreme drought conditions.  This may end up being too much of a good thing, but certainly they’ll welcome the rain.  We are still about a month away from the most active part of the Atlantic Hurricane season, with 4 names down and likely a fair number more to go.

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