Severe Weather & Rainfall Recap

With spring officially underway now for just over a month, it was only a matter of time before the first outbreak of severe weather would impact the Wisconsin River Valley. The ingredients were certainly there last Friday, including near record high readings in the 80s, dew points into the mid to upper 50s, and a sharp cold front pushing across the region. Prior to this stormy episode, the severe weather indicators pointed to the main threats with these storms to be gusty winds and hail. Sure enough, that's what we got. Between 6:30pm and 9:30pm on April 24th, there were 15 hail reports locally with the largest hail of golf ball to egg size (1.75" to 2" in diameter) in Neilsville, Wausau, and Merrill, along with 6 reports of damage caused by winds. Included in the wind damage was the roof being ripped off of a trailer home, a tree knocking out power lines and landing on a home in Spencer, as well as downed trees on roads across parts of Price County. Indeed, this was Mother Nature's warm up for us during the spring/summer severe weather season, and coincidentally took place on the last day of Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week. This was also the first time this year that we did continuous storm coverage on our 24/7 weather channel, with the longest stretch being just over 3 hours long as these storms were rumbling through. The best part about now having the digital tv conversion out of the way is that a majority of folks can flip over to 7-3 or Charter 968 and find out what's going on with the weather, with no interruption to regular programming on Newschannel 7.  Yes, we'll still be running the weather crawl, but if you want to know what happens on CSI, you'll be be good shape. In the future, when there are storms that produce more widespread damage or tornadoes, we will still be cutting in to Newschannel 7, although our goal is to keep those live updates brief and encourage you to head over to the 24/7 weather channel on your tv or to our webchannel to watch the live feed at The exception to this will be when tornadoes are reported on the ground impacting our which case we'll stay on for the duration of the warning on both channels. In addition we hope to also have coverage available in conjunction with our radio partners at WSAU, WDEZ, WRIG, WOFM and WIFC if and when a tornado outbreak occurs, so that way we've got you covered where ever you might be by tv, radio, or online.

Meantime there were also multiple rounds of moderate to heavy rain crossing through North Central Wisconsin during the weekend. From Friday through Sunday we made a significant dent in the drought that had developed in the region. Rainfall amounts ranged from as much as 2.67" in Pittsville, to 2.45" in Necedah, 2.34" in Marshfield, and 2.29" in Wausau to just around an inch in Langlade and 1.67" in Rhinelander. This put us back on the positive side of the ledger for the month of April in the rain bucket and also above average for the year by a half inch to 1". Of course, there is plenty of time to go before the growing season is in full effect, and hopefully there will be some additional rain in our future that can hold the line close to seasonal averages.

Lastly on Sunday, the first reported tornado touchdown of the year occurred in southwest Wisconsin near Dickeyville in Grant County. Based on the preliminary reports this was a brief touchdown, and there wasn't anyone injured due to the storm. That's certainly good news.  If you remember last year, the first twisters of the season actually occurred on January 7th in SE Wisconsin. So at least this go around, we were into the spring months, although it should be noted that the only month in which a tornado has not occurred in Wisconsin is February.

As for the weather this week, sunshine will be back for Tuesday and Wednesday thanks to a ridge of high pressure. However another wet weather maker is anticipated to roll in for Thursday, which could once again feature some thunderstorms. There are no 70 or 80 degree readings in the forecast for the next several days, but rather highs that look to be running about 5 to 15 degrees below average in the 50s to near 60. So make sure you've got that jacket with you before heading out and about.

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