It is the second week of June and typically in North Central Wisconsin that means we are in the target zone for severe thunderstorms and possible tornadoes. Of course, that was far from reality this go around with unseasonably cool air entrenched in the region, including new record minimum high temperatures from Saturday through Monday. However, on Monday a wave of low pressure did track across south-central Wisconsin and in the process during the afternoon, a potent cluster of storms developed near Madison. Between 2pm and 4pm, this line charged to the east, producing not one but two tornado touchdowns in southeastern Wisconsin. The first reported impact area was near Mukwanago in Waukesha County just after 3:40pm. Preliminary reports indicated that this was a weak EF0 twister with winds around 65 mph that took out some trees in the area and also produced 1.5" diameter hail. Meanwhile about 10 minutes later near Union Grove in Racine County, another tornado was spotted. Needless to say, although this line of storms was small, it did have a supercell embedded within it, which developed on the eastern side of low pressure moving from south central Wisconsin toward northern lower Michigan Monday afternoon and evening.
This time of the year when low pressure tracks through our area, if we are on the eastern or southern side of it, the odds greatly increase that severe storms could develop. Obviously with the cool weather as of late, that scenario wasn't as likely, but if we had some sunshine, temperatures at least in the 60s or 70s and that storm system approaching, it would have made for a much more active start to the work week. Speaking of which, it was just about 2 years ago when a tornado outbreak did occur in our area, including softball sized hail in Port Edwards and an EF3 tornado that plowed through Menominee and Langlade Counties.
No less, we did pick up some appreciable rainfall from Saturday through Monday, ranging from about .75" to as much as 1.80". This certainly put most locales back on the positive side of the ledger for rainfall for the month as well as keep us above the normal levels to this point in the year. Here again is the map of the drought situation in the state, with NW Wisconsin still under a moderate drought. This map updates weekly on Thursdays, so it may adjust in appearance a bit if you check in before versus after.
After a gloomy stretch of weather, sunshine is expected to be more plentiful for the second half of this week, along with highs that should rebound into the 70s. At the moment, there doesn't appear to be any threats for severe weather in the forecast for the next several days, but of course we will continue to monitor things from the weather lab.
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