Well usually when the end of June arrives, I've typically had plenty to write about in regards to severe weather outbreaks in North Central Wisconsin. This year, it has been relatively quiet. So tranquil in fact that the National Weather Service in Green Bay noted that this was the first time since 1989 that not one report of severe weather occurred in Northeast Wisconsin, and only the second time overall in the past 30 years. Of course, this wasn't the case for the entire area. Back on June 19th, there was a batch of early morning storms that rolled through Price County producing golf ball sized hail and later that day, a strong line of storms downed a few trees in Adams County. Then on the 22nd, localized flooding in Taylor and NW Marathon County caused rivers and creeks to run high and temporary closing of area roads, thanks to anywhere from 2 to 4" of rain in just a couple of hours. So, not completely storm free, but certainly more tame that many months of June in the past.
So what caused this downturn in damaging storms? Certainly much cooler than average temperatures for the first couple of weeks in June help explain a part of the answer. In the last five years that I've resided in Central Wisconsin, this has been the prime time for not only severe storms but also tornadoes to impact the region. But with this chilly air in place, the atmosphere was relatively stable, so the wet weather that we did experience was more of the stratiform variety than convective. However, the tables did turn in the temperature department as the summer solstice arrived on June 21st. Highs surged through the 80s and into the 90s, with the aforementioned bouts of stormy weather just before and after this point on the calendar. That heat pump of a ridge did eventually shift off to the west, allowing for the redevelopment of an upper level trough across the Great Lakes. Thus as we rounded out the month, temperatures slipped back from the 70s and 80s down into the 60s for daytime highs, with just run of the mill scattered afternoon showers.
As we reach the mid-point of summer in July, I wouldn't put the guard down by any means for the potential of severe storms. It doesn't necessarily have to be hot and humid for an outbreak of treacherous weather, but merely a sharp front has to be either heading our way or set up shop over Central Wisconsin. That is usually the focal point for contrasts in temperature and as we've mentioned on-air many a times, one of the main ingredients that can lead to changeable skies and those thunder boomers to blossom.
With July 4th on deck for this weekend, the cloudy and showery first half of the week should be replaced by a ridge of high pressure in the Wisconsin River Valley. Sunshine will be mixed with a few clouds from Thursday through Saturday with highs rebounding back into the 70s and may even hop back to the lower 80s before the holiday weekend closes out. So feel free to break out the grills or head to some of the many holiday festivities that'll be taking place in the days ahead.
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