Drenching Rain & Summer Heat

So our severe weather season has been relatively tame compared to the past few years. No less, that doesn't mean we have not had intervals of active summer weather. The latest instance of interesting weather was a Mesoscale Convective Vortex (MCV) that rambled across Central Wisconsin Friday, August 14th. Just like other mesoscale storms that tend to fire up during the nighttime hours, this swirling derbish of heavy rain and storms originated back across the Dakotas the day before and gradually shifted toward the Badger State late Thursday night. Now unlike a line of storms that tends to pass through in a short time, this MCV was only shuffling off to the east at about 20 to 30 mph. In the process, it was putting down some torrential downpours stretching from Pepin County in Western Wisconsin to Clark and Marathon County locally. Rainfall rates were on range of 1 to as much as 3 inches in just a hour, which lead to flash flooding during the morning commute in Wausau. One thing you can notice looking at the radar image from just before 7am on August 14th below is this MCV looks almost like a tropical storm after landfall. It had a classic counter-clockwise rotation throughout it's journey across Central Wisconsin and the heaviest bands of rain were on the southern and eastern ends of the MCV.

In all, the highest rainfall totals were in the range of 2 to 5" from western and central Clark County into Central Marathon County. And just to give you an idea of how localized the downpours were, 3.52" was measured here at the station on Grand Ave, while just 2 miles away to the south at the Wausau Downtown Airport, 1.84" fell. In case you are wondering, this month will go down as the wettest one in Wausau with just under 4" in the rain gauge through the 17th. This is on par with the climatological numbers, which show August being the month that the most precipitation does fall.

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Meantime, we just wrapped up a string of 9 days in a row of highs at or above 80 degrees in Wausau. Certainly not a heat wave by any means, but certainly notable considering the relatively cool summer it has been to this point. The days ahead feature daytime readings primarily in the 70s, as another stretch of wet weather is in the works from late Wednesday through Friday. Beyond that, temps may return to the 80 degree level next week with a ridge of high pressure staking its claim off to our east, guiding warmer air back in our direction.

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