It certainly was an interesting year weatherwise in North Central Wisconsin. The year started off with a healthy 15" of snow on the ground and a January that was down right cold. 23 out of the 31 days featured below zero temperatures and our coldest low of the year at -22. There were no big winter storms from January to March, however, considering that December 2008 was the snowiest one on record, we didn't need much more snow to still end up having near normal seasonal levels, totaling 63.4" for 2008-09. As we headed into spring, an early warm up took place in April with temperatures climbing into the 70s on April 17th & 18th, then soared to 83 on April 24th...missing the record high on that date by a degree. Of course with such an influx of temperatures, severe weather also took place on 4/24 with numerous hail producing storms. The largest hail, up to 2" in diameter, was reported near Neillsville.
The early season severe storms did not lead to an eventful severe weather season in North Central Wisconsin. Instead there were no tornado touchdowns in the region, and only 12 severe weather events. That is the fewest since 1990 when this statistic was first tracked. In all of the Badger State 16 tornado touchdowns were reported, below the seasonal average of 21. There were a couple episodes of flash flooding in the area, the first right around the start of the summer season in June across parts of Taylor and NW Marathon County (3-5" in just a few hours) and then again on August 14th when an early morning MCS (Mesoscale Convective Storms) rolled through the middle of the state, dumping nearly 2" of rain in Wausau and as much as 6.5" in the Chippewa Valley of western Wisconsin. Up until August, the entire area was in a moderate to severe drought, however the 6.21" that fell in Wausau for the month did help to make a dent in the deficit (even if it was late in the growing season).
Fall in the Wisconsin River Valley was almost like flipping around the months. September was warm and dry, more typical of late August, while October resembled that of November and vice versa, with chilly weather and 6 days where snow fell in October, while November was nearly snow free. December certainly brought us back to reality with a major winter storm blasting the area December 8th-9th with anywhere from 8 to 16" of snow and the first episode of Blizzard Warnings being issued for much of Wisconsin in some time. As the year came to a close, another storm impacted the region leading up to and including Christmas with a mixed bag of snow, ice and rain. Although 6" of snow fell in Wausau from December 23rd-27th, it was subdued by nearly a half inch of rain.
Compared to average, this year will go down as one of the cooler ones in Wausau. The official numbers will be tallied up next week, so be sure to check back in. Until then, here's a breakdown for Wausau month by month compared to average.
*December Average Temperature based on data through 12/27/09.
For more on the weather highlights in Wisconsin for 2009, check out this link from the Milwaukee NWS.
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