If you are a fan of strong to severe thunderstorms, the three rounds of wild weather in North Central Wisconsin on Wednesday, July 14th certainly filled that void and then some. A few stats to throw out there at the on-set. Every county in the Newschannel 7 viewing area was under some sort of warning (severe t-storm, tornado, or flash flood) on Wednesday. In addition the storms impacted our area for a total of 14 hours, the first warning being issued for Price County a little after 11am, the last being for Juneau & Adams Counties which expired at 12:45am on Thursday morning. Our storm coverage on 24/7 Weather kicked off bright and early at 9am and we filed our last live cut-in at 1:45am on Thursday. As of this blog being posted on Thursday at 5pm, storm survey crews from the National Weather Service had confirmed an EF-1 Tornado in the SW corner of Clark County near Lake Arbutus. In Manawa (Waupaca County) the NWS found plenty of wind damage, along with one or two short lived weak tornadoes in the EF-0 category, with winds between 80 and 90 mph. In addition a microburst (downburst of winds) lead to damage near Fremont in Waupaca County and straight line winds produced damage to trees and some structures in Bowler (Shawano County). There will likely be more information coming in on other possible twisters and wind damage in the next day or two. To keep tabs on it all, here are the links to both the NWS La Crosse and NWS Green Bay.
In addition to that, now is the opportune time to check out a survey that the National Weather Service is doing in regard to convective storm warnings You can fill it out at warningstudy.org. You have to take it within 48 hours after the storms affected the area, so don't forget.
Now on to what went down with the storms in North Central Wisconsin, lots of rain with flash flooding and many storms that produced wind damage. In Wisconsin over 80 wind damage reports were tallied. If you are wondering where they were all reported check out the map below.
And when it rained, it poured. Wausau set a daily rainfall of 2.70", and many other communities filled the rain bucket with anywhere from 1 to 4". Considering as much as an inch or two fell with perhaps one storm, this quickly lead to flooding on area roads and ponding of water in low lying spots. Below is the radar rainfall estimate from the NWS Green Bay radar.
The heaviest rainfall locally fell in parts of NE Taylor, N Portage, SW Marathon, SW Wood and NW Juneau Counties, where you'll notice the radar estimated amounts were as high as 4 to 5". The highest rainfall was reported in Tomah (Monroe Co) of a 6.50". At least some good news is the rain from this recent onslaught of storms has just about completely erased the deficit of precipitation for the year in Wausau and Rhinelander. Of course now the hope is for us to stay close to average if not perhaps a bit above as the year continues on.
What lead to all of the storms? The first two rounds were courtesy of a warm front which stalled out across North Central Wisconsin on Wednesday morning. The first batch of unsettled weather followed along this front as a complex of storms rolling out of Minnesota and impacted primarily the northern half of the state. The second line of storms boiled up along the front back into eastern Minnesota & western Wisconsin, tracking east right into Central Wisconsin. The final bout of storms was associated with the cold front, that approached our region during the late evening hours with the same calling card of storms containing heavy rainfall and gusty winds. Last but not least, the one front that crossed through the Wisconsin River Valley without much fanfare was the dew point front, which came by just after sunrise from west to east on Thursday morning. This caused dew points to go from the mid to upper 60s prior to sunrise to the mid to upper 50s. A refreshing change of pace.
Although we had enough stormy weather in one day that is more typical of an entire week, another risk of possible strong storms is in the forecast for later Saturday night into Sunday. We'll certainly be watching how this system evolves. As a reminder you can follow us on twitter @wsawweather, on facebook at NewsChannel7, on 24/7 Weather and as always right here through the webchannel.
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