Solar Eclipse & Preview of Summer

For the first time since 1994, a total eclipse will be visible in a good part of North America & the United States.  Unfortunately for us in North Central Wisconsin, we will only experience a partial solar eclipse, that is if skies clear out late Sunday afternoon into the early evening.  First off, a bit of information. Each year there are two types of solar eclipses that take place. The first kind is an annular solar eclipse, when the moon aligns between the sun & earth, producing a ring of fire effect in front of the sun where the eclipse is fully visible.  The other is a total eclipse, when the moon is again set up in a similar fashion, but closer to earth in order to block out the sun completely for a short time.

The event taking place on Sunday, May 20th is an annular eclipse, which will be fully visible (weather permitting) in the western part of the U.S.  Although we are only on target to see the sun partially blocked on Sunday, check out the graphic below for specifics on when this celestial event will take place.

Now since we are missing out on a total solar eclipse this go around, the good news is we won't have to wait too long for the next opportunity.  A total eclipse will be viewable across the entire U.S. on Monday, August 21, 2017 from roughly 12:30-2pm.  So mark your calendars now and hopefully the weather will cooperate.  For more details on the August 2017 solar eclipse, check out this information from Wikipedia.

Meantime, after an early preview of spring warmth in March, summer type weather conditions are also making an early appearance in the western Great Lakes. A ridge of high pressure has once again set up shop across the Mid-Atlantic states, putting us in a warm southern flow, helping guide temperatures well into the 80s our way.  Although this warmer than average temperature regime will only last through the first part of the weekend, it does appear the ridge could return by the middle of end of next week.  This may be just in time for folks who have plans for the Memorial Day holiday weekend.  At least for this weekend, the humidity will not be much of a factor, thanks in large part to the lack of rainfall since earlier in the month.  However, if we do get some drenching downpours on Sunday, the next wave of warmer weather could be more humid in nature.  All in all, it isn't that unusual to have the mercury climb into the 80s or even 90s in month of May.  During the dust bowl year of 1934, Wausau hit a record high of 104 on May 31st. Thankfully, I don't think that record mark will be in jeopardy by any stretch this go around.

As alluded to before, once the hotter and more humid weather conditions do make a come back, the odds improve for severe storms to develop.  Thus far through May 18th, there haven't been any reported twisters in the Badger State.  If we make it through the end of the month without one, it would be the first time that has happened since 1993.  However, don't be fooled into thinking that we'll skate by this summer without turbulent storms.  In the previous years (back to 1960) the 5 instances where this was the case, 4 of them featured tornado sightings in the double digits and 2 were above the statewide average for the year. Check out more on this from the NWS Milwaukee.

Enjoy the warm weather and stay tuned to Newschannel 7 for updates on the forthcoming chances of storms and anticipated high temperatures.

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