29. The last few days have been stormy from the West Coast (on Sunday) to the Midwest (on Monday).
Storm systems have been pushing onshore the US West Coast since last week, bringing multiple feet of snow to the higher elevations and several inches of rain down below. Gusty winds have created numerous problems, but the worst was when a levee broke in Nevada. A clip from the AP:
Streets near homes in Fernley, Nev., are covered in mud after flood waters receded on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2008, as residents return to their homes after evacuating Saturday. As many as 400 homes were damaged when a canal's bank gave way following heavy rain produced by the West Coast storm system that had piled snow as much as 11 feet deep in the Sierra Nevada. (AP) Another system will slam into British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon today, bringing more winter problems to those areas. The maps (to the right) are from Accuweather.com.
Closer to home, the story was the continued warmth.
Temperatures across the Upper Midwest were 20 to 30 degrees above normal. The map (to the left from TWC) shows forecasted high temperatures for Sunday, January 6th. Monday was even warmer across southern Wisconsin.
Milwaukee had 63 degrees on Monday, breaking the old record of 47 in 1965 and 2003.
At the same time, Madison had a record high of 50 degrees, also breaking the old record of 47 set in 2003. Other records and reports from the National Weather Services in Wisconsin can be found here.
Severe weather in Wisconsin in January?!
The first report of hail in Wisconsin came at 6:45 in Grant County (the farthest one SW), at 0.75" in diameter. The storms then moved northeast to Madison and produced 0.75" hail there at 10:30. Later at 11:25 nickel-sized hail was reported southwest of Green Bay. The radar screenshot (to the right) was taken at 11:42 from the College of DuPage NexLab site.
Storm re-fired south of the previous ones and prompted Severe Thunderstorm Warnings for Dodge, Fond du Lac, and Washington counties at 11:33. There were no reports from these storms. On the radar (above right), these storms are the bright red ones in southeastern Wisconsin.
At 15:21 Tornado Warnings were issued by the NWS in Milwaukee for Rock and Walworth counties; a possible tornado was indicated by radar.
At 15:51 more Tornado Warnings were issued for Racine and Kenosha counties, the two farthest SE in Wisconsin.
Initial damage reports.
The first damage reported was at 16:10 in Walworth county with a barn roof blown off. Five minutes later 5 houses were reported damaged in Kenosha county. Fifteen minutes later at 16:35 debris was reported falling from the sky in Racine county. Then 2 tornadoes were reported on the ground three miles northwest of the Kenosha Airport at 16:42. Eleven minutes later a two-story apartment building collapsed in Kenosha, caused by winds from a suspected tornado.
The map of severe reports (above) and all of this information comes from the Storm Prediction Center's storm reports for 7 January 2008.
News, Pictures, and Video.
1) Milwaukee's ABC 12 (WISN) has 42 pictures of the storms and tornadoes at a webpage here. 2) The National Weather Service (NWS) in Milwaukee has an excellent write-up of these storms with many radar images at their page here. 3) WTMJ 620 AM Newsradio has a news article with pictures on their site here. 4) And finally WTMJ NBC 4 from Milwaukee has an article with video here.
While southern Wisconsin had the storms, the north was quiet.
The radar screenshot (to the right) was taken on Sunday at 15:19 and shows light rain or freezing drizzle moving across northern Wisconsin. More of the same was experience on Monday, though nothing heavy or serious. Temperatures remained well above average in the lower 30s across the region.
The provider I used for this radar image was Weather Underground. Once put into motion, it automatically updates itself. Free and easy to use here.