29. Rain and storms covered the region on Friday. Snow and wind brought winter back to the region on Saturday.
The upper-low that was responsible for all this wet weather was spinning over northern Minnesota, bringing instability across Wisconsin and the UP of Michigan. Wisconsin's first tornado watch was issued on Friday across the southern third of state (Watch #0232).
While there was large hail and one tornadic storm towards the south, there were two cells that produced large hail in the north. At its closest approach, one of the two passed 50 miles to my east, and I captured it on radar (to the upper right). It started down in Oneida county and trekked almost due north, bringing Severe Thunderstorm Warnings to Onedia, Vilas, and Gogebic counties. My radar screenshot was captured at 20:08 and shows the storm as it is about to emerge over the waters of western Lake Superior.
As the storm formed in Oneida county, it produced several reports of hail:
1.75" Heafford Junction (1 mile N)1.75" Harshaw 1.75" Lake Tomahawk (3 miles NW)
The storm continued it path north and entered Vilas county, leaving 1.75" hail at Manitowish Waters at 21:18 (first storm report to the left).The storm was still producing hail as it moved offshore into Lake Superior. 1" hail was reported northeast of Wakefield in the UP county of Gogebic (second storm report to the left).
Storm Reports from 4.25.08 can be found on the SPC site here.
Quite a strong low pressure system.
I pulled two graphs off my personal weather station (to the right). The top one shows measured outside temperature from the last seven days, while the bottom shows a combination of barometeric pressure and highest daily wind gusts from the same time frame.
Wednesday (4/23) I recorded the highest temperature of the year, so far, at 74.9 degrees. Four days later, the low temperature this morning was 26.1 degrees. This is a drop of almost 50 degrees! Average highs for this time of year should be around 55 degrees, we're a bit below that right now.
Pressure shows the low pressure system as it passed by - a huge dip down to 29.33 "Hg on Saturday. The lowest pressure coincides with the highest wind gust I measured, 28 mph. My location is sheltered, but Ashland's airport measured gusts in the upper 30 mph range. The winds were similar across the entire region as the low pressure spun northeastward.
Snowfall from Friday evening through Saturday night.
Over a foot of snow was reported on the Iron Range northwest of Duluth, where Winter Storm Warnings had been posted. The rest of the area saw either mixed precipitation fall, or only a trace amount of snow.
This radar image (to the left) is from 11:12 on Saturday morning, and shows the large area of light snow falling in northeastern Minnesota and northern Wisconsin. Wind barbs on the ASOS metar plots shows sustained winds around 20 mph. I experienced brief bursts of heavy snow and wind, followed by several minutes of weak sunshine. The pattern repeated itself throughout the daytime hours on Saturday.
Through most of Saturday the snow stuck only to branches, the wet and warmer ground melted snow on contact. This picture (to the right) shows the Hemlock trees in the driveway's roundabout.
I received a total of 0.98" of rain and melted snow from this storm system (from Thursday through Saturday night). This was about half of what was originally forecast, therefore the Flood Watch that was posted for the area was allowed to expire without any reported problems.
By mid-afternoon, the snow began to stick to elevated surfaces and was beginning to turn the grass white. This picture (to the left) is looking east across the front deck.
Accumulations never rose above a trace as the snow continued to melt on contact, but it was enough to make the landscape look like winter.
In fact, Saturday felt exactly like a wet and cool mid-November day. Wet and brown leaves covered the ground, winds were gusty and cold, and snow was falling. A typical November day up here.
Towards evening, the snow stopped melting on contact as the temperature fell below freezing. This picture (to the right) is looking north towards the garage. Snow was covering the garage roof as well as some grassy surfaces and a few places on the gravel driveway.
By this morning (Sunday), all the snow has disappeared! Temperatures have risen above freezing around 10:00 and the clouds are letting blue sky and sunshine through now at 11:00. Winds are calmer this morning, but still a chilly breeze from the west.
The forecast from the NWS calls for a high temperature of 40 at my location with a slight chance of more snow/rain showers this afternoon. It looks like we'll finally start to warm up on Tuesday, with a return to average temperatures on Thursday.