29. I've been out of Wisconsin since Sunday: severe weather last Sunday, a few pictures of Montana, freezing temperatures last night.
I was driving west from Duluth in the morning hours of Sunday, knowing that I was leaving a Moderate Risk of severe weather behind me. Just east of Brainerd I drove through a line of storms, which Weather Radio said was severe just north of my location. Luckily I didn't see any hail.
OSNW3, a blog author and weather observer in Oshkosh, WI has a radar loop of Sunday that shows the lines of thunderstorms which moved across the Upper Midwest. A small image of this loop is shown (above). I first heard of a tornado that impacted a northern suburb of Minneapolis as I was driving through North Dakota, which turned out to be an EF3 (at it's maximum strength) that hit Hugo, MN. Large hail was also reported across Wisconsin. NWS Minneapolis' report on this tornado and severe weather can be found here. A nice write-up of the tornadoes can be found here, from the Star Tribune.
15:05... 2" hail at Lac du Flambeau 15:22... 2" hail at St. Germain 15:37... 2" hail at Eagle River 16:13... 2" hail at Tipler
17:55... 4.25" hail near Hudson 17:55... 3" hail at Star Prairie 18:18... 2" hail at 2 mi ENE of Cylon 18:28... 2" hail at 2 mi N of Downing 18:45... 2.75" hail at 5 mi NE Wheeler 19:22... 2.5" hail at 1 mi N of Emerald 19:47... 2.75" hail at 6 NNW of Chippewa Falls
My Montana trip.
I didn't plan on coming out west, but I decided to drive my father to my uncle's funeral. I haven't been through North Dakota or Montana, so this was a good opportunity for me to see more of the US. I'll admit, it is beautiful.
This first picture is somewhere west of Billings, don't quote me, but it might be near Black Mountain's peak.
It was lightly raining in western ND and eastern MT as I drove through and the clouds were hugging the mountains in the passes. I'd hate to try driving this in winter!
I spent my Monday afternoon at a ranch south of Missoula, in the Bitterroot Valley.
This picture (to the left) is looking east at the foothills of the Sapphire Mountains. It is a gorgeous valley, I can see why everyone would want to live here. Grassy slopes, a nice river at the bottom, alfalfa fields, cattle roaming, blooming lilacs & apple trees - it was beautiful and peaceful.
A few days ago the flooding stopped, all the rivers where above bankfull when rain started melting the snow in the mountains too fast.
From the same vantage point as the picture above, this picture (to the right) is looking west at the central Bitterroot Mountains.
The local saying says that if the tops are still snow-covered by the 4th of July, they'll have enough water for the rest of the year.
Listening to the guys talk about how the snow melted quickly within the last week, they might be cutting it close with having enough water later in the year. There could definitely be more snow up on the peaks.
Freeze warnings last night, more tonight?
This map (to the left), from MesoWest, shows overnight low temperatures across northern Wisconsin, where a Freeze Warning was in effect overnight. It looks like most locations across northern Wisconsin fell below 32 degrees last night.
Another Freeze Watch has been posted for the northern counties again tonight (Tuesday night & early Wednesday morning).
Watches and Warnings for northern Wisconsin can be found on NWS Duluth's website. The same Freeze Watch has been issued by NWS Green Bay's northern counties, as well as NWS Marquette for the UP of Michigan.