...TOP WISCONSIN WEATHER EVENTS FOR 2002...

...2002...ANOTHER YEAR OF WILD EXTREMES IN WEATHER EVENTS...

- 2001-02 WINTER -
PARTS OF SOUTHERN WISCONSIN HAD LESS THAN HALF OF THEIR NORMAL WINTER SNOWFALL FOR THE WINTER OF 2001-2002. GENERALLY 16 TO 32 INCHES FELL...INSTEAD OF THE NORMAL 35 TO 52 INCHES. MILWAUKEE HAD 36.5 INCHES...MADISON HAD 31.5...AND LA CROSSE HAD 32.9 INCHES. UNION GROVE /RACINE CO./ HAD THE LEAST WITH 16.0 INCHES. FOR MOST OF THE STATE...WINTER TEMPERATURES AVERAGED 5 TO 10 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL.

- FEB 19 TO MAR 15 WINTER STORMS -
FIVE WINTER STORMS WITH HEAVY SNOWS OF 6 TO 20 INCHES CLOBBERED PARTS OF NORTHWEST AND NORTH-CENTRAL WISCONSIN DURING THE PERIOD OF FEB 19TH TO MARCH 15TH. THESE STORMS CONTRIBUTED TO A TOTAL WINTER SNOWFALL OF 241.6 INCHES AT HURLEY IN IRON COUNTY...THE MOST IN THE STATE...ROUGHLY 100 INCHES ABOVE NORMAL.

- MARCH 2-11 COLD WEATHER -
THE COLDEST WEATHER OF THE 2001-2002 WINTER SEASON OCCURRED DURING THE PERIOD OF MARCH 2-11...AS MANY LOCATIONS RECORDED TEMPERATURES OF ZERO OR BELOW FOR THE FIRST TIME DURING THE WINTER SEASON. THE LOWEST STATE READING FOR 2002 WAS -26 ON MARCH 4TH IN HARRISON...ABOUT 10 MILES EAST OF TOMAHAWK. THE LONE ROCK AIRPORT /SAUK CO./ DROPPED TO -24 ON THE SAME DAY.

- APRIL FLASH FLOODING -
THE SECOND WEEK OF APRIL BROUGHT TEMPERATURES IN THE 80S AND RAINS OF 1 TO 3 INCHES TO NORTHERN PARTS OF WISCONSIN...LEADING TO RAPID MELTING OF THE WINTER/S DENSE SNOW PACK. SIGNIFICANT RUNOFF AND FLOODING RESULTED ACROSS MANY COUNTIES IN THE NORTH PART OF THE STATE. LINCOLN...FOREST...AND MARATHON COUNTIES PRIMARILY EXPERIENCED LOW-LYING AGRICULTURAL AND ROAD FLOODING. FLORENCE... MARINETTE...IRON...SAWYER...AND ASHLAND COUNTIES MAINLY EXPERIENCED RIVER AND STREAM FLOODING...WHICH LED TO THE CLOSING OF MANY HIGHWAYS AND ROADS. PROPERTY DAMAGE WAS ESTIMATED AT $1.5 MILLION.

- APRIL 18TH SEVERE WEATHER -
A WARM FRONT MOVED FROM SOUTH TO NORTH ACROSS WISCONSIN DURING THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING HOURS OF APRIL 18TH...WHICH BROUGHT MOIST... UNSTABLE AIR TO THE STATE...AND FUELED THE DEVELOPMENT OF WIDESPREAD SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS. REPORTS WERE PRIMARILY OF STRONG STRAIGHT-LINE WINDS WHICH PEAKED AT 75 MPH...AND LARGE HAIL UP TO 3 INCHES IN DIAMETER /IN LINCOLN COUNTY/. FIVE TORNADOES ALSO DEVELOPED... AFFECTING PARTS OF LINCOLN...MARATHON...AND ONEIDA COUNTIES. ONE OF THE TWO TORNADOES IN MARATHON COUNTY LEFT ABOUT $1.7 MILLION IN PROPERTY AND CROP DAMAGE. DOWN-BURST WINDS ASSOCIATED WITH OTHER SEVERE STORMS RESULTED IN AT LEAST $300-THOUSAND IN DAMAGE.

- JUNE 3RD WAKE LOW -
SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS SWEPT ACROSS SOUTHERN WISCONSIN IN THREE WAVES ON JUNE 3...PRIMARILY PRODUCING DAMAGING NORTHWEST WINDS THAT TOPPED OUT AT 67 MPH AND A FEW INSTANCES OF LARGE HAIL. ONCE THESE STORMS PUSHED OUT OF THE STATE...A THUNDERSTORM INDUCED MESO-HIGH FORMED OVER LAKE MICHIGAN. THIS MESO-HIGH...AND A WAKE LOW CENTERED OVER THE SOUTH CENTRAL PART OF THE STATE...PRODUCED A TIGHT PRESSURE GRADIENT THAT LED TO A HIGH WIND EVENT IN KENOSHA AND RACINE COUNTIES. SUSTAINED SOUTHEAST WINDS WERE GREATER THAN 30 MPH OVER SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN...AND GUSTED TO 58 MPH IN DOWNTOWN KENOSHA.

- JUNE 22 FLASH FLOODING -
A STATIONARY FRONT STRETCHED ACROSS CENTRAL WISCONSIN ON JUNE 22 AND LED TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THUNDERSTORMS ACROSS THE CENTRAL PART OF THE STATE. HEAVY RAIN FELL ACROSS THE AREA FOR SEVERAL HOURS...AND UP TO 5 INCHES FELL IN SOME AREAS OVER A PERIOD OF JUST THREE HOURS. THE AREA HARDEST HIT WAS FROM NORTHEAST ADAMS COUNTY INTO NORTHWEST WAUSHARA COUNTY...WHERE DOPPLER RADAR ESTIMATES TOTALED RAINFALL AMOUNTS TO NEAR 15 INCHES. IN ADDITION...PARTS OF WAUSHARA...WOOD...PORTAGE...MARQUETTE...AND GREEN LAKE COUNTIES HAD SOME FLASH FLOODING. BRIDGES WERE WASHED OUT...ROADS WERE CLOSED ACROSS THE CENTRAL PART OF THE STATE. CROPS WERE LOST...AND MANY BASEMENTS AND SEPTIC TANKS WERE BADLY DAMAGED. PROPERTY DAMAGE WAS ESTIMATED AT ABOUT $5.6 MILLION...AND CROP DAMAGE ABOUT $35.1 MILLION.

- JULY/AUGUST DROUGHT/HEAT -
DROUGHT AND SEVERAL DAYS OF HOT MUGGY WEATHER AFFECTED SOUTHERN WISCONSIN DURING THE SUMMER OF 2002...PRIMARILY BETWEEN THE FIRST OF JULY AND AUGUST 11TH. THE AREA MOST AFFECTED BY DROUGHT EXTENDED FROM EASTERN ROCK COUNTY TO THE WESTERN PARTS OF RACINE AND KENOSHA COUNTIES...WHERE LESS THAN AN INCH OF RAIN FELL IN THE MONTH OF JULY. MAXIMUM HIGH TEMPERATURES WERE IN THE LOWER TO MIDDLE 90S FOR THE FIRST FEW DAYS IN AUGUST...WITH 70S AND 80S AT OTHER TIMES DURING THIS STRETCH. CROPS WERE AFFECTED BY THE DRY SPELL...AS CORN WITHERED...SOYBEANS STOPPED GROWING. HARVESTS WERE PREDICTED TO BE WELL BELOW NORMAL. THE DRY EARTH EVEN CRACKED IN SOME OF THE MORE SEVERELY AFFECTED AREAS. FOR THE SUMMER...MILWAUKEE EXPERIENCED 20 DAYS WITH MAXIMUM TEMPERATURES IN THE 90S...DOUBLE THE NORMAL AMOUNT. MADISON REGISTERED 12 DAYS WITH HIGHS OF 90 OR HIGHER.

- JULY 21ST HOTTEST DAY -
MAXIMUM TEMPERATURES PEAKED IN THE 90S TO 101 ACROSS MOST OF WISCONSIN. THE CITIES OF WEST ALLIS...WAUTOMA...WAUPACA...AND WHITING /NEAR STEVENS PT./ ALL TOPPED OUT AT 101...THE HIGHEST STATE READINGS FOR 2002. REACHING 100 DEGREES WERE MT. MARY COLLEGE...DELAVAN... RICHFIELD...HOWARDS GROVE...NEW HOLSTEIN...LUXEMBURG...AND CLINTONVILLE. FOR THE LARGER CITIES...LA CROSSE AND KENOSHA HAD 99...AND EAU CLAIRE...MADISON...AND MILWAUKEE ALL HAD 98.

- AUGUST 12TH FLASH FLOODING -
SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN WAS SOAKED ON AUGUST 12 WHEN MULTIPLE LINES OF THUNDERSTORMS PASSED THROUGH THE SAME GENERAL AREA. TORRENTIAL RAINFALL REDUCED VISIBILITIES TO LESS THAN 1/4 MILE...AND LED TO MUD- SLIDES...FLASH FLOODING...AND CAUSED SMALL STREAMS TO RISE GREATER THAN ONE FOOT OVER BANK-FULL. RAINFALL AMOUNTS TOTALED 7.8 INCHES IN 4 HOURS NEAR THE CITY OF WAUKESHA...AND 5 TO 7 INCHES OVER THE SURROUNDING AREA. GENERAL AMOUNTS ACROSS SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN WERE IN THE 1 TO 3 INCH RANGE. LIGHTNING ALSO PLAYED A PART FOR DAMAGE DONE BY THESE STORMS...CAUSING TWO HOUSE FIRES. GUSTY WINDS KNOCKED DOWN ENOUGH POWER LINES TO AFFECT 30000 CUSTOMERS.

- AUGUST 21ST SEVERE WEATHER AND 100 MPH WINDS -
A WIDESPREAD SEVERE WEATHER OUTBREAK AFFECTED MUCH OF SOUTH-CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN THE EVENING OF AUGUST 21. LIGHTNING BURNED ONE HOUSE TO THE GROUND...TORRENTIAL RAINFALL REDUCED VISIBILITIES TO 100 FT AND BROUGHT 5 TO 6 INCHES OF RAIN TO LAFAYETTE COUNTY. A TORNADO...A GUSTNADO...AND URBAN AND SMALL STREAM FLOODING WERE ALSO ASSOCIATED WITH THESE STORMS. THE MAIN STORY CENTERED ON THE HURRICANE-FORCE DOWN-BURST WINDS THAT TOPPED OUT AT AN ESTIMATED 100 MPH IN BROOKFIELD AND PEWAUKEE /WAUKESHA CO./. MULTIPLE HOMES WERE DAMAGED...POWER LINES AND TREES WERE FLATTENED. FARTHER EAST...A 100 FOOT LONG BLIMP AT TIMMERMAN AIRPORT IN MILWAUKEE COUNTY GOT LOOSE. IT TRAVELED 6 BLOCKS AND DAMAGED 4 HOMES UPON IMPACT. TOTAL PROPERTY AND CROP DAMAGE FOR AUGUST 21ST WAS AN ESTIMATED $9.1 MILLION.

- SEP 2ND LABOR DAY TORNADOES -
SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS DEVELOPED ALONG A STRONG COLD FRONT THAT PASSED THROUGH WISCONSIN THE EVENING OF SEPTEMBER 2ND. SIX TORNADOES SPAWNED FROM THESE STORMS. THE FIRST OF WHICH RIPPED THROUGH DOWNTOWN LADYSMITH IN RUSK COUNTY AND PRODUCED F3 DAMAGE /WINDS 140-150 MPH/. THE OTHER TORNADOES PRODUCED F0 TO F1 DAMAGE IN MARATHON...FOND DU LAC...AND TAYLOR COUNTIES. TWENTY-SEVEN INDIVIDUALS WERE INJURED IN THE LADYSMITH AREA ALONE...AND ANOTHER INJURY OCCURRED AS A RESULT OF THE HIGH WINDS NEAR ATHENS WISCONSIN. GOLF BALL SIZED HAIL...AND WINDS THAT TOPPED OUT NEAR 60 MPH WERE ALSO ASSOCIATED WITH THESE SEVERE STORMS. PROPERTY DAMAGE ACROSS THE STATE WAS ESTIMATED AT $31 MILLION.

- SEPTEMBER 30TH TORNADOES -
FOUR TORNADOES SPUN UP ON THE LATE DATE OF SEPTEMBER 30...WHEN SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS ROLLED THROUGH PARTS OF CENTRAL AND NORTHERN WISCONSIN. TORNADOES WERE REPORTED IN TAYLOR...CLARK...FLORENCE...AND LINCOLN COUNTIES. THESE TORNADOES LED TO A YEARLY TOTAL OF 26 IN WISCONSIN FOR 2002...COMPARED TO AN AVERAGE OF 20. MOST OF THEM OCCURRED IN THE NORTHERN HALF OF THE STATE.

- OCTOBER 11TH DENSE FOG -
SHALLOW DENSE FOG DEVELOPED OVER PARTS OF SHEBOYGAN AND OZAUKEE COUNTIES DURING THE EARLY MORNING HOURS. THE DENSE FOG...REDUCING VISIBILITIES TO BETWEEN ZERO AND 1/4 MILE...WAS A FACTOR IN A MULTI- VEHICLE ACCIDENT /50 VEHICLES/ WHICH RESULTED IN 10 DEATHS AND 40 INJURIES. THE ACCIDENT...WHICH STARTED AROUND 719 AM...OCCURRED SOUTHEAST OF CEDAR GROVE ON A STRETCH OF INTERSTATE 43 SITUATED CLOSE TO LAKE MICHIGAN. ANOTHER TWO-VEHICLE ACCIDENT OCCURRED ON THE NORTHWEST CORNER OF THE VILLAGE OF BELGIUM IN NORTHERN OZAUKEE COUNTY...RESULTING IN 1 DEATH AND 1 INJURY.


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