...WISCONSIN WEATHER STORIES OF 2003...
NOT RANKED - NOT IN ORDER OF IMPORTANCE

 

               
...36-HOUR SNOW EVENT ACROSS NORTHERN WISCONSIN...
ON FEBRUARY 2ND AND 3RD...TWO WAVES OF SNOW PUSHED THROUGH THE NORTHERN PART OF WISCONSIN BY MEANS OF A LOW-PRESSURE SYSTEM PASSING THROUGH THE REGION. TOTALS REACHED UP TO 16.5 INCHES AT PRESQUE ISLE /VILAS COUNTY/...AND 12.0 INCHES AT PHELPS /VILAS COUNTY/. REPORTS OF 12 TO 20 INCHES WERE RECEIVED TO THE NORTHEAST OF PARK FALLS /PRICE COUNTY/. IN THE SOUTHEAST PORTION OF THE STATE... LIGHT FREEZING RAIN AND DRIZZLE GLAZED ROADWAYS...CAUSING MULTIPLE ACCIDENTS ACROSS THE AREA. ICE THICKNESS REACHED UP TO NEARLY 4 INCHES NEAR LA VALLE /SAUK COUNTY/.

...EARLY SPRING WINTER STORM IN NORTHERN WISCONSIN...
ON APRIL 3RD...AN UNSEASONABLY COLD AIR MASS SWEPT INTO WISCONSIN ON A BRISK NORTHEASTERLY FLOW AROUND A HIGH-PRESSURE SYSTEM IN SOUTHERN CANADA. AT THE SAME TIME...A LOW-PRESSURE SYSTEM TRAVELED EAST ALONG A NEARLY STATIONARY FRONTAL BOUNDARY LYING ACROSS NORTHERN ILLINOIS. A MIX OF FREEZING RAIN AND SLEET DEVELOPED NORTH OF THE FRONT...WHICH LEFT ACCUMULATED ICE ON TREES...POWER LINES...AND ROADS. TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS WERE REPORTED ALL ACROSS THE STATE... INCLUDING 4 FATAL INSTANCES IN THE CENTRAL PART OF WISCONSIN. IN BROWN COUNTY ALONE...78 NON-FATAL ACCIDENTS OCCURRED.

...LARGE HAILSTONES IN NORTHEAST WISCONSIN...
ON APRIL 15TH...SEVERE STORMS WITH LARGE HAIL PUSHED THROUGH NORTHEASTERN WISCONSIN. THERE WERE NUMEROUS REPORTS OF HAILSTONES. THE LARGEST HAILSTONE WAS REPORTED IN SHAWANO COUNTY...2.50 INCHES IN DIAMETER.

...F1 TORNADOES POPPED UP IN LAFAYETTE AND IOWA COUNTIES...
ON MAY 10TH...A SUPERCELL THUNDERSTORM SPUN UP A F1 TORNADO THAT MOVED THROUGH THE BELMONT AREA IN NORTHWEST LAFAYETTE COUNTY. ONE PERSON IN A TRAILER HOME WAS INJURED. IN ADDITION...THIS TORNADO DAMAGED A POLE SHED AND INFLICTED VARYING DEGREES OF DAMAGE TO OTHER HOMES...BARNS...WINDMILLS...AND DECKS.

SOON AFTER...THE SAME SUPERCELL PRODUCED ANOTHER F1 TORNADO JUST A FEW EAST MILES EAST/NORTHEAST OF MINERAL POINT IN IOWA COUNTY. THIS TORNADO DAMAGED FOUR BARNS...TWO HOMES...AND KNOCKED OVER NUMEROUS TREES.

...TORNADOES ACROSS CENTRAL AND EAST-CENTRAL WISCONSIN...
ON JUNE 8TH...FOUR TORNADOES SPUN UP. TWO OCCURRED OVER LAKE WINNEBAGO. ONE TORNADO SPUN UP JUST SOUTH OF MARSHFIELD /WOOD COUNTY/ AND DESTROYED A PLAYHOUSE AND DOGHOUSE...AND TORE SIDING FROM A GARAGE. ANOTHER LESS DAMAGING TORNADO OCCURRED WEST OF OSHKOSH IN WINNEBAGO COUNTY. THE LAST WEAK TORNADO SPUN UP ABOUT 4 MILES EAST-SOUTHEAST OF THE CITY OF FOND DU LAC. THE TWO TORNADOES OVER LAKE WINNEBAGO WERE WITNESSED BY MANY PARTICIPANTS OF A FISHING TOURNAMENT THAT WAS OCCURRING ON THE LAKE THIS DAY.

...SEVERE WEATHER SEASON STARTS LATE IN WESTERN WISCONSIN...
THE SEVERE WEATHER SEASON STARTED OFF PARTICULARLY LATE IN THE YEAR IN THE WESTERN PORTION OF WISCONSIN NEAR THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER... WITH THE FIRST DOCUMENTED SEVERE STORMS FOR THE YEAR DEVELOPING ON JULY 4TH. A FAST MOVING LINE OF THUNDERSTORMS DOWNED TREES AND POWER-LINES AS WIND GUSTS REACHED AN ESTIMATED 60-65 MPH. ONE INJURY OCCURRED WHEN A TREE FELL ONTO THE TENT AT A CAMPGROUND THAT A MAN HAD BEEN SLEEPING IN.

...JULY 4-8 SEVERE WEATHER PERIOD ACROSS SOUTHERN WISCONSIN...
A FIVE DAY STRETCH OF SEVERE WEATHER PLAGUED SOUTHERN WISCONSIN FROM JULY 4TH THROUGH THE 8TH DUE TO A SERIES OF SHORT WAVE TROUGHS IN THE UPPER ATMOSPHERE SLIDING EASTWARD ACROSS THE STATE WHILE A SURFACE FRONTAL BOUNDARY OSCILLATED NORTH AND SOUTH ACROSS SOUTHERN WISCONSIN.

  THE FIRST DAY PRESENTED A BROKEN LINE OF THUNDERSTORMS AND PRODUCED   POWERFUL DOWNBURST STRAIGHT-LINE WINDS UP TO 65 MPH. AT LEAST 45,000 CUSTOMERS   LOST POWER FOR SEVERAL HOURS.

  THE SECOND DAY PRODUCED AN ISOLATED THUNDERSTORM IN GREEN COUNTY THAT AGAIN   ENTAILED STRONG DOWNBURST WINDS UP TO ABOUT 65 MPH TOPPLED A FEW TREES.

  THE THIRD DAY OFFERED AN OUTBREAK OF WEAK TORNADOES ACROSS SOUTHEAST   WISCONSIN...STIRRING UP IN TWO SEPARATE ROUNDS OF SEVERE CONVECTION. LIGHTNING   PRODUCED WITHIN THESE STORMS...IN ONE   INSTANCE...INJURED SEVERAL PEOPLE IN   WALWORTH COUNTY WHEN A MAN   HOLDING A METAL TENT POLE WAS STRUCK.

  ON THE FOURTH DAY...LARGE HAIL WAS PRODUCED BY AN ISOLATED THUNDERSTORM IN   IOWA COUNTY.

  THE FINAL DAY OFFERED RELATIVELY SHORT-LIVED SEVERE WEATHER...BUT ONE OF THE   THUNDERSTORMS PULSED UP LONG ENOUGH TO PRODUCE STRONG GUSTY WINDS IN   LAFAYETTE COUNTY.

...JULY 15 SEVERE WEATHER ACROSS SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN...
CLUSTERS OF THUNDERSTORMS DEVELOPED ACROSS CENTRAL WISCONSIN ON JULY 15TH. THESE CLUSTERS MERGED INTO A POWERFUL BROAD LINE OF STORMS THAT PRODUCED DOWNBURST STRAIGHT-LINE WINDS OVER SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN. MANY TREES WERE KNOCKED DOWN TOWARD THE SOUTHEAST...OR AT LEAST SIGNIFICANTLY DAMAGED BY THE WINDS...AND BRIEF HEAVY RAINS LOWERED VISIBILITIES AND LEAD TO PONDING OF WATER. EVENTS OF NOTE OCCURRED WHEN LIGHTNING STRUCK A HOME...WHEN WINDS FLIPPED SEMI-TRAILER ON THE INTERSTATE...WHEN WINDS TOPPLED A PIVOT IRRIGATION SYSTEM...AND WHEN WINDS TO 75 MPH RIPPED OFF PART OF THE ROOF OF A CHURCH IN THE VILLAGE OF SULLIVAN. JEFFERSON COUNTY HAD THE GREATEST AMOUNT OF DAMAGE

WINDS ON THE BACKSIDE OF THE LINE OF STORM BLEW OUT OF THE SOUTHEAST AT 50 TO 55 MPH...PUSHING SOME TREES BACK TO THE NORTHWEST.

...JULY 30TH SEVERE WEATHER WITH HEAVY RAINS AND FLASH FLOODS...
A COLD FRONT FROM MOVED SOUTHEAST ACROSS THE STATE INTO A WARM AND UNSTABLE AIR MASS. HEAVY RAINS AND FLASH FLOODING WERE THE PRIMARY HAZARD ASSOCIATED WITH THESE STORMS. AT DARBOY /CALUMET CO./...6.50 INCHES OF RAIN FELL...WITH WATER REACHING THE DOORSTEPS OF HOMES. FLASH FLOODING PLAGUED NOT ONLY CALUMET COUNTY BUT ALSO WINNEBAGO AND BROWN COUNTIES WHERE 2 TO 3 FEET OF WATER SLOSHED OVER ROADS. A MALL IN GREEN BAY /BROWN COUNTY/ WAS EVACUATED WHEN RAIN BEGAN TO SEEP INTO THE LOWER LEVELS FROM THE STREET. STRONG WINDS BROUGHT DOWN POWER LINES AND UP TO HALF-DOLLAR SIZED HAIL FELL AT MENASHA /WINNEBAGO COUNTY/.

...DROUGHT...
DROUGHT AFFECTED PARTS OF WISCONSIN THROUGHOUT MOST OF 2003. THE WORST DROUGHT CONDITIONS...RATED AS EXTREME...PERSISTED OVER WEST- CENTRAL WISCONSIN THROUGH MOST OF THE YEAR...ESPECIALLY AROUND LA CROSSE. THIS AREA WAS ABOUT 10 INCHES BELOW NORMAL FOR THE YEAR. MUCH OF THE REMAINDER OF WISCONSIN PERIODICALLY HAD MODERATE TO SEVERE DROUGHT CONDITIONS.

THE SOYBEAN CROP OVER SOUTHERN WISCONSIN TOOK A PRETTY GOOD HIT. SCATTERED LOWCATIONS HAD A POOR CORN CROP. HOWEVER...THE STATE CORN CROP WAS THE 3RD BEST IN THE PAST 10 YEARS. THE HAY CROP ALSO SUFFERED.

...HOTTEST AND COLDEST TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE STATE IN 2003...
THE HOTTEST TEMPERATURE WAS 100 DEGREES WHICH OCCURRED ON AUGUST 16TH IN THE VILLAGE OF BEAR VALLEY ON THE BORDER OF RICHLAND AND SAUK COUNTIES. THE PERIODS OF AUGUST 16-21 AND 24-26 WERE THE HOTTEST PART OF THE SUMMER WITH MANY CITIES REACHING INTO THE 90S. THE PERIODS OF JULY 3-4 AND JUNE 25-26 ALSO HAD MAXIMUM TEMPERATUERS IN THE LOWER TO MID 90S ACROSS SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL WISCONSIN.

THE COLDEST TEMPERATURE WAS -32 ON FEBRUARY 8TH AT 3 NW BUTTERNUT IN ASHLAND COUNTY. THE PERIODS OF JANUARY 18-27...FEB 8-10...AND MARCH 3-11 WERE THE DAYS WHEN OVERNIGHT LOWS DROPPED BELOW ZERO OVER LARGE PARTS OF THE STATE.

...RECORD SETTING RAINS ACROSS SOUTHERN WISCONSIN IN NOVEMBER...
PERSISTENT RAINS...OCCASIONALLY HEAVY...FELL OVER SOUTHERN WISCOSNIN DURING THE PERIOD OF NOVEMBER 2-4. MADISON SET NEW DAILY 24-HOUR RAINFALL RECORDS ON THE 2ND...3RD...AND 4TH. TOTAL RAINFALL AMOUNTS IN THE AREA FROM GRANT COUNTY TO DANE COUNTY FOR THIS PERIOD RANGED FROM 4.00 TO AN UNOFFICIAL 9.68 INCHES AT A MADISON TV-15 WEATHERNET SCHOOL SITE IN LANCASTER /GRANT CO./. THE MADISON AIRORT WOULD GO ON TO COLLECT 7.49 INCHES OF PRECIPITATION IN NOVEMBER...THE 2ND WETTEST NOVEMBER ON RECORD.

THE NOVEMBER RAINS ACROSS WISCONSIN HELPED ALLEVIATE THE LONG-TERM DROUGHT CONDITIONS.

...YEARLY TORNADO COUNTY BELOW NORMAL...
ONLY 14 TORNADOES WERE DOCUMENTED IN WISCONSIN DURING 2003...WELL BELOW THE 30-YEAR AVERAGE OF 21. TWO TORNADOES OCCURRED ON MAY 10TH...TWO ON MAY 30TH...FIVE ON JUNE 8TH...FOUR ON JULY 6TH...AND ONE ON AUGUST 3RD. DODGE COUNTY HAD 3 TORNADOES...THE LARGEST COUNTY TOTAL. TEN OF THE TORNAOES WERE RATED AS F0...AND FOUR WERE RATED AS F1. F0 AND F1 TORANDOES ARE CLASSIFIED AS WEAK. THE LAFAYETTE AND IOWA COUNTY TORNADOES ON MAY 10TH WERE THE STRONGEST IN WISCONSIN IN 2003...NEAR THE TOP END OF THE F1 RATING WITH WINDS OF 100 TO 110 MPH.

 


     05/10 LAFAYETTE CO.       F1 TORNADO
     05/10 IOWA CO.            F1 TORNADO
     05/30 DANE CO.            F0 TORNADO
     05/30 GREEN INTO ROCK CO. F1 TORNADO
     06/08 WINNEBAGO CO.       F0 TORNADO
     06/08 WINNEBAGO CO.       F0 TORNADO
     06/08 CALUMET CO.         F0 TORNADO
     06/08 WOOD CO.            F0 TORNADO
     06/08 FOND DU LAC CO.     F0 TORNADO
     07/06 DODGE CO.           F0 TORNADO
     07/06 DODGE CO.           F0 TORNADO
     07/06 DODGE CO.           F0 TORNADO
     07/06 FOND DU LAC INTO WASHINGTONG CO.  F1 TORNADO
     08/03 CALUMET CO.         F0 TORNADO
	 
...WINTER SNOWFALL...
FOR THE 2002-2003 WINTER...PARTS OF SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL WISCONSIN PICKED UP ONLY 12 TO 30 INCHES OF SNOW...WELL BELOW NORMAL. THE LAKE SUPERIOR SNOWBELT HAD NEAR NORMAL OR SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL TOTALS. HARTFORD /WASHINGTON CO./ HAD 12.6 INCHES AND ON THE HIGH END... HURLEY /IRON CO./ CAME IN WITH 188.5 INCHES.

THE 2003-2004 WINTER STARTED OFF ON THE QUIET SIDE...SNOWFALL TOTALS WERE BELOW NORMAL STATEWIDE. ONLY ONE STORM OF CONSEQUENCE OCCURRED ...ON DEC 9-10. AMOUNTS WERE IN THE 4 TO 8 INCHES ACROSS PARTS OF SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL WISCONSIN...WHILE THE LAKE SUPERIOR SNOWBELT PICKED UP A FOOT OR MORE. MONTREAL /IRON CO./ CAME IN WITH 18 INCHES.

...2003 WISCONSIN WEATHER-RELATED DEATHS AND INJURIES...
/DIRECTLY-RELATED/

 


EVENT              DEATHS       INJURIES
------------------------------------------
TORNADOES           0               1
WINDS               0               1
FLOODS              0               0
LIGHTNING           0               12
HEAT WAVES          0               0
WINTER STORMS       0               0
COLD WAVES          0               0

DEATHS/INJURIES IN TABLE ABOVE MUST BE DIRECTLY RELATED TO WEATHER EVENT...WHERE THE EVENT IS AN ACTIVE AGENT. VAST MAJORITY OF DEATHS/INJURIES DUE TO VEHICLE ACCIDENTS ARE NOT DIRECTLY CAUSED BY EVENT...SUCH AS SNOW AND ICE ON ROADS. THESE ARE PASSIVE AGENTS...OR SECONDARY CAUSES.

...1982-2003 WISCONSIN WEATHER-RELATED DEATHS AND INJURIES...
/DIRECTLY-RELATED/

 

		
EVENT              DEATHS       INJURIES
------------------------------------------
TORNADOES           25              537
WINDS               21              363
FLOODS              7                17
LIGHTNING           20              174
HEAT WAVES          112              --
WINTER STORMS       7                49
COLD WAVES          24               52

DEATHS/INJURIES IN TABLE ABOVE ARE DIRECTLY-RELATED TO WEATHER EVENT...WHERE THE EVENT IS AN ACTIVE AGENT. THE VAST MAJORITY OF DEATHS OR INJURIES DUE TO VEHICLE ACCIDENTS ARE NOT DIRECTLY CAUSED BY WINTER STORM EFFECTS...SUCH AS SNOW AND ICE ON ROADS. THESE ARE PASSIVE AGENTS...OR SECONDARY CAUSES.

HEAT WAVES DO NOT INJURE PEOPLE THE WAY OTHER WEATHER EVENTS INJURE PEOPLE. THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY DOCUMENTS HEAT ILLINESSES DUE TO THE EFFECTS OF HEAT...BUT DOESN/T CONSIDER THEM INJURIES.

IN ADDITION TO THE 112 DIRECTLY-RELATED HEAT DEATHS IN THE TABLE ABOVE...ANOTHER 90 WISCONSIN RESIDENTS DIED WHERE HEAT WAS A SECONDARY CAUSE...OR CONTRIBUTING FACTOR. THIS GIVES US A TOTAL OF 212 HEAT-RELATED DEATHS /DIRECT AND INDIRECT/ IN WISCONSIN FOR THE PERIOD OF 1982-2003.

HEAT WAVES...BY A LARGE MARGIN...REMAIN THE NUMBER-ONE WEATHER KILLER IN WISCONSIN.

 


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