If you think the weather can’t make up its mind, you’re correct. We seem to have a little bit of everything going on. Let’s try to summarize the recent crazy weather, and make some sense out of it. Get ready, get set, go.....
1. The Milwaukee/Sullivan NWS office issued 3 different Severe Thunderstorm Warnings for 4 counties during the morning hours of January 7th due to the likelihood of penny-size hail stones. This is crazy - in the past 14 years, this office never had a reason to issue a Severe Thunderstorm Warning in the month of January. Winter storm warnings and blizzard warnings - yes, but not Severe Thunderstorm Warnings. Several severe weather spotters reported hailstones up to 1/2 inch in diameter, and an amateur radio operator measured hailstones up to penny size about 4 miles west-southwest of the Capitol Square in Madison at 10:30 A.M. The last time we experienced severe weather in a winter month was February, 1999, when storms in southern Wisconsin produced hail up to golf-ball size and wind gusts to 70 mph. Crazy.
2. Many streams and rivers in southern Wisconsin are running at near-bankfull or bankfull stage, and some have exceeded flood stage. Some rivers are forecast to exceed flood stage. Normally, river flooding is a spring-time event due to snow melt and heavy rains, or perhaps a summer event due to very heavy thunderstorm rains. But in January? Crazy. We’ve experienced a noteworthy warm up the past couple days along with some rain, which caused the 15 to 33 inches of snow that fell in December, 2007 to melt. The Fox River at New Munster in western Kenosha County is forecast to crest at 13.2 feet around the noon hour on Thursday, January 10th. Crazy.
3. We have areas of dense fog this morning which continues a period of several days of dense fog. The worst of the dense fog occurred on January 6th. There was a group of multiple-vehicle accidents (about 100 vehicles) on Interstate 90/39 about 2:25 P. M. just south of the interchange with State Highway 12/18, in which there were two fatalities and around 50 injuries that required medical treatment Dense fog was a factor and had reduced visibilities to 25 to 100 yards in that area. Crazy.
4. Temperatures over southeastern Wisconsin rose to the upper 50s to lower 60s in the early afternoon hours of January 7th, with dewpoints in the mid to upper 50s, while southwest winds gusted to 25 to 30 mph. This is spring-time weather - more typical of April. Milwaukee’s temperature reached 63 degrees, smashing the old record of 47 for January 7th set back in 2003. Madison reached 50, which broke their old January 7th record set back in 2003. Milwaukee tied their old record high for January 6th of 52 set back in 1933. Crazy.