Archive for August, 2008

This Is Rare On Labor Day
August 30, 2008

Sunny and warm weather that is!  In fact, seven out of the last ten Labor Days had at least a trace of rainfall.  And the climate books show temperatures are more likely in the sixties than the eighties.  This Labor Day however, we buck the trend with a wonderful forecast lasting through out the holiday weekend.

For a complete look at some Labor Day weather facts check the link below:

As you’ll see, sunshine and eighties don’t happen often.  I hope you have a chance to enjoy the weather, friends and family.



Lookin’ For Rain
August 29, 2008

I’ve been watering the veggies and flowers pots alot lately, how about you?  After a winter filled with snow and a rain filled June…..well, we are now in a typical August dry spell.  Since January 1, 2008 we’ve had 23.71″ of rain.  That’s 8.48″ above normal numbers year to date.  August has been quite dry-just .88″ rain so far and that is the better part of 2.76″ below normal.  Our pattern has been a warm and dry one that appears as if it will continue for at least another week or so.   If fact, the Labor Day weekend forecast is sun filled and warm.  I’ll keep the sprinkler out and enjoy these lingering warm days.  Sally Severson

Trouble In The Tropics
August 29, 2008

After pretty slow start to the hurricane season, the action has really begun to pick up.  Late last week and this week slow moving Tropical Storm Fay left very heavy rain across Florida.  While the storm never reached hurricane status, it will go down in the books for rainfall totals.  All eyes are on the Caribbean as we watch Tropical Storm Gustav and Hanna.  Gustav will regain hurricane status on Friday as it moves across and near Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.  Hurricane warnings are up for these islands today.  Once the storm moves past the islands it will again be over warm water and strengthen into a hurricane.  It will likely clip the western end of Cuba before emerging into the Gulf Of Mexico.  It may slow it’s forward progression a bit thanks to the same area of high pressure that is giving us our wonderful weather.  Gustav will likely become a Category 3 hurricane and take aim somehwere along the Gulf Coast.  The forecast cone is still quite wide and stretches from the Florida panhandle west to the Texas coast.  The storm should make landfall sometime Monday as a strong hurricane.  Gustav is still a few days away and there is still a great deal of uncertainty in the ultimate track of Gustav.  T.S. Hanna is getting organized and will probably reach hurricane status over the weekend.  There are three additional areas of disturbed weather over the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Ike, Josephine and Kyle may not be far behind.  Lyra O’Brien

Looking For Rain?
August 22, 2008

It’s been on the dry side lately and we’re looking for some rain.  Rainfall in August continues to be below normal.  Typically, we see 2.73″ of rain for August.  So far, just .87″ on the books.

It’s interesting to note that year to date precipitation runs well above normal.  January to August 22 precipitation totals come in at 32.18″.  That’s 9.38″ above normal.  Of course, we had epic rain in June and a heavy winter snow.

There is rain in the forecast.  Our best chances for rain will come in the scattered variety Friday (August 22) during the afternoon and then Saturday late morning-early afternoon with a cold front.  Rainfall totals will likely be on the slim side of less than 1/2″ inch.

Have a great weekend-Sal

Scattered vs. Isolated vs. Likely
August 18, 2008

I hope everyone has enjoyed the beautiful weather we have had recently across SE Wisconsin. After a record breaking wet June, July and August have been much nicer. Still no 90 degree temps, but I don’t think too many people are complaining.

I often get questions about what we mean when we say a chance for isolated storms or scattered storms. I will try to make this easier to understand. Isolated showers or storms are the hit and miss variety storms that will miss most of the area. It is a good idea to bring an umbrella, but don’t change your plans. Isolated means only about a 20% chance for rain and areal coverage will be small. Scattered is a better chance between 40% and 60% chance with larger areal coverage. It is not a guarantee that it will rain, but you should plan accordingly. Widespread means that most of the area will get rain, meaning about an 80% chance that your location will get wet. I hope this helps in figuring out forecasting jargon.

Mark Baden

Perseids Pay A Visit
August 11, 2008

Look to the skies tonight and early Tuesday, August 12 for a wish!  The Perseid Meteor Showers are cruising near earth.  The best viewing will be during the predawn hours Tuesday.  However, it certainly won’t hurt to look tonight or even tomorrow night. 

The Perseids originate from the Swift-Tuttle Comet and were first observed by Chinese astronomers in 36 A.D.  They are known for their long streaks and you may see a few dozen per hour.  The comet particles hit the earth at 132,000mph!

Wisconsin Tornado Count…
August 6, 2008

is now up to thirty-seven.  That’s sixteen more than we average in a given year.  Hello everyone one and I hope you enjoy this new section on our revamped web page.  This is my first blog… I look forward to many more.

Of course our tornado season got off to a roaring start with two tornadoes touching down in Kenosha County in January.  Truly extraordinary when you consider no tornado had ever struck the state in January since record keeping began in the 1870s.

June has been the busiest month so far with twenty tornadoes touching down.

Here is the breakdown of 2008 Wisconsin tornadoes by county…



Thankfully we won’t add to that number at least through the weekend.  Enjoy the mild and sunny weather.


Thank Goodness
August 4, 2008

Southeastern Wisconsin just missed getting slammed by a major severe weather episode that went just south of us tonight across Northern Illinois, Chicago, and Northern Indiana. Our southern counties were under a severe thunderstorm watch for awhile, this evening, 8/4, but thankfully the storms curved just to the southeast or we would be talking about a lot of damage. The storm reports are just coming in of 60 to 90 mile per hour winds and hundreds of thousands without power.

The thunderstorm complex was small but very powerful. It started as a bow echo, which looks like a backward “C” on radar. When you see this signature on radar, there is a very good likelihood of damaging winds. This bow echo continued on into Northern Indiana and parts of Ohio. When this occurs, the bow echo is known as a derecho. Some of you may remember when SE Wisconsin had a derecho back in 1999 over Memorial Day weekend. We had widespread damage and wind gusts to 130 miles per hour. A derecho is a long-lived damaging wind event that causes damage over hundreds of miles.

Mark Baden