Archive for September, 2008

Pesky Upper Low
September 28, 2008

Clouds and cool weather. I have not had to say these words much in the forecast lately, but that is changing for this week. We have had a spectacular September with many sunny days and warm temperatures. As we head into October, it will feel like fall. We have an upper level low to blame.

An upper-level low is usually a slow mover this time of year. They also can be called cut-off lows because they are not caught in the jet stream so they slowly meander across the U.S. and can actually move east to west. This is called a retrograding low. The upper low will move across southern Canada and across the Great Lakes from Sunday-Wednesday. This low will keep us in a northerly wind flow with cold air aloft which will mean plenty of cloud cover. Forecasting when these lows will move out is difficult. They notoriously stick around longer than the computer models say they will. Keep a close eye on the forecast and find your fall jackets.

Mark Baden


Last Of The 80’s… At Least For Now
September 27, 2008

Our extension of Summer continued today as high temperatures soared into the low eighties across Southeast Wisconsin.  Officially, in Milwaukee, we reached 82 degrees today just six degrees shy of a record high.  That’s also the nomal high in Milwaukee July 18th – July 25th.

With a cold front coming through tonight temperatures take a plunge into the sixties for highs on Sunday.  The medium range forecast calls for upper fifties and low sixties for the upcoming week… Autumn has arrived!!

But what’s your guess?  In a summer that never saw an official 90 degree day, do you think the eighties are gone for the year?  My guess is yes, but I’m just a weatherman:-)

Lance Hill

Autumn Begins
September 23, 2008

Welcome to fall. It certainly does not feel like autumn with the highs around 80 and fairly humid air. The warm air lasts the rest of the week with highs well above the normal highs which are now in the upper 60s. Enjoy the warmth while it is here because you know the long, cold winter is on the way.

It has been another active tornado season in Wisconsin. 38 tornadoes have been reported in the state. The average is 21 per year. Columbia county has had the most this year with six.  Dane county has had five. Dodge and Green Lake counties have had four. This is another example of Wisconsin’s mini tornado alley in the south central part of the state. The most interesting fact of the season is the strongest tornado actually hit on January 4th in Kenosha county. This was only the second known January tornado to hit the state. Thankfully, no deaths have occured this year with all the tornadoes.

Mark Baden

Ike rages on!
September 14, 2008

I want to continue where Lance Hill left off with his previous blog. Even though Ike was downgraded to a tropical depression, it caused big problems across the Midwest and Ohio Valley. Flooding rains hit just to the south of Wisconsin and winds were gusting to 70 miles per hour across much of Ohio. This was caused by the combination of the former hurricane getting picked up by a cold front that let Ike race to the northeast at 50 miles per hour. Ike is now moving into Canada and thankfully is releasing its grip on the United States.

This is the second tropical system to affect us this season. Gustav brought us heavy rains and Ike did the same thing. This is very unusual for Wisconsin to get a direct rainfall due to a tropical system.

Seeing the damage in Houston and Galveston is difficult for me to watch. I spent many of my summers as a child in Galveston. The house we stayed in on the west side of Galveston Island was most likely severly damaged because the west side of the island is not protected by a sea wall. I have many relatives in the Houston area and thankfully they are all ok, but they expect to be without power for at least a week. It could have been worse, but Ike will be remembered for many years for the billions of dollars in damage it caused.


Ike Hype or the Real Deal?
September 13, 2008


Now that Ike has been downgraded to a Tropical Storm and will weaken to just a heavy rain maker by the morning – now that the battle weary reporters have all but left – now that storm chaser video is all over the tube and web  – now that you’ve had the opportunity to digest what happened: I’m wondering if you think Ike was as bad as expected.

Here is a wonderful page from the weatherunderground to help you decide:

Personally, I believe this storm lived up to the hype and then some.  All you have to do is imagine spending Friday night on Galveston Island (not that you or any sane person would) as a relentless, pounding wind rages to 100 mph for a seemingly endless three hours.  Then have the calm of the eastern eye-wall move overhead before the winds rage again as the southern eye-wall bears down.  All of this with no electricity, pounding rains and rising storm surge waters.  I think I’ll stick to shoveling snow once a week.


Taste of Fall
September 8, 2008

After a warm start to September, a taste of fall has arrived.  September first was 87 followed by 89 on the second. After that, the high temperatures have cooled off considerably in the 60s and 70s. September is a transition month between summer and fall and that is exactly how our weather has behaved. The next few nights will be quite chilly with lows falling back into the 40s across most of the area. For those of you who still want warm weather, it will still come back soon.

We are in the peak of hurricane season and right on cue the tropics are very busy. It is too early to tell how strong Ike will be or exactly where it will hit, but right now it looks like Texas is the likely target late this week and not Louisiana.

Mark Baden

No 90’s?
September 2, 2008

The “meterological summer” has come and gone without a 90 degree day in Milwaukee.    True,  autumn technically starts September 22 with autumnal equinox.  But for the purposes of record keeping the National Weather Service counts the months of June, July and August as summer. 

We did get close a couple of times with highs at 88 on June, 15, 16 and 30th.  August 5 came in with an 88, too.  The last time we had a summer with no 90s was 2000 and before that it was 1915!

Everytime the really warm air masses began to move closer, clouds and showers moved in and kept the thermometer from 90.  There was some rain around portion of southern Wisconsin in July, but not much in the Milwaukee area.  Also, our June rain saturated the soil and that helped to keep highs on the cool side for June and early July.  There is a chance we could see a 90 today (Tuesday-September 2) if the sun keeps shining through the afternoon. There are showers in the forecast tonight with a cold front. A chance for some rain and showers later week as some of the moisture from Gustav may move north.

Sally Severson