Where did the heat go? And More On The Storms

A heat advisory was in effect for much of the day, but we never reached heat advisory criteria here. So what happened? We never even made it to 90 and our heat index stayed under 95. The heat advisory was cancelled for most of our counties, but continues in Fond du Lac, Jefferson, and Dodge counties until 9pm.

The reason for missing the heat had to do with thunderstorms that rumbled north to south across Lake Michigan this morning and early afternoon. That brought us some cloud cover, but also kept the wind southeast until later in the day. That kept our temperatures a little cooler and dewpoints stayed in the low to mid 60s. Tonight the dew points are much higher hovering around 70 degrees. Our lows tonight will be warm, staying in the 70s and it will be sticky.

The holiday weekend forecast is a good one. All three days look to have plenty of sunshine. It will be hot and sticky on Saturday with highs in the upper 80s.  A cold front will move through in the morning, but chances of storms will be very minimal. Cooler air will then arrive on Sunday and Monday. Sunday looks great with highs in the upper 70s near the lake and lower humidity. Independence Day will be sunny and comfortable with a high of 80. The weather will be great for all the fireworks and parade celebrations. For a list of all the parade times and fireworks in your area click here:

http://www.wisn.com/entertainment/28322841/detail.html

I wanted to talk a little more about the crazy storms that hit on Thursday evening in Racine and Kenosha counties. Even though little to no rain fell, the storms brought 60-80 mile per hour winds knocking down hundreds of trees and taking out power to over 20,000 customers. In all my years here, I have never seen a storm over Lake Michigan create a downdraft that moved east. It was a very unusual storm. I wanted to show you what the storm looked like in 3 dimensions. It was a very powerful storm.

The storm was over 50,000 feet tall and had a hail shaft that rose to 30,000 feet. That is really incredible for around here.  A big thank you to the National Weather Service for providing the image above. There were some amazing pictures of huge 50-100 year old trees knocked to the ground from the straight-line wind damage. The first one is from Vick Frederick on 13th Street in Racine.

Vick was rather fortunate this did not hit the house directly. The next image was sent to my Facebook page from Amada Aude of Racine. 

The clean up will take a long time. I have talked to quite a few long-time residents from Racine and Kenosha and many say this is the worst storm that they have ever seen. Always remember to stay away from power lines after a storm like this. Treat all of them as if they were live even if they are not sparking.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July weekend from Weather Watch 12.

Mark

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9 Responses

  1. I’m quite grateful from today’s results (because I hate the heat) yet frustrated by it as well (because the models held this scenario for nine days just to have it fall apart at the last minute). I wouldn’t be surprised for tomorrow to get near advisory criteria if that front comes through a couple hours later than predicted and it stays sunny all morning (could get to 90 with 70+ dews). The problem is that if that happens, nobody would take the warning seriously after what just happened. Including the Blizzard Warning back in December that turned into less than an inch of snow, the NWS is putting itself in a tough spot lately.

    • Daniel, I think you are right about tomorrow, but clouds from line of storms to our west should help keep temps in check. As for today, clearly models and no forecaster could have expected the clouds and southeast winds thanks to storms over the lake. I agree with the advisories, warnings ,etc. It is definitely a cry wolf syndrome. We have to always be careful when putting our advisories.
      Have a great weekend.
      Mark

  2. Hi Everyone —

    We did manage to reach 90 degrees in the shade on Friday here in Reeseville — Dodge County. Like others who have written — I found that the winds stayed “cooler” and the humidity lower and cloud cover in the before Noon hours. Then the heat and humidity began cranking up. I noticed the most oppressive humidity later in the evening and this morning. As of 8:30 this morning, we were already 90 degrees in the shade — under a mix of sun and clouds w/ some breeze. I do expect today will be hotter than yesterday — if not in terms of actual temps — then in terms of what it feels like because of higher humidity.

    My question today is — since the “cool front” is coming through this a.m. why aren’t we going to notice its’ effect until Sunday?

    Don

    • Dew points early this morning until the front came through here at 9am in New Berlin were at 76. Temp was 83… heat index 91. It felt absolutely awful outside… certainly worse than when it was in the mid to upper 90s last month.

      When I mowed the lawn earlier it was 83 degrees with a dew of 70 (Heat Index of 87). It felt noticeably worse than when I have mowed the lawn in a dry 90 degrees in the past.

      These types of experiences are what lead me to debate the accuracy of heat indexes.

    • Hey, Don,
      Sorry to take so long to respond. The cooler air lags behind the front. We were not able to really cool down until the wind switched off the lake. Happy 4th of July.
      Mark

  3. My wife is from STL. She’s been in WI 11 years. Yesterday we looked at each other said the same thing. That is sure is nice we decided to live in my home state rather than hers, sure wouldn’t want to deal with these types of temperatures and dew points for 3-4 months consistently. Don’t get me wrong, it’s always fun to pretend we’re in the tropics for a day or two.

    My back yard recorded a max temperature of 88.8 degrees yesterday with a max dew point of 76.4 degrees.

  4. 3 p.m. Latest Report From Reeseville — Dodge County —

    Temp in shade is 86 degrees

    Temp in direct sun is 107 degrees with 21% humidity. Could that be right????

    Don

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