The confetti has been cleaned up, the champagne bottles emptied, and the big ball in Times Square has been taken down for another year! Yes, the holiday season has come and gone, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. One thing that I enjoy about the finale of a given year is a chance to look back and reflect on what has gone on during the previous 12 months. In particular, Top Ten lists are particularly popular: top songs, movies, events, cookies, clothing items, quotes, celebs, etc. If it exists, you can come up with a top ten list. Soooo . . . why can’t I do the same thing with weather?
Well, I can and I have. Only instead of a top ten list, I’ve condensed it down to a top six list. The title of my countdown: The Top Six Weather Events of 2007. I know it’s not too creative, but the events that comprise the list were all significant. A couple of things about this list – I tried to choose events that affected a large portion of the area but not every event directly touched the Chippewa Valley. Also, everyone has their own opinion about what was the biggest weather situation, but I attempted to make the list based on impact to the region as a whole. So here we go . . .
6) Bitterly cold February temperatures. This one may not seem all that spectacular but given the fact that 9 out of the first 10 days featured double digit below zero morning lows, this one deserves to make the list. The worst came on February 5, with a morning temp of -22!
5) "Twin" snowstorms. What in the world do I mean by twin storms? Basically, back-to-back winter storms (both of which evolved in the same area and took the same track across the region) brought heavy snow and strong winds to the Chippewa Valley. 23.8" of snow fell in EIGHT days here in Eau Claire!
4) Snowy December. I really wanted to move this one higher but when you see the top three then you can understand why it’s down the list. Snowfall during the first month of winter totalled 22" in Eau Claire, making this the snowiest December since 2000 and ensuring the earliest opening of snowmobile trails since that year.
3) August severe weather. It just wouldn’t be a list of significant weather events without severe weather somewhere! Several rounds of severe storms plowed through the Chippewa Valley, causing damage to trees and buildings in many communities. Strong winds were the primary cause, with Menomonie being a direct target of severe storms twice.
2) Late spring/early summer drought. Lately, it seems that this is making the list every year, and you know, every year it’s a BIG problem. The obvious impacts are on agriculture and recreation, but it’s just disappointing to drive around town and see brown grass. Once again, rainfall was very miniscule during the late spring and early summer, leading to deficits of 4-6" all across western Wisconsin. The hardest hit areas were the northern portions of the Chippewa Valley, where severe drought was observed for several weeks.
1) Flash flooding and historic rainfall in August. You may scratch your head a little bit at this one because the hardest hit areas were actually south of the Chippewa Valley. The economic impacts cuased by the torrential rainfall, however, could be felt all across the region. The worst came on the 18th-19th, when a swath of 12-17" of rain fell from southeastern Minnesota through southwestern Wisconsin. La Crosse was directly impacted. In addition, there were other bouts of heavy rainfall which, combined with the flash flooding of the 18th-19th, helped to shatter all time monthly precipitation records in places like La Crosse and Rochester, MN. If you’d like more information on the flash flooding just click on the following link: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/arx/?n=aug1907 . For a map of August rainfall in Wisconsin: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/Image/mkx/WIAug2007Rainfall.jpg .
2007, like every year, featured a wide variety of wild weather across western Wisconsin. For those weather enthusiasts out there, I’m sure that the year ahead will not disappoint. Cheers, and have a wonderful 2008!
Chief Meteorologist Doug Michaels
Posted under Hometown Weather
This post was written by dmichaels on January 2, 2008