We have been discussing various weather records lately and here is another one that I was not aware of. Well, I had an inkling there might be some sort-of record in the making but I was unsure. The Green Bay National Weather Service forecast area went 101 days this warm season without a single verified severe weather event. A severe thunderstorm event is winds of 58 mph or greater, hail 1 inch in diameter or greater, or a tornado. 101 days without any severe weather during the middle of Summer in Northcentral Wisconsin is amazing. So what event broke the string of severe-less days? It was the microburst in Rib Mountain – just yesterday. Now there could have been a 58 mph gust of wind somewhere in the area during the last couple months, or one large hail stone that fell in a lonely field, but nothing that was verified until yesterday. Displayed are a couple pictures of the damage from Rib Mountain. It was a very small area that was affected, only a small area of one block, but it was rather severe. The high wind crossed the lake a knocked down a few trees by Wausau Country Club as well.
Speaking of the lack of severe weather, the Atlantic hurricane season has been very quiet as well. I wonder what the record for fewest hurricanes is? There have been none so far this year and the ocean is very quiet yet today as we are getting into more of the active season. The quiet waters might have been part of the reason that today Colorado State researchers have cut their hurricane forecast a little.
Speaking of hurricanes, there was once speculation that the U.S. government, or the Russians, or some secret agency, or the Illuminati, or aliens, someone was altering the weather and maybe even producing or altering the paths of hurricanes, including hurricane Katrina. You can find a lot of interesting reading on the multitude of conspiracy websites out there. Many of the wild theories begin with a grain of truth, after all weather modification has been attempted and even shown some successes over the course of the last few decades. I reported about one successful multi-year test (in Tasmania) here in the blog earlier this year. I am unaware of any successful or even attempted efforts of modifying hurricanes – except for cloud seeding. That hasn’t stopped a lot of speculation about the HAARP facility in Alaska. It is a radio and ionospheric research station funded in-part by the military. It has garnered it’s share of conspiracy theories (similar to ELF here in Wisconsin). A reporter was recently allowed into the site to take a look around. Here is a good article about the history and uses of HAARP, along with a photo album. Some really cool shots in there.
Have a nice Tuesday! Meteorologist Justin Loew.
This post was written by jloew on August 4, 2009