I didn’t have time for an April recap yesterday so it was a good thing Tony covered it. Check out some of the details in Tony’s blog update. Tony mentioned how his uncle remembered very cool conditions back in the Spring of 1960. The nearest analogue I can think of was 1996. During that year there was ice on Northwoods lakes for the beginning of the fishing season in early May. Yesterday, while traveling to Phelps to visit the Tools for Schools winner for May, I notice a couple of spots where there was a little snow in the woods and a tiny bit of ice clinging to some shorelines. The snow wasn’t melting either with temps only in the 30s for most of the area. Rhinelander ended up tying the record for the coldest high temperature on May 2nd with the mercury only reaching 34 degrees! In Wausau we missed the record for coldest high temperature by just 4 degrees. We hit a high temp of 39 and the old record was 35. Today’s record for coldest high temperature is also 35 and was set back in another year with some cold weather during early May – 1954. During that year we had 3 days in a row with high temps only in the 30s. On May 3rd it was 35. On May 4th it was just one degree better at 36. On May 5th the high was just 38. A couple days later on the 7th, there was a record low of 25. On the 3rd and 4th of May in 1954 there was also record snowfall – 0.40 inches of snow fell on both days. So, if you think today’s weather is bad, it could be worse.
Lost in all the cold weather (and international) news lately is the fact that last week’s tornado outbreak in the South ended up being the 2nd dealiest single day tornado outbreak in U.S. history with a tragic total of 337 fatalities (or as many as 340 if you trust the LA Times as a source).
The supercell thunderstorm that produce the violent tornado in Tuscaloosa Alabama was one of the longest lived of recent memory. Check out this compilation of radar imagery. The supercell crossed 4 different states before fading away. You could call it the quad-state tornado except for the fact that there was not a tornado on the ground at all times during this path. Many tornado experts suspect that the famous Tri-State tornado of 1925 was a similar storm and even though there seemed to be a continuous damage path for the duration of the storms, they think that a tornado might not have been on the ground at all times.
Similar to the EF3 tornado that hit northeast Wisconsin on June 7th of 2007, the tornadoes in the south last week left visible scars upon the earth, even as viewed from space. Take a look here to see pictures of a couple different tornado tracks in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi.
Have a good Tuesday! Meteorologist Justin Loew.
This post was written by jloew on May 3, 2011