Top Ten for 2018 – Honorable Mention

December 26, 2018 0 Comments

Looking back at 2018, it was definitely filled with notable weather but the events were not too difficult to rank. Most of the events on the list were not all that extreme as compared to some years in recent memory. There were just a couple that would joust for top ranking outside of this year – such as top weather events of the decade. Those will be detailed in a couple of days. First we will start with the honorable mentions.

  • It was the 6th year in a row with above normal precipitation. You might recall that about 8 years ago we were just getting out of a multi-year dry spell (2002 through 2009). It was so dry for so many years in a row that when we finally had a year with above normal precipitation, I named it the top weather event of the year in 2010.At of the time of this writing, Wausau has received 38.25 inches of precipitation this year. The normal is 32.41 inches. If we would happen to reach 38.8 inches (which is likely), we would crack the list of the top ten wettest years.

    One night of rain in mid-June. Over 6 inches at Jody Smith’s place.

  • Not much “Spring” weather and not much “Fall” weather. We were short-changed on these two seasons this year. Many years, one or the other will be poor, but usually not both in the same year. With the heavy snow and cold in April, our Spring seemed a lot more like Winter. I had snow on the ground at my place until April 26th! Then it turned much warmer than normal in May and that led to it feeling more like Summer all of a sudden. Later in the year we had decent Fall weather in September, then it turned cool and cloudy. From October 1st through early December there we only 11 days with more sun than clouds. Temperatures were below normal on most days during this stretch as well. We did not break any daily records, but the persistence of the cooler-than-normal weather was remarkable. With all of the clouds, we missed out on a good color season. Rainy cloudy weather was persistent during the 1st 10 days of October, right during the peak of the color season. Another sign of how much cool weather we had in the Spring and Fall is how long Granite Peak was open. The ski hill stayed open the latest ever, into the first weekend of May. In November, the slopes were opened almost as early as in 2017, on the 17th.
  • It was a real cold start to the New Year. Talk about starting off 2018 with a wintry bang. On New Years Eve the high temperature was -4 and the low was -15. On New Years Day the high temperature was -3 and the low was -17. The low of -17 was the coldest temperature we had all year.

    This bobcat seemed to make it through the cold Winter okay. Picture by Jeff Coffman

  • Seemingly due to the La Nina ocean pattern in the Pacific, 2018 did begin with a couple of significant cold spells. New Years Day was part of a stretch of cold weather where low temps were below zero for 13 days in a row. In early February we had a stretch of cold weather where low temps were below zero for 11 out of 13 days.
  • Not much “quality snow”. You will eventually see in the yearly tally – indicating a lot of snow for Wausau. Unfortunately it did not fall at the right times for Winter Enthusiasts to enjoy. The snowmobile trails were not open very long across central Wisconsin.

If you have any ideas for top weather events of the year, feel free to post them in the comment section.

Sun dogs are common during cold winter mornings. Picture by Becky Kempen

Meteorologist Justin Loew

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