Thursday, July 20, 2006

Rain (Finally)

Yesterday's severe weather forecast was not a total bust like most have been this season, but it certainly wasn't perfect either. The first round of storms yesterday morning persisted much longer and developed further south than anticipated (Severe Thunderstorm Watch #1). Fortunately these storms weakened as they moved into western Wisconsin, but there were a few reports of wind damage in some counties in southern Minnesota. Some places received some beneficial rains from the morning batch of storms, especially in Minnesota and Iowa.

The longevity of the morning storms put the afternoon and evening severe weather risk in doubt, as skies remained cloudy all day with scattered showers and storms strewn across the area. By late evening, however, conditions were coming together for additional storm development across southern Minnesota and northern Iowa. Storms began to explosively develop in this region after 9:00 p.m., and moved east toward Wisconsin (Severe Thunderstorm Watch #2). As with the morning storms, there were a few reports of severe weather, but most places just saw a lot of heavy rain. Rainfall totals of one to three inches were common. This rain came just in time, as most of the region (except for far southern Wisconsin) was on the brink of a drought situation. While more rain is probably needed in a lot of places, this was a step in the right direction. These thunderstorms strengthened as they moved into south central Wisconsin early this morning, and there were more widespread reports of wind damage.

For the most part, thunderstorms developed about where they were expected to yesterday, but weren't quite as strong as anticipated. The moderate risk was probably overdone, but a slight risk was definitely warranted. No more severe weather in the forecast for the next several days.


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