A rare October-like weekend in July

We had a taste of fall this past weekend in Western Wisconsin. High temperatures cooler than 70 degrees are a rare event in the month of July for our area. The last time it happened was back in July of 2009. That was a cool month all around, but this cold snap was a bit stronger than the main cold snap that happened in 2009.

A cold front swung through on Thursday night. Temperatures would then quickly drop the following night all the way down into the 40s. Below are the low temperatures on the morning of the 27th. Eau Claire tied the previous record for record low temperature. Eau Claire hit 46 degrees, which also happened on that date back in 1981.

During the day on Saturday, the area of low pressure that dragged down the cooler air from Canada parked itself over the Great Lakes as this diagram shows. This area of low pressure was a slow mover and hung out all day on Saturday and even into a bit of Sunday. On Saturday, the combination of a thick cloud cover and scattered showers really kept temperatures down with some locations not even making it out of the 50s. High temperatures on Saturday were straight out of normals for October.

Those high temperatures were record breaking. Not record heat…but record cold. Both Eau Claire and La Crosse smashed the record for cold high temperature that were previously set in 1981.

These highs were a good 20 degrees or more below the normal high temperatures for this time of year. It was an impressive cold snap for sure! Temperatures were still quite cool on Sunday, but there were improvements with highs ranging from the low 60s to around 70 degrees. The area of low pressure pulled away and some afternoon sunshine helped warm up those temperatures.

Unfortunately, we’ll have to get through one more chilly night in the 40s, but it could be worse. Parts of Northeast Minnesota will dip way down into the 30s. Parts of that region are under a frost advisory…in July! Crazy right? The funniest part about this weekend is the fact that while it was October like here in Western Wisconsin…up in Alaska, it definitely felt like summer!

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