A stormy start to Summer in Western Wisconsin

You alarm clock went off probably much earlier than you expected this morning thanks to Mother Nature. A strong complex of storms known as a quasi-linear convective system roared through Western Wisconsin late Thursday Night into Friday Morning. Storm systems like this often are capable of damaging winds, and that was definitely the case this time around. Most wind gusts that were recorded in both Wisconsin and Minnesota were between 45-70 mph. The strongest wind gust was in Benson, MN where an 85 mph wind gust was observed. Here's a radar loop from the La Crosse National Weather Service Office.

Here’s a look at the complex of storms on infrared satellite. This satellite shows where clouds are based on temperature. The colder the temperature, the higher the cloud tops. In this case, you can see a pocket of cloud tops with a temperature of -75° Celsius. That not only means you have some very tall clouds, well over 50,000 ft above ground level, but you also have some very strong storms underneath those clouds. That was definitely the case.

In Western Wisconsin, there were several reports of some wind damage to trees. One tree limb fell on a car down in Hatfield. The picture below is some tree damage done in Black River Falls from viewer Sara.

The big complex of storms not only produced damaging winds, but also vivid lightning and very heavy rain. Check out the rainfall totals from Thursday night into Friday morning. Most of the viewing area picked up between 1-3” of rain. There were several reports of some flash flooding on some roadways down in La Crosse. Over 1.3” fell down in La Crosse within only one hour. Crazy!

Unfortunately, more unsettled weather is on the way for this weekend and on into next week. More severe weather and flash flooding will be the big concerns. You’ll want to pay close attention to the weather over the next several days!

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