Cold front brings some rain, some severe weather, but mostly cooler temperatures

That cold front that swung through our viewing area brought some big changes to our weather, and we sure felt them today. Temperatures Thursday afternoon were a good 10 to 15 degrees below normal. It almost feels a bit like fall out there with mostly cloudy skies and a stiff northwest breeze. As of Thursday afternoon the cold front has made its way well east of the area and was over Lake Michigan as you can see by the surface plot below. The red numbers are temperatures and the green numbers are dew points.

The cold front didn’t come through quietly. It didn’t offer much widespread rain like we hoped, but some areas did see some decent rainfall amounts. Here’s a look at rainfall totals from last night.

Galesville 1.09”
Camp Douglas 1.01”
Trempealeau .50”
Sparta .48”
Viroqua .46”
La Crosse .16”
Roberts .06”
Hammond .04”
Eau Claire .01”

Here’s a look at how last night played out on radar. The first image here shows the radar at about 11:30 pm. You can see there isn’t much of a swath of rain along the cold front. Just two small complexes…one in the north, one in the south. That’s why saw such a lack of rain in the Chippewa Valley. We did see some impressive lightning though!

That southern complex would grow with one storm turning particular mean. It produced several reports of hail and wind damage. The radar image below is occurring at 1:00 am. Notice that powerful and severe cell near La Crosse. There were reports of trees down and hail of over an inch. The reports are there just below the 1:00 am radar image.

As the night went on the complex grew and has been a big rain producer for areas to our south and east. Below is the radar image at 5:30 am.

That’s good news for folks to the south where the drought is far worse, but it would have been nice to get more rain from this system. Look for things to stay on the coolish side this weekend with highs in the low 70s. Could see a stray shower or two as well on Saturday and Sunday.

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