After the wettest first half of the year on record here in 2013, things have quieted down considerably in July for the state of Wisconsin. So far Eau Claire is running a rainfall deficit of -1.61 inches. La Crosse's numbers aren't much better. The sunny, warm, and dry weather over the past few weeks have really started to dry things out. The grass is looking fairly brown out there.
This dry stretch comes off the wettest first 6 months of a year ever for Western Wisconsin. Below is a look at precipitation by state. States shaded with dark green and the number 119 signify the wettest January through June on record including Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and Michigan. Minnesota wasn't far behind either having their third wettest first 6 month stretch. The pattern set up perfectly to give our part of the country some very wet weather.
A big ridge of high pressure was set up in the west while a persistent trough was over the central and eastern U.S. You can see many western states had some of their top 10 driest first 6 month periods. California had it's driest January-June on record in 2013. No wonder wildfires were such an issue over the past few months. This also explains why flash flooding was such an issue across our part of the country as well. All thanks to a very stubborn weather pattern.
Eau Claire has seen just over 26” of liquid precipitation so far this year. That's over 10” above normal for this time of year. All that rain kept things cooler in this part of the country and hot out to the west. Here's a look at temperature rankings over the first 6 months of the year. We had below normal temperatures over Minnesota and Wisconsin overall. Not shocking. Heck, it snowed in early May. Let's be honest.
So far things have been different in July. It's been hot and mainly dry. That will be changing later this week as rain chances will be going up. There's also the possibility of some severe weather, which will include some heavy rain. The severe weather isn't good but the rain will be a welcome sight for Western Wisconsin. But first we got to get through the hottest stretch of weather we've seen yet this summer. Stay cool!