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Brilliant sunset possible tonight thanks to smoky sky

Today was just Eau Claire’s third day of 2019 with a high of at least 80 degrees. We had plenty of energy from the sun to help warm us up, and there wasn’t any humidity. While we had that sun’s energy, it was difficult to see all day as the sky looked overcast.

These weren’t clouds, but actually smoke several thousand feet above the ground at jet stream level, carried from the western Canada wildfires. This milky-white sky is the result. Air quality is lowered a bit, but most of the smoke is staying well up in the sky.

If there’s a positive to this, sunsets through the smoky sky tend to be absolutely brilliant as that smoke scatters out most of the light colors except reds and oranges.

After sunset, temperatures will fall into the mid 50s by morning, and humidity will start to settle in during the day. Expect dew points near 60 degrees, which is where it starts to feel humid. The temperatures will also be warmer than today. They’ll make a run at being the warmest day of the year so far, with a forecast high in the upper 80s. Eau Claire’s warmest temperature this year came two weeks ago on May 16th when the mercury rose to 83 degrees.

A cold front will move in from the north late tomorrow, with scattered showers and thunderstorms forming in the late afternoon and evening before pushing through western Wisconsin overnight. A few could be on the stronger side with small hail and straight line wind gusts the main threats, especially east of Eau Claire where the Storm Prediction Center has issued a “slight risk” of severe weather, meaning scattered severe storms are possible.

Temperatures will be cooler this weekend behind that cold front, but still with highs in the low 70s. Rain could linger into Saturday, but the best chance remains in the morning. After that, our next rain chances return late Tuesday as temperatures again warm up.

Matt Schaefer

Matt Schaefer was promoted to Chief Meteorologist in July of 2019 and has been our evening meteorologist for News 18 since June of 2016. Prior to that, he was our Saturday meteorologist starting in September 2014.

Matt was born and raised in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He enjoys all the extremes that mother nature throws at the Badger State: from severe thunderstorms to blizzards to subzero temperatures.

Matt studied meteorology in the Midwest as well, earning his Bachelor’s of Science in Meteorology at Valparaiso University in Indiana. There, Matt was heavily involved in VUTV Weather, the Valpo student chapter of AMS/NWA, and VUSIT (Valparaiso University Storm Intercept Team). He’s logged more than 20,000 miles chasing and studying severe storms all across the country and witnessed nine tornadoes including six in one day!

Matt describes himself as a Wisconsin boy at heart and enjoys cheering for the Packers, Brewers, Badgers, and Admirals just to name a few. He loves simply being outdoors and enjoys the Wisconsin wilderness especially in fall, and whitetail deer season!

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