Two years ago, the longest tornado in terms of path length ripped through parts of Polk, through Barron and Rusk before dissipating in Price county. It was 83 miles long, with a maximum rating of an EF-3 near Conrath with EF-2 damage near Chetek. The first warning was issued just a few minutes before it touched down east of Clear Lake, which is typical for weaker tornadoes, but as it grew in strength the average warning time was 15 minutes. The warning for Chetek and eastern Barron county was issued 25 minutes before the tornado moved through Chetek. Click here for more on how the area looks two years later.
Today was quieter, but feeling like summer. It was the warmest day of the year so far with highs reaching the lower 80s! There was some humidity in the air, but the 60 degree dew points were earlier this morning when the temperatures were still rising into the lower 70s. A weak cold front this afternoon was responsible for the clouds, but did not include much rain, though a few showers are possible through the night mainly south of Eau Claire.
Today’s weather will not become the trend. The cold front will stall to our south, and showers and thunderstorms will develop along it tomorrow. These will lift back north during the day, with the best chance for showers and thunderstorms returning by the afternoon.
Rain will be likely tomorrow night through the entire weekend, and several inches of rainfall will be possible. While it may not rain the entire time, showers and possibly thunderstorms will be in the vicinity of western Wisconsin pretty much all through the weekend. Temperatures due to the rain-cooled air will only top out in the 50s Saturday and Sunday.
The outlook isn’t much better next week. We’ll stay with below average high temperatures and several more rain chances, particularly Tuesday into Wednesday morning.