Recent rains have cooled wildfire threatWisconsin Weather
-- The weekend rains have greatly reduced the risk of wildfires in Wisconsin. The DNR says none of the state’s 72 counties have a high fire danger today.
The weekend rains have greatly reduced the risk of wildfires in Wisconsin. The DNR says none of the state’s 72 counties have a high fire danger today.
About the southeast half of the Badger State has a moderate fire risk, while the danger is low in about the northwest half. Still, high winds can spread any flames around. And all burning is still prohibited in far northwest Wisconsin, where fallen timber from last summer has posed a heavy fire risk. But other places are easing up their restrictions for now. The burning of piles is still banned in the northwest, but most places are allowing campfires once again.
You wouldn’t want to camp near Lake Superior – where there’s snow today. Ashland had three inches by mid-morning. Bayfield had two-inches, and Hawthorne in Douglas County had an-inch-and-a-half. Much of Wisconsin had more high winds. Gusts hit 49-miles-an-hour at mid-morning at Kenosha and Darboy near Appleton. Milwaukee and Monroe had gusts of 46. The precipitation is expected to clear out tonight. Cool weather is predicted for most of the week – along with chances for more rain except for tomorrow, when it’s supposed to be dry.
If you think Wisconsin is more of a tornado target these days, you’re right. The National Weather Service said 84 twisters touched down in the Badger State in the last two years. That’s just one short of the total for the previous four years. This is Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week. And if there’s any good news, today’s twisters spend less time and shorter distances on the ground than they used to.
From 1950 through 2008, the Weather Service said the average tornado was on the ground for almost 10 minutes, traveling five-and-a-half miles. But since 1982, the average twister has traveled less than four miles in only seven minutes. Wisconsin averages 23 tornadoes each year, and February is the only month which has never had one. Southwest Wisconsin is the state’s biggest tornado target, averaging one day of tornadoes per year. Northern Wisconsin is the least likely to get hit. They average just two-tenths of a tornado day each year. 2005 had the most twisters ever recorded in Wisconsin with 62. Last year, one person was killed and six were injured in 38 tornadoes. The state’s most deadly tornado was at New Richmond on June 12th of 1899. 117 people were killed and 125 others were injured – and more than 300 buildings were destroyed. In recent years, tornadoes caused over $40-million of damage each in Barneveld in 1984 and Oakfield near Fond du Lac in 1996. For severe thunderstorms, southwest Wisconsin gets about 40 days of them each year – while the Lake Michigan shore gets around 30 days of thunder-boomers per year.