Mon December 31, 2012
Weather Made The News Often In 2012
The weather made the headlines frequently in 2012-- there was an early spring followed by a damaging frost, a hot summer, and a lengthy drought. A lot of records were set as well.
"We had several records set not only on a local basis but on a state-wide basis," says Rusty Kapela, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sullivan. "And one of the biggest records is the warmest year on record so far."
The year started with a mild winter followed by a record setting March. Kapela says temperatures rose 15 to 30 degrees above normal. Then as trees and plants were blossoming early, a killing frost in arrived and damaged many fruit crops in the state.
In the summer there was a killer heat wave and also a lengthy drought, which exists to a lesser extent even today.
Kapela says record highs were broken across the state this year. He says the summer was Milwaukee's warmest on record, and Madison's third-warmest. He says there were a lot of hot days, with very little rainfall.
"We had fewer thunderstorms and believe it or not we had far fewer numbers of tornadoes," he says. "We only had four tornadoes, whereas we average 23."
The National Weather Service estimates property and crop loss due to the weather was over $33 million in 2012. That's down considerably from 2011, when the National Weather Service estimates tornadoes alone caused $50 million in damages.
There were 15 weather related fatalities in Wisconsin in 2012, compared to 10 the year before.