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07/16/04 NOW: Great Lakes

We had three tornado warnings in the counties just north of Madison, WI this afternoon. The atmosphere really turning. Reports of 3/4 inch hail, and 60mph winds. As it passed Madison, the heavy rains flooded many streets. No funnel cloud spotted, but a large slowly rotating wall cloud passed overhead. It looked similar to the storm that passed over us three weeks ago that produced several tornadoes. The clouds were not as low this time, or moving as fast, but you could still see the turbulance in the clouds.

Thanks for starting this thread.

Spotter in Madison
Latest out of Madison, WI...

Issued at: 4:29 PM CDT 7/16/04, expires at: 5:00 PM CDT 7/16/04

Severe thunderstorm warning continues for dane county until 445 pm,
At 429 pm cdt, national weather service doppler radar continued to indicate a severe thunderstorm 3 miles southeast of verona, moving south at 20 mph.
The severe thunderstorm will be near, paoli by 430 pm cdt. Oregon by 435 pm cdt. Belleville by 445 pm cdt.
If you are in the path of this storm, you should prepare for damaging winds in excess of 60 mph, large hail, and deadly lightning. Seek shelter immediately!
Hail up to 3/4 of an inch in diameter, winds greater than 60 miles an hour, and very heavy rains are expected from this storm. If you are in the storm''s path, seek shelter indoors.
SW MI/southern WI has some pretty good storms... I think the biggest threat will be heavy rains though, as Nick mentioned...
Some nice towers went up here 50 miles east of Madison. Good instability but poor shear / no rotation. Snapped some wannabe mammatus as things dissipated:

In the Madison news today it was reported that Wisconsin is one tornado short of having the most tornadoes in a given time frame. Our average is 21 tornadoes a year, we are at 30 so far this year. 1993 was when we had just one tornado more.

Do you think there is a relationship with weather and solar activity? We had a very active sun this past winter, sending out record amounts of plasma during record making storms. Some storms in December sent off such strong energy, the instruments that monitor the sun went off line.

Maybe just a coincidence, but 1993 is 11 years ago, and solar activity runs on close to 11 year cycles. The weather people I've talked to about this do not see how the sun's storms can affect the troposphere.

We know the weather lags about two months behind, partly because our oceans moderate the temperatures. Otherwise our hottest day would be June 21st, not sometime in August. I wonder if there is a similar condition in the atmosphere.

On another note, the New York Times was reporting that there was an acceleration in the weakening of the magnetic fields (15%). They were pointing to the poles flipping. There was no time frame given though, and it was a developing story. I read this on the Drudge report a few days ago, but they haven't posted any more info on this since. I wonder how the weather might be affected by this when the north becomes the south magnetically.
Interesting question on how the magnetic field would affect the weather... This summer season has seemed very cool and wet to me, compared to other summers, at least this far - still have awhile to go.

Also seems like winters in the Great Lakes/Midwest have been getting back to the normal/snowy winters of the past - the early/mid 1990's seemed like "snowless" winters. Since the Blizzard of 1999, my location has averaged about 20-30 inches of snow on the ground at once (not storm total, but an accumulation over a period of 3-4 weeks) at some point during winter, opposed to the 6-10 inches in the early/mid 1990's (temperatures would warm up and our snow would melt).

Just wanted to bring up global warming as well... I don't believe in all the hype about it. Seems to me that a +0.1C increase per 10 years isn't that significant, and some evidence suggests that this is actually a natural cycle (don't remember where I seen it though, so I could be wrong).

Perhaps these two posts should be put into a different topic...
It's very rare to correlate ONE thing with a weather pattern... Can it have a part? Maybe... Is there a way to measure that part? Don't think so... When a major volcano spews boatloads of ash into the globe and we have a cold summer - you might be able to relate. If a tornado strikes you during an El Nino year - you can't relate.

- Rob