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Ask the Weather Guys: What were the top weather events for 2018?

December 31, 2018

Q: What were the top weather events for 2018?

A: The year began with frigid temperatures across Wisconsin. The average temperatures for the first seven days of January were well below normal across southern Wisconsin with most areas at least 15 degrees below normal.

The end of 2018 saw temperatures several degrees warmer than normal, including a record high temperature of 50 F on Dec. 27, tying a record high for the date, last set in 2003, and previously set in 1936 and 1946.

The year-to-date temperature across the globe was more than 1 degree above the 20th-century average of 57.2 F. That may turn out to be the fourth-highest global mean temperature in the 139-year record.

Southern Wisconsin experienced a rainy summer. The August precipitation that fell over the region was about 200 percent of normal. Total precipitation was also above normal for June and July. By the end of summer, we were about 6 inches above normal.

On Aug. 19, 2.74 inches fell on Madison, setting a daily record rain amount, beating the old record of 2.13 inches set in 2007. In particular, August has been exceptionally rainy compared to the prior five Augusts as the only above-normal August in that stretch occurred in 2014 (+1.14 inches).

The United States had a below-average number of tornadoes. There were no tornadoes in the U.S. rated above EF3, making 2018 the first year there were no violent tornadoes in the U.S.

There were 17 confirmed tornadoes in Wisconsin on Aug. 28 with the strongest rated as EF-2 on the enhanced Fujita scale. Damage to trees and agriculture was widespread on that day, but there were no reported fatalities or injuries.

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