Weather in southeast Wisconsin in 2012 will be remembered for not making noise. After all, the blaring sounds of snowplows and rumbling thunder were seldom heard throughout the year thanks to a lack of snow and storms. Instead it was two very silent weather features that headlined the year, heat and drought.
The warmth kicked in right away with a top 5 warmest winter (beginning in December of 2011), followed by the warmest spring and warmest summer on record (autumn was near normal). The parched part of our year slammed us right after Memorial Day. To that point we were close to normal for precipitation. Next, a bone dry June jump started a disastrous drought for southern Wisconsin which continued into fall.
Along the way we set records for chart topping temps and days without snow. I began this blog with the thinking that I would do a “Top 10” list of weather events/facts corresponding to their number on the list. Then I realized the list was getting repetitive so I knocked it down to 5 with an added bonus at the end. Here is it…
5th day of March it didn’t snow. This began a stretch of 288 days with no measurable snow falling in Milwaukee setting a new record.
4 tornadoes for the entire year across the whole state, the lowest number since 1952. None of these tornadoes hit southeast Wisconsin.
3 Days of +100° heat in Milwaukee (and a few more in the upper 90s). The hottest day occurred July 5th with a sizzling 103°
$2 million in property damage in Kewaskum as hail just under golf ball size strafed the village on August 7th.
1st place on the list of hottest years in Milwaukee. 2012 stands tall on the podium alongside 1931 with an average temperature of 51.9°.
Just over ½ of the state (51.3%) reached severe to extreme drought by early October.
*A big thanks to the National Weather Service for their statewide summary of 2012. You can access their full report by CLICKING HERE.