Damaging Winds Possible Wednesday
First Alert Day Issued Wednesday-Thursday
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -When you talk active weather in the middle of December for Wisconsin, you usually associate it with snowstorms and cold temperatures. This time we are talking record warm temperatures, strong winds, and severe storm potential. The conditions moving into southern Wisconsin will be unprecedented for this time of the year. This has prompted a First Alert Day to be declared for both Wednesday and Thursday.
Record setting temperatures are expected Wednesday. The current record stands at 52 degrees, set back in 2011. The foretasted high is 64 degrees for Madison which would obliterate the current record. The all time record high temperature for December is 65 degrees, set on December 3rd, 2012. To put it in perspective how unseasonably warm we will be on Wednesday, the average high is now into the lower 30s. There is a chance the record high could be tied or broken on Thursday as well with the mild air sticking around through the morning hours before falling off later in the day.
A High Wind Warning is in place for all of southern Wisconsin as strong to potentially damaging winds are expected Wednesday into Thursday. Winds will pick up Wednesday morning in the 20-30 mph range. By the afternoon hours, those winds will gust anywhere from 30-40 mph. The highest wind gusts will come Wednesday night into Thursday morning where gusts of 50-60 mph are possible. The winds will come down a bit into Thursday, but still gust in the 30-40 mph range through the afternoon hours. The concern is that the strongest gusts could last several hours over the entire area. Winds of this magnitude will have the potential to bring widespread tree and power line damage.
Thunderstorms in the month of December are rare in the state of Wisconsin with severe weather chances unheard of. A rare chance of strong to severe storms will move into the area Wednesday night. This will come with a line of storms crossing the Mississippi sometime after 8 PM and continuing eastward towards Madison by Midnight. From there they move towards Milwaukee after midnight. This line of storms will have the potential for enhanced winds in excess of 60 mph along with an isolated tornado. This will be a quick moving line of storms that will be in an out of here in just a couple of hours.
Now is the time to prepare for the potentially dangerous weather heading in our direction. Review your severe weather plans in case you need to put them into action Wednesday night. Travel should be avoided Wednesday night during the strongest winds. If you do have to travel during the day, make sure you use two hands and be prepared for gusts to push your vehicle around, especially high profile vehicles. With an increased risk of power outages, keep electronic devices charged and have batteries and candles nearby if needed. Holiday decorations should be reinforced or brought in if possible as they will likely not handle the gusty winds very well.
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