After a dry start to summer, July was warmer and wetter than normal
By Brad Spakowitz
July started out very dry, as total rainfall for the two previous months measured only 4.81 inches, roughly a third below the 30-year average of 7.45 inches.
Worse yet, the second half of June only received a little over one inch of rain.
The lack of rain along with the intense high sun angle in summer left sunny lawns browning and some crops wilting.
Fortunately, just a few days into July we received a big dose of rain – perfect timing for thirsty plants – but poor timing for the 4th of July holiday.
The day was cloudy, warm and humid, with rain arriving midafternoon and lingering into the evening, delaying Fire Over the Fox activities in downtown Green Bay, but passing in time for the fireworks to go on.
When all was said and done, Green Bay received 1.08 inches of rain, De Pere 1.37 inches, Seymour 1.20 inches, Howard 0.99 inches, and Pulaski 0.83 inches.
A few days later, on July 8, early morning rains returned, this time leaving 1.18 inches around Green Bay, but more in Howard (1.70 inches).
This reinforcing dose of rain awakened some grass and energized crops, with corn quickly shooting up over a foot.
There were several light rain events the following week, one of which contributed to widespread thick fog the morning of July 16, something not too common during Wisconsin summers.
A round of heat and humidity unfolded thereafter, with high temperatures hitting 91 degrees July 18; 90 degrees July 22; and 92 degrees July 23, bringing the count of days at or above 90 degrees to 10 so far this season, well above the 30-year average of 5.5.
The heat of July 23 was especially oppressive with dew points in the 70s and little wind, but thankfully the rapid temperature rise was held at bay midday as clouds rolled in.
The tops of massive thunderstorms could be seen far to our west and headed our way.
Those storms were here by dinner time, bringing wind gusts around 50 mph, downing some branches, trees and powerlines, but it was not as widespread nor as bad as the severe weather event of June 15.
The timing of the storms meddled with several area events including two delays at the soccer match at Lambeau Field, Pulaski Polka Days, and farther south, the EAA grounds in Oshkosh.
On the flipside, the storms brought some good rains into the area, with another round of heavy rain during the overnight hours.
The additional soaking brought the 24-hour rain total to 2.10 inches at Austin Straubel International Airport, 1.81 inches in De Pere, 1.38 inches in Howard, 0.82 inches in Seymour and 0.72 inches in Pulaski.
Thereafter, the final week of the month brought a refreshing multi-day break from the heat and humidity.