Archive for the 'Weather' Category

Enough Already…

Monday, March 24th, 2008

Milwaukee’s Second Snowiest Winter Ever!

Sean O’Flaherty


As of 7 a.m. Saturday, Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee had recorded 96.9 inches of snow. [Kelly’s note: we had even more snow after Saturday at 7:00 a.m., folks, so this is already a little out of date] The National Weather Service says that amount ranked as the second snowiest winter season on record at Milwaukee. Below is a list of the top 20 winter season snowfall amounts for Milwaukee:


1. 109.8″ 1885-86

2. 96.9″* 2007-08*

3. 94.2″ 1897-98

4. 93.3″ 1959-60

5. 83.2″ 1973-74

6. 82.9″ 1978-79

7. 82.6″ 1903-04

8. 81.9″ 1993-94

9. 80.8″ 1922-23

10. 80.7″ 1977-78

11. 79.7″ 1951-52

12. 78.7″ 1917-18

13. 78.6″ 1950-51

14. 74.2″ 1935-36

15. 74.1″ 1886-87

16. 74.0″ 1964-65

17. 73.3″ 1925-26

*The Weather Service points out that totals for Milwaukee will only continue to rise as the winter season still has the rest of March and into April remaining.

[Also, no point in even counting in Madison, anymore – they’ve already broken the record for MOST snow ever over there].

Cold, but Proud and Happy

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

It turns out that we’re in the midst of a record-breaking winter here in Milwaukee.

It’s been unusually, and bitterly cold, and since December, we’ve had snowstorm upon snowstorm regularly dumping multiple inches of snow on our fair city.

My never-closes office even – (gasp) – closed one day last week due to a 10-inch-plus snowfall that was predicted, and came, that day.

But in the midst of it all, and with sometimes wet, snowy shoes, we’ve managed to move into our new house, and are slowly settling in.

Another recent change is that Emma has started at a new day care place.

She has taken right to the place, and loves it, as do we. 

They give us a written report of her meals, nap timing, and other activities for the day.

So we know that on her first day there, the teacher read “Suppertime for Frieda Fuzzypaws” and that Emma enjoyed “filling up and then pouring out sand from pink frying pan,” among other things.

We’re very proud of our happy little girl, who is making friends and adjusting so well to the new “classroom” setting. 

We love hanging her coat on the hook underneath her name in the morning, and, at night, hearing her tell us little things about her day. 

It’s sweet, sweet stuff.  And makes the cold winter seem just a little warmer.

Melting in Milwaukee

Monday, July 17th, 2006

We Milwaukeeans are delicate creatures. 

Oh, cold weather?!¬† That’s nothing.¬† And don’t believe everything you hear about how cold it gets here, either.¬† It’s all part of a conspiracy to keep our lovely state all to ourselves.¬† When it is cold, though, we know what to do.

But¬†HEAT -¬†”Oh Jeez”, as they say in the local parlance.¬† No one likes it when the mercury rises.¬†¬†A typical Milwaukeean transplanted to more southern, tropical climes would wilt and fail to thrive¬†much like¬†a Norwegian Spruce transplanted to Death Valley.

And we’ve had a Milwaukee heat wave this weekend.¬† That means that temperatures have reached levels that are quite normal for other parts of the country, but for which we are ill-prepared.

Temperatures have been in the mid-90s Saturday, Sunday, and today, with heat index readings in the low to mid 100s. 

That prompted the National Weather Service to issue the year’s first Heat Advisory warning for our city, while the municipal authorities set up 21 cooling centers – stations in which both inside air conditioning, as well as outdoor “industrial strength spinklers attached to fire hydrants,”¬†are available.¬† This has been paired with public pleas for citizens to refrain from opening fire hydrants, on their own,¬†for relief.¬† City pools also extended their weekend hours to 7:00p.m.

Luckily, the local paper is promising an end to the madness:

Today’s high could reach 94 with a heat index of 102, according to the Weather Service; tomorrow’s high is expected to be a refreshing 79.¬†¬†

City of Milwaukee Pleads: Please Don’t Flush!

Thursday, May 11th, 2006

View of Milwaukee from the North - Clouds move in from Lake Michigan

Immediate Release

May 10, 2006

Help protect Lake Michigan, use less water when there’s heavy rain

(Milwaukee, WI) – With more than two inches of rain possible between tonight and tomorrow night, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) reminds its customers that you can help protect Lake Michigan and reduce the risk of basement backups and sewer overflows by using less water when there’s heavy rain.
“If each of our 1.1 million customers cuts down by just 10 gallons, we would have 11 million gallons more room in the sewer system to handle all the rain,” said MMSD Executive Director Kevin Shafer.  “We each use about 65 gallons of water a day.  There are many ways to conserve some water without disrupting our lives.”The “Every Drop Counts” water-conservation campaign is NOT a magic fix that promises to end all sewer overflows.  It is one of the many solutions needed to help protect our rivers and lakes.

Some tips for conserving water:

  • Do the laundry tomorrow if there‚Äôs heavy rain today.¬†
  • Always wash full loads.
  • Take a short shower instead of a bath.
  • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth or shaving.
  • Fix leaks.¬† A leaky toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water a day.
  • Cut indoor water use by 1/3 or more by installing low-flow faucets, showerheads and toilets.
    For more information on “Every Drop Counts,” visit:   




Hail On A Cold Tin Roof

Sunday, April 16th, 2006

Paul and I were up later than usual (it being a work night and all) last Thursday evening. We were relaxing in the living room when, suddenly, around 11:00 p.m., we heard a crash outside. I ignored it. One loud noise in this neighborhood doesn’t rise to the level of an incident. But then there was another one. And then another pair of them in close succession. And they kept coming more and more frequently in an increasingly riotous rhythm.

Hail - In Our Yard
Hail – In Our Yard,
originally uploaded by Koog Family.

By then, we had moved into “alert” mode, and I mumbled something, of which I can’t recall the exact phrasing, but which I’m sure involved a “what the hell?” We were quickly up on our feet, running to the foyer to switch on the porch light and look outside. And by about that same time, the loud crashing had become so constant and inescapable that we were already starting to guess what it might be.

Hail Everywhere
Hail Everywhere,
originally uploaded by Koog Family.

We turned on the light. Our suspicions were confirmed, and our worries about something more sinister faded away. It was a sudden, powerful hail storm… Hail pellets were banging down unmercifully onto everything in sight – bouncing up again where they found pavement, but alighting snugly onto the lawns. It looked like popcorn everywhere, and arrived at a speed similar to that with which corn pops – all audible, and amplified by our porch’s tin canopy, which was suddenly a musical instrument for the weather and its loud popcorn aria.

Blurry close-up of marble-sized Hail on our porch
Blurry close-up of marble-sized Hail on our porch,
originally uploaded by Koog Family.

The news the next morning was that several local areas were visited by golf-ball-sized-, and even lemon– and grapefruit-sized hail (some car windows were shattered by these, to the west of us). But our hail was marble-sized.

Hail Among the Neighbors' Tulip-Bed
Hail Among the Neighbors’ Tulip-Bed,
originally uploaded by Koog Family.

The hail came on so suddenly and powerfully that it caught ours, and apparently, everyone’s else’s full attention. It lasted only ten minutes, but had quite an impact – including on the Blogosphere. I was entertained, the next day, to find a compilation of online reactions to our local hail, here: And I found a number of photos of local hail tagged on Flickr, like these, HERE and HERE and HERE.