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George says ...

I suppose that fire is considered one of mankind's first inventions. It ranks right up there with the wheel when it comes to useful items for being civilized. After all, a tasty piece of grilled mammoth had to be far superior to that raw buffalo ...

I suppose that fire is considered one of mankind's first inventions. It ranks right up there with the wheel when it comes to useful items for being civilized. After all, a tasty piece of grilled mammoth had to be far superior to that raw buffalo burger. Of course, fire wasn't really invented, it was just put to use. Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that flame has been around for so long that no one pays much attention to the science there anymore. That's too bad really, because it would make the analogies for this week's topic much easier.
I'd like to take a moment to talk about thunderstorms. Although they haven't put in a dramatic appearance so far this year, storms are a steady companion for most of the warm months. I'm often asked about these explosive systems, and the best answer I have is that it's a fire in the atmosphere. Warmth and moisture at or near the surface is forced to rise into the colder layers above. Once that match has been struck, the atmospheric fire will take off and burn until its fuel is exhausted. The heat and humidity are converted into wind and rain, with a steady stream of high cloudiness drifting away as "smoke."
If you watch satellite pictures closely, you'll notice that the storms actually flicker and dance as they move along the lines of best fuel. I suppose you could say that it adds new meaning to the phrase "fire in the sky."
Forecast
Saturday: Cloudy, windy and cool with a good chance of rain. Highs: 47-52. Saturday night: Showers ending. Lows: 42-47. Sunday: Partly sunny, breezy and cool. Highs: 54-59.
Extended Outlook
Monday through Wednesday ... We're in a remarkably consistent pattern around here, with fronts arriving every other day. The clouds are back by Monday, with a chance of showers that will linger into Tuesday. Highs in the 50s and 60s.
Regional Summary
Northwest Wisconsin: Saturday... Cloudy with showers and storms. Highs: 50-55 near the lake, with slightly warmer readings inland. Sunday ... Partly to mostly cloudy and still brisk. Highs: 58-63 inland, with cooler readings near the lake. Outlook ... Another round of showers and storms is expected for Monday and Tuesday, with a bit of sun returning on Wednesday. Highs in the 50s and 60s.
Wisconsin: Saturday ... Mostly cloudy with numerous showers and storms. Highs ranging from 52 in Bayfield to 70 in Madison. Sunday ... Morning showers in the east, otherwise partly sunny. Highs from the 50s near Lake Superior to the upper 60s in the southwest. Outlook ... Showers and storms are possible on Monday and Tuesday, with partly cloudy expected by Wednesday. Highs from the upper 50s north to the lower 70s south.
Michigan: Saturday ... Increasing cloudiness with showers and thunderstorms possible by afternoon. Highs from 58 in Marquette to 78 in Detroit. Sunday ... More rain likely. Highs from the upper 50s UP to the upper 60s southwest. Outlook ... Showers and storms on Monday and Wednesday, with a scrap of sunshine possible on Tuesday. Highs in the 60s UP with 70s elsewhere.
Minnesota: Saturday ... Cloudy with a good chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs ranging from 48 in Grand Portage to 66 in Albert Lea. Sunday ... A little sunshine returns, but temperatures remain cool. Highs from the middle 50s on the North Shore to the lower 70s in the southwest.
Travel Tidbits
East through Wisconsin: With frequent showers expected over the next week, travelers will have to leave a little early to reach their destination on time.
West through the Dakotas: A few of the storms in the Dakotas will get nasty, so motorists will need to keep a tight grip on the wheel.
South into Iowa: Whenever thunder creeps into our forecast here in the north, you can bet your bottom dollar that the storms will be even more burly in Iowa. Take care on the highways this week.

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