The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Thunderstorm lights up Range


Ralph Ansami/Daily Globe

ONLY SMALL pockets of color are visible on a gloomy Tuesday off County C, near the Gile Flowage, in the town of Carey.


Ironwood - An extended thunderstorm that slowly moved through the Gogebic Range Monday night and early Tuesday seemed to speed up arrival of fall colors, but they were still a long way from their peak.

Rumbling thunder was accompanied by 1.06 inches of rain at the Gogebic-Iron Wastewater Treatment Plant off Cloverland Drive, Ironwood's official weather station.

Other areas of the Range received heavier rainfall, with Saxon getting more than 2 inches.

Although temperatures were in the 60s overnight, the lightning and thunder seemed to shake the colors out of some trees along U.S. 2, but strong southerly winds caused many leaves to drop.

The warm weather here has delayed the arrival of color season and there are only small pockets of bright hues. Cool air, especially at night, with daytime sunshine is needed to promote formation of the red and purple pigments in leaves, but the temperature was near 70 at noon on a cloudy Tuesday.

There were erroneous reports a week ago of 70 percent color in the Hurley-Ironwood area, but it was closer to 10 to 20 percent as of Tuesday. Travel Wisconsin on Tuesday listed northern Wisconsin colors, including Hurley, at 65 to 70 percent.

The single-day rainfall total for Ironwood was just a bit short of the all-time record for Oct. 3 of 1.15 inches measured in 1951.

For the year, Ironwood has received 30.71 inches of precipitation, compared to the 116-year average of 26.59 inches, according to the National Weather Service office in Marquette.

In 2003, 4 inches of snow was recorded in Ironwood on Oct. 3.

The average temperature for this month of 55.7 degrees is 7 degrees above the long-term average.

As predicted by the NWS, heavy rain caused flooding in the Duluth-Superior area, where a flash flood watch was in effect until 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Two to 4 inches of rain fell in parts of that area.


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