Heat Record Set in Caledonia
The hottest its been on July 17 in the past is 98 degrees — and that was in 1942 — but on Tuesday, Caledonia hit 99 by late afternoon. Unfortunately, the heat is having some negative repercussions statewide.
Temperatures didn't stop creeping upwards on Tuesday, eventually reaching numbers big enough in Caledonia to break the highest record set in 1942.
The July 17 record for Caledonia is 99 degrees, according to Wunderground.com, 1 degree above the previous high set 60 years ago. On Tuesday, the heat index reached 111 degrees by late afternoon.
But breaking records isn't the only thing this heat is doing.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services on Monday said the hot weather is the confirmed cause of at least eight deaths statewide, but could possibly be responsible for up to 19 fatalities, according to a press release from the department.
And according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources weekly news, "fire danger levels as of July 17 were at extreme in 25 southern counties and very high or high in another 25 central counties." DNR officials are responding to 10 to 15 fires a day, according to the newsletter.
Fish are also suffering in the heat, the DNR said, with numerous fish dying because of high water temperatures.
"The water has just gotten too hot for many of our cold-water species like northern pike," Paul Cunningham, DNR fisheries habitat coordinator said in the newsletter.
High temperatures are also affecting dairy farmers, whose cows are having a hard time dealing with the heat. According to a story on WAOW.com, "hot cows are more likely to eat less and in turn, produce a reduced amount of milk."
In recognizing the dangers created by the heat and drought-like conditions, the DNR has created a page on its website dedicated to "coping with the 2012 drought." Visit that page here.
Need a way to cool down? Think about this: the low temperature record for both communities, according to Wunderground.com, was set in 1896 when it was a mere 50 degrees.