Weekend Weather Wows: Texas town breaks record high for 11 straight days, and what's 'loonie-ball' hail?

The historic Texas heat wave continued to set some eye-popping records as it entered its second week. Also: Milwaukee ends its thunder drought, and have you ever heard of "loonie ball"-sized hail?

They say everything is bigger in Texas. Even the heat waves.

It's time for our weekly feature, "Weekend Weather Wows," where we'll go back and find the most exciting tidbits of weather you might have missed over the past week, so you'll be ready to impress at the water cooler (or virtual water cooler) come Monday.

Mother Nature serves up some Texas Toast

How hot must it feel when "sounds like a broken record" becomes sounding like a broken record?

As the historic Texas heat wave entered its second week, the town of Del Rio just finished a streak of setting a daily high-temperature record — for 11 consecutive days. That too is, as you might imagine, a record. The "coolest" day in the stretch was 108, while the temperature peaked at 115 on June 21. The town’s previous all-time high had been 113.

The streak ended Thursday with a frigid high of 102. Temperatures will cool into the low 90s early next week.

San Angelo, who we featured last week for breaking its all-time record high of 111 with back-to-back days of 114 degrees, would go on to spend five of the next seven days at or above 111. Put another way, their top five hottest days on record have now all come since June 19.

Texas toast… for late-night snack?

For those who slept with their windows open in Amarillo on Monday night in the futile hopes of cooling off must have dreamed they were in some surreal alternate universe where the moon makes it hot outside, too, as it suddenly warmed multiple times. In reality, it was a series of heat bursts that blew through the area, sending temperatures on a sweltering roller coaster.


Temperatures bounced from 74 to 90 to 82 to 92 to 77 to 90 to 77 in the span of 95 minutes between 3:25 and 5 a.m. as dying thunderstorms sent waves of warm, sinking air through the area.


Storm’s a brewin’… finally

As those in Milwaukee headed out to lunch Sunday, a strange sound emanated from the heavens – thunder.

It's not an uncommon sound in a Midwestern summer, but strangely enough, It was the first time in more than two months Milwaukee had heard thunder, according to data published by Iowa State University's IEM. The city’s last reported thunderstorm had been on April 20.

Milwaukee averages about 24 hourly observations reporting thunder over May and June, so the absence is quite unusual. The lack of thunderstorm activity has contributed to a rapidly worsening drought situation, IEM's Daryl Herzmann said. Maybe some quiet time was overdue — early April had about triple its average monthly thunder reports.

‘7-7-7’ not the only triple-digit hard to come by in Las Vegas

While the southern Plains continued to broil, the West Coast has continued its summer reprieve.

Downtown Los Angeles just went 60 consecutive days without reaching 80 degrees – a record for the May-June time period. That’s at their inland station at the USC campus, not along the coast like LAX Airport, so that is really a feat. LAX’s peak temp has been 72 through the period, while San Diego has made it to 73.

Even the deserts haven’t been sizzling as much as usual.

Through Thursday, Las Vegas had yet to reach 100 degrees, continuing a record streak of 294 days under 100 degrees. Their old record had been 290 days set in 1964-65.

The record came to an abrupt end this weekend as highs reached 102 Friday, then will zoom past 110 amid Excessive Heat Warnings Saturday and Sunday. Just remember that in Las Vegas, whether at the poker table or out in the wilderness, an enticing temptation to play on the river can be met with a cold reality if you go all-in without considering the risks.

Other Weekend Wow-y Tidbits

We’ve heard a lot about golf-ball or tennis-ball or even softball-sized hail lately as severe storms roamed around here. But Canada has their own unique measurement: "Loonie-ball"-sized hail. 

At first when I read that tweet from @wxdam, I thought I was missing out on some amazing Canadian sport like maybe contact curling, but it turns out they mean the size of a Loonie — or what they call their $1 coin (because it is adorned with a loon). It’s about the same size as an American quarter.  Just watch out for that "Toonie" hail. 


"Hey NWS Detroit! Found your balloon!" A pilot flying at 35,000 feet over southeastern Michigan filed an unusual flight report: "White balloon size of motorcycle w/payload SE bound." It was likely the morning weather balloon launch from the NWS office in Detroit.


Hey Seattle: Found your weather! For the first time in 25 years, both San Francisco (20.14 inches) and Los Angeles (19.04 inches) had more rain in the first half of a year than Seattle (14.02 inches). Then again, Seattle's rain total is about 30% below average while San Francisco and Los Angeles are punching way above their weight class. Feel free to send the rain back anytime…

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