May 3, 2012

Oshkosh's Third "10-Year" Storm In Four Years

Early morning and into the afternoon on May 3 Oshkosh endured some hefty rainfall amounts. Thunderstorms trained over the city which kept the populous enthralled to sights of bright lightning strikes and sounds of deep thunder roars and pounding rain.

(Winnebago County Precipitation Totals)
1.34 MNSW3 MENASHA-JEFFERSON
2.08 NAHW3 NEENAH-EAST
1.55 WNCW3 WINNECONNE-5NW-LK
3.56 OMSW3 OMRO-SOUTHEAST
3.26 OMWW3 OMRO-2
3.10 OOHW3 OSHKOSH-5
4.12 OSNW3 OSHKOSH-NORTH
2.76 OSH OSHKOSH-AIRPORT
4.15 OKHW3 OSHKOSH-WWTP
3.35 OOSW3 OSHKOSH-6

(Wisconsin Statewide Precipitation Totals)

Travel around town was limited as high water made roads impassable rerouting traffic onto the path less traveled. The new surroundings brought the situation into light. Many citizens, again, were hit very hard by the flooding rains.


While this torrential rainfall may be an inch plus less than what fell in June 2008, the impact is just the same. Flooded basements and flooded yards and flooded parking lots discharging the standing water anywhere possible which eventually drains into the Fox River and Lake Winnebago. Storm water management is a big deal for the "Event City", "On The Water". The frequency of high impact rainfall has increased 40% in the last 60 years. Oshkosh is no stranger to this phenomenon. The Oshkosh 2008 stormwater management plan defines a 10-year storm as 3.56 inches in 24 hours. In the past four years, we've surpassed that total three times and nearly surpassed it two more times in 2004 and 2008 respectively. Perhaps the 10-year storm needs to be redefined.


This rainfall ranks sixth all-time in Oshkosh history. Daily weather observations for Oshkosh date back to 1893. Click here to view the 3-Day archived radar loop.
Sawyer Creek was flowing over it's banks behind the new Computer Corner store at 467 N. Washburn. Sawyer Creek is tied to a high percentage of flooding in Oshkosh.

(Sawyer Creek - May 3, 2010 - Courtesy of MarkMartin)

Daily precipitation observations often need special attention. Today was no exception. To all of those who volunteer their time, keep up the great work. To all of those affected by the flooding today I wish you all a speedy clean-up and recovery!

(OSNW3 - 4.12" - May 3, 2012)