I've enjoyed summers in Wisconsin since 1971. Beautiful blue-sky days, cooler nights for sleeping, and enough rain for good crops and gardens have made enduring the cold snowy winters worthwhile. After a brutal winter and a very late, wet and cool spring, this summer turned tropical.

According to the National Weather Service, a surface low was parked for days last week across eastern Colorado with a frontal boundary in place across northern Iowa. Lots of moisture flowed north from the Gulf of Mexico. We had a series of days with dew points in the high 70s, high temperatures around 90F and nighttime temperatures in the low 70s.

We had 3.5 inches rain at our place last week. It's been hard to keep up with mowing the yard and tending the garden. I have sympathy for our neighbors who are trying to cut and bale hay.

On Friday last week I took a hike with our dog at dawn. It was so foggy I couldn't see across our prairie. Trees were dripping in the woods. I could see water droplets suspended in the air. Working outside was an exercise in staying hydrated. I was completely soaked in sweat thinning apples in our orchard.

Later on Friday, a line of severe thunderstorms blasted straight-line winds through the lakes country in Polk and Barron counties. Sustained winds of over 70 mph for five minutes and a gust of 84 mph was recorded near Cushing. Many trees were blown down, boats were overturned, crops were flattened and buildings were damaged.

Local and other utility crews from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan teamed up to clear trees off roads and to restore power. Fortunately, nobody was seriously injured.

On Saturday I dropped off some recyclables in Martell at 8 in the morning. On the way home a dark and ominous-looking front approached from the south. An intense thunderstorm followed with rainfall of 1.25 inches in three hours. The temperature plummeted to 62F. That rain and thunderstorm system forced cancellation of the Stockholm Art Fair.

We drove north to Washburn on Lake Superior on Saturday afternoon, seeing many downed trees and damaged buildings near Turtle Lake. It was a relief to be on the Big Lake again with a clear sky and temperature in the 70s.

The forecast now is for some typical Wisconsin summer weather...finally.

Please send any comments and suggestions for this column to me at rfjsports@rivertowns.net