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A historical event unfolded across the central United States on 12/15 as a strong storm system tracked across the central Plains and up across the Upper Mississippi Valley. Record warmth was observed across the state of Wisconsin ahead of this system, as temperatures soared into the 60s. A few locations across southwest Wisconsin even saw temperatures warm into the lower 70s.

Strong wind gusts of 55 to 75 mph were observed as a weakening line of thunderstorms moved into central Wisconsin. Peak winds created pockets of tree damage and numerous power outages, leaving over 50,000 people without power in northeast Wisconsin, and over 100,000 across the entire state.

The storm system was so powerful, it even transported smoke from numerous large wildfires from western and central Kansas all the way up into Wisconsin! There were reports of seeing haze from the smoke and some were even able to smell a hint of smoke in the atmosphere.  

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