Hey! Milwaukee! Remember yesterday, just after 6 p.m., when a big ol’ gust of arctic air blasted through the city, instantly dropping the temperature by nearly 20 degrees? Wasn’t that nuts?
If you’re like us, you were out on your fourth-floor concrete porch at the time, enjoying some burgers and Cool Ranch Doritos with your family (natch), when all of a sudden you heard something big coming your way. “Uh, hold on to your plates,” you said to your family, remembering the time a goddamn tornado landed on your cabin when you were fishing up north and your brother was practically picked up by the thing and, well, that’s another story.
Back to Milwaukee: WHAM! Not only was the gust of air powerful, sending a trash can hurtling toward the dudes cooking out in the parking lot below, it was cold. In the blink of an eye, a beautiful 70-degree day became a chilly 50-degree day. Like we said before, wasn’t that nuts?
Anyone else just get that blast of cold air that instantly dropped the temperature by 15 degrees?
— Matt Wild (@ByMattWild) May 3, 2020
Think we’re making it up? Even Mark Borchardt noticed!
The party’s over in Milwaukee; a sudden cold front has come in by the Lake and people are booking back to their cars… pic.twitter.com/Al9v24RErd
— Mark Borchardt (@morethescarier) May 3, 2020
So what was that? Turns out it was something called a “pneumonia front.” TMJ4 anchor Steve Chamraz tweeted this term at us minutes after the cold air blasted through, and at first we thought he was making a joke. Um, some kind of COVID gag? Then we looked it up, and sure enough, it’s a thing!
According to Wikipedia (sorry, it’s late):
The term Pneumonia front, first coined by Milwaukee Weather Bureau Office in the 1960s, is used to describe a rare meteorological phenomenon observed on the western Lake Michigan shoreline during the warm season. These fronts are defined as lake-modified synoptic scale cold fronts that result in one-hour temperature drops of 16 °F (8.9 °C) or greater.
Huh! YOU LEARN SOMETHING NEW EVERY DAY.
Here’s what other folks had to say about yesterday’s meteorological phenomenon:
Here comes the *pneumonia front*!!
Basically that is a sharp drop in temps.. like 30 degrees over a short period of time.
Bye bye 70s 🙁 40s are coming!https://t.co/fj3hFIPy2M pic.twitter.com/5IMDS4r4KU
— Lindsey Slater (@LindseySlaterTV) May 3, 2020
Ahhh yes the classic pneumonia front. At least most of the day looks amazing. Keep this in mind as you are grilling this evening. pic.twitter.com/oSajrOFbXW
— Drew Burgoyne (@CBS58Drew) May 3, 2020
Heads up. Do you see that small line north of Cedarburg? That is something that is known as a pneumonia front. It will drop our temps very rapidly as it races south along the lake. pic.twitter.com/wqXdr7eGRc
— Mark Baden (@Mark_Baden) May 3, 2020
Back door cold front or pneumonia front just getting to Sheboygan. That is a drop from the low 70s to the mid 50s! pic.twitter.com/G97cy8GO6t
— Chris Swaim (@Chris_WISN) May 3, 2020
Pneumonia front has arrived in east Mequon….Port & Mequon Rds. Gusts to 35mph, temperature falling quickly. Bayside, Fox Point, Whitefish Bay……you’re next!
•@FOX6Weather @Tom_Wachs @NWSMKX #wiwx #swiwx
— Vince Condella (@VinceCondella1) May 3, 2020
6:04pm: The pneumonia front is making quick progress through our lakeshore counties. Oostburg in the 40s. Expect a quick drop north to south in our lakeshore areas over the next 1-2 hours. A quick 15°-20° temperature drop is on the way. pic.twitter.com/X6hGMgMjpx
— Tom Wachs (@Tom_Wachs) May 3, 2020
— NWS Milwaukee (@NWSMKX) May 4, 2020
And that ladies & gentlemen was our pneumonia front! I think it should be renamed “rude & disrespectful front.” Okay time to go get my sweater…see ya at 10pm on @tmj4.#wiwx #may-meh pic.twitter.com/5n7DZctPa8
— Elissia Wilson (@ElissiaWilson) May 4, 2020
Checked in safe from the Pneumonia Front
— JuKap (@jukap) May 4, 2020
Don’t forget Illinois!
— Mike Janssen (@MikeJanssenWX) May 4, 2020
So…yeah! That was pretty neat! Pneumonia front!