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?

Think we’re making it up? Even Mark Borchardt noticed!

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.


Here’s what other folks had to say about yesterday’s meteorological phenomenon:

Don’t forget Illinois!

So…yeah! That was pretty neat! Pneumonia front!

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Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.