Archive for December, 2009

Happy Frigid New Year
December 31, 2009

Brrr!!! 2010 is greeting us all a little rudely. The cold air has arrived and it looks like it wants to hang around for awhile. Our high on Thursday was 31, but that was pretty deceptive. The high came at 7:00 AM and temps fell for the rest of the day. By 5PM, we were in the teens. Temps will slowly fall tonight  with lows around 8 in the city and zero away from Milwaukee and Lake Michigan. The lake temperature is still in the middle 30s so that helps keep it a little warmer for people who live within a mile or so of the lake. Our temps will not get back to the 20s until Monday.

You here a lot about wind chill this time of year and I want to try to do a better job of explaining exactly what the wind chill is and why we use it. It is not a perfect system, but it is a lot better than it used to be when it exaggerated the “feels-like” temperature considerably. We probably all remember in the 1990s under the old wind chill system when you would hear of wind chills dropping to -60 and -70 in our area. With the newer wind chill, this is almost impossible. Wind chill is a combination of the actual air temperature + the wind speed. This gives an approximate temperature of what it feels like on exposed skin. If you are wearing a good coat, mitten, and scarf, the wind chill will not really effect you. Wind chill does apply to pets, but has no affect on inanimate objects.

I am attaching a wind chill chart to hopefully give you a better understanding. Thanks for reading and Happy New Year.

Mark Baden

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First the snow, then the cold
December 30, 2009

An early happy new year to everyone in southeastern Wisconsin. We are going to begin the new year with some pretty chilly temperatures. First, we have to get through a little light snow tonight.

Before I get to that, I want to say that I hope that all of you have enjoyed our new meteorologist, Jeremy Nelson’s posts. His passion for weather is very evident and he has certainly brought this blog to life. I am very intrigued by the LRC pattern he has written about and look forward to testing its’ accuracy along the way. So far I have been impressed. If you have not seen any of these entries, go back and take a look.

Now, back to our weather. A very unorganized area of snow pushing into Wisconsin will bring with it a small amount of snow for us, but most areas will not even get an inch of snow. There will still be a few slippery spots to watch out for, but overall this is not a big deal. I’ve attached a radar image showing the big gaps in the light snow in our area. The heaviest of the light snow will stay south of us in Chicago.

After the snow passes, the cold air starts to move in. If you are heading out for New Year’s Eve festivities be prepared for the colder air. The temperature at midnight tomorrow night will be around 20 with a wind chill closer to zero with a strong west wind. The winds will be gusty Thursday and Friday. The coldest air will arrive during the day on Friday. If you are one of the people crazy enough to jump into Lake Michigan on Friday be ready for temps around 12 degrees and wind chills below zero. The lows on Friday night will be below zero in many spots, especially where there is still a deeper snow cover. In Milwaukee, we will likely stay above zero, but it will still be very cold.

The above attachment shows the coldest air on Saturday morning at 6AM. This is a forecast from the NAM model that brings our 850 mb temperatures down to -18 degrees Celsius. This will normally equate to below zero temps at the surface depending upon snow cover, sky conditions, and wind.

The cold air will stay with us for much of next week, but no big storms are on the horizon. Thanks for reading.

Mark Baden

January Forecast
December 29, 2009

***Watch WISN 12 News at 5, 6, & 10pm for the most accurate forecast!***

Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch blog! In today’s blog I will go over my thoughts on how the weather will play out over the next 31 days! Making long range weather predictions is always risky business and based on a handful of factors such as El Nino, La Nina, etc. Along with factoring in El Nino I am also going to use a weather pattern theory which I first learned about while working in Kansas City and have introduced in this blog. The theory is called the LRC, and says that the a unique weather pattern sets up in the Fall and then cycles through the winter, spring, and into summer before breaking down. The cycle length is different every year, but this year it looks like the cycle is roughly 60 days.

In previous blog entries I have shown numerous examples of how our big storms around December 8-9 was directly tied to October 8-9, and more recently I compared our December 23-25 storm which was very wet back to the storm that came through October 22-25.

The LRC is used to predict the large scale pattern of the long term long wave ridges and troughs across the northern hemisphere. In saying this, the best way to study the pattern is at 500mb, or the middle of the atmosphere. The pattern can be translated down to the surface, but a seasonal shift of the jet stream, moisture content, snow pack, etc. all need to be considered when looking ahead.

Using the past weather pattern I believe we can get a good idea of what lies ahead for January. Before we look at the January highlights. Here is a video from December 9 in Madison, WI when that city received over 14″ of snow! Are more storms like this on the way for January?

While I don’t see this storm repeating in January, I do see some active weather ahead. Let’s go over January week by week.

January 1-7

Since we are only days away from this time period it appears that 2010 will start with an arctic chill. Lows in the single digits and highs in the teens will be likely for at least 2-4 days. The end of this period should see some moderation in temperatures, but probably just around average. The first week of January looks relatively dry outside of snow showers and flurries.

January 8-15

The second week of January will look a lot like the first week in terms of precipitation to start. A clipper should arrive somewhere around the 7-9th window bringing light snow or flurries and a push of cold air. This should be a pretty quick hit of cold, before a warm-up ahead of the next potential storm. The end of this period around the 15th give or a take a day should bring a bigger change to the region.

Looking back at November, an upper low formed around the 4 Corners Region of the U.S. The map below is from November 15 and is at the 500mb level of the atmosphere.

The big question for this time around in the cycle is how will this storm move. Back in November this storm never really ejected or lifted north into the upper Midwest. It became cut-off and traveled east. This is one storm that could bring us a good snow, but if the cold air wins and it stays south then little or no snow. For this forecast I will lean in the direction of this not being a major storm for us, but one that we should watch. This is one of 2 storms that are the most interesting and bear watching for January in our local area. This week of January will be mostly dry, expect when the storm nears around the 15th which could bring some snow.

January 16-23

This week of January picks up with the storm described above. Back in November the storm impacted the area from the 15th to the 19th. We could see snow showers early in the week with cold temperatures, and then a warm-up around the 20-23. The warm-up around the 20-23 into the early part of the following week could bring us our warmest high temperatures of the month, possibly a January thaw. By the end of this week the focus will shift to a potential storm.

January 24-31

The last week of January looks to be the most exciting and wettest of the month for our area. Let’s start by looking back to November and our wettest storm of that month. This is a 500mb map from November 24.

If we are going to see a major winter storm during January, I think this would be the storm and timeframe for our area. Again, the question will be where does it move, but unlike the storm around the middle of the month, this one should lift north into our region. This storm could be rain, sleet, snow, or all of the above. This storm should be followed by a push of arctic air that likely will end the month cold.

Those are my thoughts on January. Due to the snowpack that exists I think overall for the month temperatures should be around average. Our precipitation total will hinge greatly on the 2 ‘bigger’ storms I anticipate this month. It will likely be an all or nothing. We will likely see little snows with the clippers, but we should see at least one good storm. The snow total for the month should also be around average, 13-16″.

What are your predictions? I would love to hear them, just leave your thoughts in the comments section!

Please keep in mind that the thoughts above are mine, not Mark’s, Sally’s, or Lyra’s. I love weather and am exicted to show a new group of people about a theory that I really believe in. If you follow along for a year, I think you will find this very fascinating.

Have a great day and thank you for checking out the Weather Watch 12 blog!

Jeremy Nelson

More Cold…and Snow!
December 28, 2009

***Watch WISN 12 News at 5, 6, & 10pm for the latest on our next chance of snow!***

***Wednesday Morning Update***

A quick update before a new blog comes out this afternoon. Winter Storm Warnings will go into effect on Thursday for Ozaukee, Milwaukee, Waukesha, Washington, Racine, Kenosha, and Walworth counties. Snow will be heavy at times and winds will increase producing blowing and drifting snow. Most roads will be snow covered and slippery. Snow totals will be greatest from Milwaukee south to Kenosha, 6″ or more will fall due to lake enhancement. Totals will be less the farther west and northwest you move inland. Check back this afternoon for a complete update with updated forecast snow totals and stay tuned to Weather Watch 12 for the very latest on this winter storm!

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Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog. If you are new to the blog welcome, and if you are a regular thank you for bookmarking our site! In this blog we’ll talk about a couple the chill ahead and also our next chance of accumulating snow.

Let’s start with right now. On Monday a cold front pushed through the region and turned our winds to the northwest in Southeast Wisconsin. If you were outside at all on Monday afternoon I’m sure you noticed the winds which gusted to around 30mph! The winds will ease up heading into Tuesday morning which is the good news, but mostly clear skies and lighter winds mean one of the coldest nights across the region in a couple of weeks. Lows should drop to the single digits inland, and around 10 by the lake shore.

Here are the forecast temperatures around 6am on Tuesday from the NAM computer model. The dark blue over much of Southeast Wisconsin is temperatures of 5 to 10 degrees above zero.

After the cold start on Tuesday temperatures will only warm into the upper teens to around 20 inland, and maybe low 20s near the lake. It will be a cold day.

The focus by Wednesday quickly shifts to our next storm. This storm should be fairly weak, but it should represent our next chance of accumulating snow across the region. Let’s look at the timing. On Wednesday we will see thickening clouds during the day, and by late afternoon some of the light snow will near Southeast Wisconsin. Right now it looks like most of the light snow will occur from Wednesday afternoon to early Thursday. A very preliminary total for this is 1-3″. We’ll continue to examine the latest data and pass along updated forecast on WISN 12 News.

To give you and idea of the snow area for this storm let’s check out the 12Z GFS forecast for TOTAL precipitation from 6am Wednesday to 6am Thursday. The darker green shape over Southeast Wisconsin represent 0.10″ to 0.25″ of liquid precipitation…or about 1-3″ of snow.

After the little dose of snow moves by, the focus will shift to a push of arctic air. To learn more about this make sure to check out the blog entry that I did right below this one. The coldest days should be on Friday and Saturday.

On Tuesday I will try to do a blog entry outlining my thoughts for all of January. This forecast will be based on the LRC, which is a weather pattern theory that aides in long range weather forecasting.

Have a great day and thank you for trusting Weather Watch 12 as your #1 source for weather information!

Jeremy Nelson

Ringing in the New Year with an arctic chill!
December 27, 2009

***Watch WISN 12 News today at 5:30pm and from 10-11pm for the latest on the New Year’s forecast!***

Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog!  This is Milwaukee’s premier source for the inside scoop on the forecast and we will also strive to teach you something new each day!  This blog will focus on the week ahead which should bring a large chunk of arctic air right over southeast Wisconsin.  Also, I will explain how the weather pattern this week is directly tied to late October.  If you are new to the blog, I will go over a weather pattern theory that I use called the ‘LRC’, which helps in making long range forecasts.

Let’s start with a quick overview of Monday and Tuesday’s weather conditions.  On Monday a storm system will dive into the central Great Lakes, Milwaukee will be on the edge, but still close enough to see a few flurries and a glancing shot of cooler air.  The chillier air will not arrive until the afternoon, by then our highs should be in the mid to upper 20s in most spots.  The big story on Monday may be the wind, it will  gusty out of the northwest at 15-25 mph.  This should keep wind chill values in the single digits to teens all day long.

By Monday night the cooler air settles in as skies clear.  Anytime we see clear skies now with snow on the ground, temperatures can drop very quickly.  Inland locations should see single digit lows on Tuesday morning, with low teens next to the lake.

By Wednesday-Friday(30th-1st) another storm system will take shape.  This storm appears that it will just bring some light snow and colder temperatures to our area.  This storm system corresponds to the storm that made its way through the U.S. back on October 30-31.  This is according to the ‘LRC’.  What is the ‘LRC’? 

  • A unique weather pattern sets up every year between October 1st and November 10th
  • The weather pattern cycles, repeats, and continues through winter, spring and into summer.  Identifying the cycle length helps tremendously when making long range weather predictions.
  • Long term long-wave troughs and ridges become established and also repeat at regular times within the cycle.  These dominant repeating features are a clue to where storm systems will reach peak strength, and where they will be their weakest.
  • The LRC is a winter-long pattern!  There is a pattern! It isn’t just one long-wave trough, storm system, or ridge. It is a sequence of troughs and ridges that are cycling across the Northern Hemisphere.

To put this in very simple terms, the weather pattern that occurs in October and November repeats thru the Winter, Spring, and into the Summer. The cycle length will vary each year. I’ve seen cycles of 42-46 days, 48-52 days, etc. The easiest way to view the LRC is to look at maps in the middle of the atmosphere, the 500mb level. The 500mb level is really a good spot to analize the trough(lows) and ridge(highs) positions to help determine the long term longwave ridges and troughs. At the 500mb level you also don’t have to factor in friction or surface moisture. Since the pattern is unique each year you may be wondering what some of the features are this cycle.

Here are the dominant features that are becoming evident for 2009-2010 and where they are likely to set up.

  • A trough near Colorado
  • A ridge across the eastern Pacific Ocean between 135º W and 155º W
  • A ridge from the Gulf of Mexico extending northeast to the Atlantic Ocean east of the southeastern United States

Now that we have gone over the LRC, let’s see how our next storm compares to late October.  The map below is an archived 500mb map from October 30, 2009.  This shows a large trough over the Plains extending into Canada.  There are also ridges or areas of high pressure over the Southeast and off the California coast. 

Now we fast forward to roughly 60 days later, or the cycle length this LRC year.  That takes us to this week.  The map below is a forecast 500mb chart from the 18Z GFS for December 31 at 6pm…or 00Z January 1.  This map clearly shows the large trough from the Plains into Canada.  The little x’s are vort. maxes with one over Texas and another over North Dakota.  When Milwaukee see’s a big winter storm we need the northern branch of the jet stream and the southern branch that contains Gulf moisture to phase or become one.  The map below shows no phasing at this level as the storm moves across the nation’s mid-section.

So what does this mean for New Year’s in Wisconsin?  As the storm finally get its act together after it passes by us, it will pull in arctic air which will pour in on New Year’s Day and likely last for several days.  The map below is a forecast surface map for late New Year’s Day.  Notice our storm that passed by is now more organized along the East Coast producing rain and snow.  For Southeast Wisconsin we will see gusty north winds and falling temperatures.  Highs will be in the teens and lows in the single digits very likely for next Saturday/Sunday 

For this week it looks like temperatures will end up below average.  There will be periods of light snow and flurries, but accumulations look light.  The arctic air should win out this time and keep the storm from getting organized over the Midwest.  If you are traveling to the East Coast around New Year’s that storm may have a bigger impact there.  Things could change since this is days away, but I’m fairly confident in this forecast.

If you want more examples of the LRC, please see previous blogs.  Or if you have questions please post them in the comments section of this blog.  Thank you for stopping by and have a great week!

Jeremy Nelson

Snow Totals
December 26, 2009

***Watch WISN 12 News Sunday from 5-6am, 7-9am, and at 5:30/10pm***

Thank you to everyone who sent in snow totals from the round of snow on Saturday.  If you ever want your total on WISN 12 News, make sure to drop them by the blog.  I will have a complete update on the weather ahead for the New Year in Sunday’s blog.

Here is a list of snow totals from Saturday:

  • Fontana  4.5″
  • Sheboygan  4.5″
  • Waterford  4.1″
  • Greenfield  3.5″
  • Burlington  3.0″
  • Hartford  2.9″
  • Holy Hill  2.7″
  • Waukesha  2.0″ to 3.0″
  • Brookfield  2.1″
  • West Bend  2.0″
  • Milwaukee Mitchell 1.4″

The totals above were last updated around 9pm.  Some of these locations may see another dusting to half inch ovenight.  Sunday’s snow showers shouldn’t amount to much with a dusting to half inch possible.  After Sunday this pesky storm should finally depart the region.

So who is ready for some sunshine?  I think we will see a decent amount either Monday or Tuesday.

Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog!

Jeremy Nelson

The Storm Continues…Forecast Snow Totals
December 26, 2009

***Watch WISN 12 News at 5, 6, & 10pm Saturday for updates on the snowy conditions!***

The weekend is here, but so is more snow!  This storm system that is producing snow across Southeast Wisconsin has now been affecting our weather for the past 5 days!  Finally on Sunday the snow will come to an end and the system will head east.

Until then we have more accumulating snow in the forecast which we have been discussing here in the blog and on 12 News.  A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for the eastern and southeastern parts of our viewing area.  This includes Sheboygan, Milwaukee, Racine, Lake Geneva, and Kenosha just to name a few cities.  Most areas will see 2-4″ of snow, but due to lake enhancement near Lake Michigan totals near the lake could be in the 4-6″ range in some backyards.

Here is the radar image just after 2pm on Saturday.  I labeled the area in northeast Illinois currently seeing the heaviest snow.  This band will try to rotate into extreme southeast Wisconsin and then move close to the lake shore.  Areas west of Waukesha County not in the advisory will see less the 2″ of snow, and in some cases under 1″ especially near Madison.

Why are we seeing some lake effect adding to our totals? Let’s check out the surface map.  As of about 1:45pm there was a surface low in southwest Wisconsin marked by the ‘L’ on the map below.  Wind circulate counterclockwise around low pressure in the northern hemisphere.  That means the winds around Milwaukee are out of a southeast direction.  This is pushing the cold air tempeatures over the water which is around 40-42 degrees.  The air temperature and water temperature is far enough a part for a a little lake effect to enhance the snow already associated with the low pressure area to our west.  This means locations close to Lake Michigan will see the highest snow totals this go around.  If you are wondering the site marked ‘MKE’ on the map below is Mitchell Airport.  It was reporting 1/2 mile visibility and moderate snow(3 *’s) around 1:45pm. 

By this evening the winds will begin to shift to the south and then more southwest.  This will cut off the lake effect, and as the low meanders by, our snow should taper off to flurries.

Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog.  Please post your snow totals in the comments section and I will use them on one of our 12 News shows this evening!  If you are venturing out tonight, please use caution on the roadways and make sure to watch 12 News for the latest on the snow.

Jeremy Nelson

Record Broken & Forecast Snow Amounts
December 25, 2009

***Watch WISN 12 News Saturday from 5-6 a.m., 7-9 a.m., and at 5, 6, & 10 p.m. as we track snow***

***********************Saturday Morning Update******************************

Winter Weather Advisory in effect today for Sheboygan, Ozaukee, Waukesha, Milwaukee, Walworth, Racine, and Kenosha counties.  Snow totals will range from 2-4″, with some areas near the lake shore north of Milwaukee closer to Sheboygan picking up 4-6″ of snow due to lake enhancement.  Inland areas not in the advisory will generally see 1-3″ of snow.  The snow will be heaviest from late morning through the afternoon.  Make sure to check back to the blog for a complete update this afternoon.  Also, please post your snow totals in the comments section and I will use them on 12 News today at 5, 6, & 10pm!

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Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog.  Christmas Day 2009 will go down in the record books as the wettest ever in Milwaukee!  Friday’s rain total of 0.96″ shattered the previous record of 0.39″ set back in 1935.  Adding this total to the 0.44″ of rain that we picked up on Thursday means this storm produced 1.40″ of rain!  That is a lot of rain for this time of year.

The cold air has now arrived and many locations dropped into the teens to start off Saturday.  The cold air wrapping around an area of low pressure should keep our highs in the 20s for this weekend.  The bigger story will be a small disturbance swinging around the low that will bring us a round of accumulating snow on Saturday.  The snow should begin from the morning into the afternoon.  This will mainly be light snow, but with the cold temperatures it will stick on contact.  More slippery stretches can be expected on the roadways.

Below is a forecast from the 00Z NAM computer model…just one of many that we look at.  The darker green shade over Milwaukee represents 0.10″ to 0.25″ of liquid precipitation.  This will translate into about 1-2″ of snow, with 3″ total not out of the question.  This will be a light snow that will last for 6-8 hours or more…so the snow will gradually add up.  Remember, you can click on the map to make it bigger.

If you have questions about the weather please post your thoughts in the comments section of the blog.  This is an interactive blog and Mark and myself will make sure to provide an answer to your question!

Have a great weekend and make sure to check back for the latest updates!  Feel free to read our past blogs to see how useful our Weather Watch 12 blog is for everyone!

Jeremy Nelson

Colder Air Arrives Today & Merry Christmas!
December 25, 2009

***Watch WISN 12 News Christmas Night at 10pm for the latest on snow chances!***

Merry Christmas bloggers!  The entire Weather Watch team hopes that you have a happy and safe holiday!  Despite a major winter storm over the nation’s mid-section, southeast Wisconsin should see very good travel conditions for much of Christmas Day.  As expected, the storm has been very wet across our viewing area.  Some locations have picked up 1.50″ of rain!

Below is a radar estimate of the rain totals across the area.  The rain total at Milwaukee’s Mitchell Field was 1.35″.  This is a very impressive RAIN total for December 24-25.

If you ever have a rain or snow total please feel free to share it with us in our comments section of the blog.

For the remainder of Christmas Day our temperatures of around 42 degrees at Noon, will gradually fall through the 30s as colder air wraps into this storm.  The storm is now occluded, meaning that any warm air has cut off from the storm.  As a result our winds out of the southwest are actually going to start bringing in colder air.  Typically our cool downs come from winds out of a northerly direction.

The colder air has already changed the rain over to snow in central Illinois, and I expect this to occur over southern Wisconsin later this afternoon.  Below is a surface map from 12:33pm Christmas Day.  Notice that temperatures in southwest  Iowa are only in the teens…but yet north of the low pressure center it is still in the 30s.  So the colder air is beginning to wrap around the storm.

With the low spinning around the next couple of days, snow showers and flurries will be likely.  Any snow accumulation will range from a dusting to 1″ each day.  Temperatures will also be colder, with daytime readings stuck in the 20s.

Once this storm passes by, early next week should see a slight moderation in temperatures.

About 10 days ago I introduced a theory called the ‘LRC’ in the blog.  This is a theory that states that a unique weather pattern sets up each year between October 1 and November 15, and then that pattern repeats or cycles through the winter, spring, and into summer.  Once the position of the long term long wave ridges and troughs are identified along with the cycle length, long range forecasts can be made.  Please look back to the blog entries that I did 7-10 days ago about the LRC.  Here is just a piece of what I said in the blog entry on December 17 over a week before Christmas.

So do I expect a big storm in the nation’s mid-section on December 23 or 24…yes!  The long range computer models that we use have been all over the place with this potential storm.  But Weather Watch 12 has been consistent in saying that a storm is possible around December 23/24.  I think our odds are much better of getting hit by the storm than it missing our area to the south.  Keep in mind the theory is used to help predict the tracks of storms using long range ridge and trough positions, not how much moisture will be available, exact surface temperatures, ect.

This major storm produced 2.7″ of snow from the 23rd into the 24th, and 1.35″ of rain from the 24th into the 25th here in Milwaukee.

Now that we saw what Weather Watch 12 was expecting for Christmas week, here is another article that was published in the Capital Times in Madison on the same date as my blog entry.  Here is just the first paragraph of that article.

Silent nights (and days) will lead us right up to Christmas, with no major winter storms on the horizon at least for the next week.

Here is the entire link:  http://host.madison.com/ct/weather/article_6a1b6fba-eb02-11de-a810-001cc4c002e0.html

Looking ahead to January I think temperatures for the  month will be above average, with average to below average precipitation totals.  In the coming days I will highlight dates that we could see another significant storm!

Thank you for spending a few minutes with us on the Weather Watch 12 blog…have a great day!

Jeremy Nelson

Rainy Christmas Eve
December 24, 2009

***Watch WISN 12 News at 5, 6, & 10pm for the latest on the rain, sleet, and snow!***

**************************5:30pm update********************************

Sleet is mixing with rain in Washington, Ozaukee, Sheboygan, and Fond du Lac counties.  There are slippery stretches on some of the roads.  As a result the NWS has issued a Winter Weather Advisory until midnight for those locations as sleet continues this evening before warmer air arrives after midnight and changes everything to rain.

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Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog!  I want to start by wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and safe holiday travels.  Where ever you may travel this holiday season, make sure to check back to the blog often for continuous weather updates.  Don’t forget to post your thoughts, questions, and storm reports in the comments section of the blog!

Part one of our Winter Storm swung through the region on Wednesday evening/night bringing with it snow totaling 2-5″, freezing rain with ice accumulations of 0.10″ to 0.25″, and also sleet.  

After a break from the precipitation for much of Thursday, here comes round 2!  This time temperatures are warm enough at the surface and aloft to keep this primarily all rain in Milwaukee and surrounding areas.  Below is a surface map from around 1:30pm on Thursday.  This shows the air temperature in Milwaukee at 36 degrees with a wind out of the souheast.  The ‘..’ symbols represent rain next to any of the station plots.  Notice that rain extends all the way into southeast Minnesota and parts of western Wisconsin.  This is a good sign for us in Southeast Wisconsin, I think we should stay pretty much all rain until sometime on Friday.  The symbols of ‘**’ represent light snow where the cold air is in place.  Please remember to click on the map to enlarge.   

With the warmer air in place and a strengthening storm to our south moisture is beginning to flow north.  Milwaukee should see a steady rain from late afternoon right into early Friday.  Below is a radar image showing the expanssive area of rain about to move into Southeast Wisconsin from Illinois.

 

Rain totals from this round could exceed 1″ in many places.  Please keep in mind that many culvert and drainage systems are blocked by snow or ice.  Any heavy rain could quickly result in flooded roadways or even create some ice jams of streams, creeks, or rivers and cause rapily rising water.  This is something we will keep a very close eye on right into Friday.  If we can avoid any flooding the rain should come as welcome news because the roads as of Thursday afternoon were in great shape for traveling!

By Friday the rain will turn to a mix and then snow sometime during the morning or afternoon.  Any snow accumulation in Milwaukee at this point looks to be around 1″.  Make sure to watch 12 News for the most updated snow potential graphic for Friday.  I could see our northern Counties pick up 1-2″ or maybe 3″ if enough moisture lingers when the cold air is in place.  Once the cold air arrives we will likely see highs in the 20s through the weekend with on and off snow showers.

Have a great holiday and thank for sharing part of it with us here at Weather Watch 12!

Jeremy Nelson