***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.
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.
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.
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.
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!