Colder Air Arrives Today & Merry Christmas!

***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:

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


10 Responses

  1. When is it going to snow again (more than 3″)

    • I will put out a general forecast looking over the next month in the coming days. Just some ‘smaller’ snows this weekend.

      Thanks for stopping by Dan!


  2. The blizzard here was just madness. Grandma was up early this morning, and was watching the news, and told me that Brett Anthony couldn’t even get out of his neighborhood, and his hair had frozen solid when he was trying to get the tires out of the snow drifts. Madness!!!!!

    • I’ll take Milwaukee’s rain over the mess in the Plains!


  3. Winner, winner, chicken dinner. What a storm. Not much time to recoup before the next concern.

    Alas January is coming and should calm down a bit..but it too has some of its own storms that could be quite interesting. I am not sure if they will be as intense as the AO will be rising, but all the same..could be pretty good.

    Especially a certain cutoff low I am thinking about near the middle of the month.

  4. Thats funny, as soon as Jeremy leaves, we get a big snowstorm. A blizzard! Nature was holding off just for you!

    Merry Christmas,

  5. JEREMY>>>>Merry Christmas to you and your family and viewers!! We had one wild storm last night. In my 45 years of life I had never seen vertical snow. It was amazing!! I never been under a blizzrd warning either. Looking out the window at times not being able to see up the street was also amazing!! Highways were shut down last night at 6:00 they showed the Heart of America Bridge and no one was on it amazing!! Take care and a very happy New Year to you and your family and viewers!!

    • That was quiet a storm for you guys! Glad that one is behind you…wonder what that will look like in about 60 days:)


  6. Jeremy,

    Wild weather in Missouri! Even us on the SE corner of the metro in Lee’s Summit saw snow (and sleet). We have about 8″ -10″ on the ground. This storm was one more validation of the LRC. Hope all is well with you and yours. Merry Christmas.

    • Linda,

      Thanks for stopping by. We had 1.35″ of rain from this storm…that was preceeded by about 2-4″ of snow. We still have snow on the ground(we’ve had snow since the December 8 storm), but it has been compacted and cut to a depth of about 2-4″ in most areas.


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