Rain & Snow Chances

***Watch WISN 12 News today at 5, 6, & 10pm for the latest on the weekend storm!***

Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog!  This is the home of Milwaukee’s most trusted weather information.  If you are new to the blog or read it daily, we have been talking about this upcoming storm since December 29!  If you want to find out more information on a weather pattern theory called the LRC that allows for accurate long range forecasts please see the blog entry from this past Tuesday!

Let’s move on to the storm headed our way for the weekend.  The first thing you will notice outside of the clouds, is a sharp increase in the winds heading into Saturday.  No precipitation is expected for Friday or early Saturday.  On Saturday the storm will moving from the Plains into the Midwest.  Our winds will begin to increase, and by Saturday afternoon will see a steady 15-25 mph breeze out of the east-southeast.  This means that wind gusts will likely top 30mph.

Below is a forecast map from the 12Z GFS for noon on Saturday.  Notice the black lines that are close to each other?  Those are called isobars and connect lines of equal pressure.  The closer they are, the windier the weather conditions.  Also notice the center of low pressure is well to the west of Milwaukee, near the Iowa and Nebraska border. 

Temperatures from the start of this storm should be warm enough to support rain and that will likely be what a majority of the storm produces.  Around Milwaukee, when we see our big snow producing winter storms the surface low really needs to track to our east or southeast.  There will be a change over to snow that occurs on Sunday, but likely after the bulk of the moisture has already occurred.  The map below shows several things.  First the surface low by noon on Sunday is right over Milwaukee.  The blue line to our west is the 850mb 0C line.  This is generally where the rain/snow line resides.  This will be advancing toward Milwaukee at this time.  If this one model is correct, whe should see a chance to snow around noon or into the afternoon.

We’ll have to see how much moisture is still around on Sunday afternoon, right now I would say any snow accumulation would be light, but it could be enough to produce a white coating in spots.  We’ll talk more about the potential for snow accumulation in further blog updates and also on WISN 12 News.

This still looks like a wet storm, and many areas could end up with 0.50″ to 1.00″ of precipitation, with a majority of this falling as rain.

That’s it for now, feel free to post your thoughts and questions in the comments section of the blog.  Also, join our WeatherWatch 12 Facebook page for updates and follow us on Twitter!  There are many ways to stay connected to your most accurate forecast!

Jeremy Nelson


2 Responses

  1. Jeremy,

    What is the definition of a storm? Is it determined by the amount of precipitation that we recieve?

    Why are you referring to the weekend weather as a storm rather than just rainfall?

    Thank you,

    • Thanks for the question. I look at precipitation, pressure, etc. when talking about a ‘storm’. Clearly what is headed our way for the weekend is storm, and I would say you could even call it a major storm. The pressure will be around 988-985mb when the low is by Milwaukee. There could be 0.50″ or more of precipitation(coming as rain and snow). This much moisture is quite a bit considering we only average 1.85″ in the month of January. This storm should provide us with 25-40% of that total!

      Hopefully this helps.


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