Friday’s Potential Snow – All or Nothing?

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

Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog! Before we talk about our next potential snow, let’s look at our averages and extremes for the month of February.

If you are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Spring, February usually gives us a taste or two. Just last year on February 10, it was 59 degrees in Milwaukee! The warmest reading ever during the month was 68 degrees on February 11, 1999.

Now let’s check out how much our averages change from the 1st to the 28th of this month.

Average High/Low

1st      29 15

28th   37 22

A nice jump up in temperatures, and also keep in mind the amount of daylight also takes a big jump.


1st  5:04 p.m.

28th  5:40 p.m.

While no Spring-like weather is in our forecast for the next week. Our focus is shifting to how a storm will track on Friday, and its potential impacts here in Southeast Wisconsin.

Let’s start by looking at a forecast surface map for Friday at 6 p.m. This map is a forecast, and shows the main area of low pressure over the Southeast. This is not a favorable track to bring our area heavy snow, but light snow may still be possible.

The exact track of this storm will determine if we see flurries or several inches of snow. Temperatures during this timeframe will likely be in the 20s to low 30s, so whatever we see may be a slightly ‘wetter’ snow.

Here are two different scenarios for the track and resultant precipitation/snow for Friday. One computer model we use moves the storm farther north and as a result would put down anywhere from 1 to maybe as much as 3 inches of snow across parts of our area. Again this is just ONE model. Below is the liquid amount from the 12Z GFS. That second shade of green over Milwaukee translates to 0.10″ to 0.25″ of precipitation.

Now the very latest data from the 18Z NAM. This is another model we look when making a forecast. The map below shows the total liquid precipitation forecast for this system on Friday. Notice how this particular model is forecasting anywhere from nothing to maybe a dusting of snow.

One thing is clear right now. The heaviest of the precipitation is going to stay well to our south. I think on Friday we see light snow and flurries. Forecast accumulations for this day will be fine tuned and updated in the blog and on our newscasts.

We will continue to track this potential snow and as the latest data rolls into our forecast center we will pass it along and try to put a number on the amount of snow we are expecting!

Don’t foreget, there are many ways to stay updated with our forecasts anytime of day! Make sure to join us on our Facebook Fan Page: WeatherWatch 12 and our updates are always on Twitter! Have a great day!

Jeremy Nelson


13 Responses

  1. Hey Jeremy whenever you leave KC we have one of the best winters ever miss you man we got another weather man George something another

    • Jacob,

      I’m not disappointed to miss the winter in KC this year, you guys were blasted in December! Milwaukee’s winter hasn’t been too bad, a couple of bigger storms, but we aren’t done yet:) Thanks for stopping by.


  2. What’s up with all these puny storms? Any big storms on the way… what’s Monday’s storm potential looking like?

    • Bryan,

      At this point Monday looks like maybe some light snow. There is a big storm around…but well to our south again.


  3. Did the LRC cycle decide to jump a few weeks because all the national weather talk is on D.C. getting 12-20 inches of snow again this weekend and I thought that wasn’t due in until late in the month.

    • Daniel,

      Good question. The overall pattern is cycling and as a whole the same. But a few blocks have occurred that are preventing the storms from forming the same way they did in December. When I made the February forecast I thought there would be a bigger storm around Feb. 8-9, and potentially bring us snow. That storm is going to form, but we likely won’t see a big snow from this. Two factors, the large arctic airmass that will prevent the jet streams(northern and southern branches) from phasing. For Milwaukee, it could mean just a blast of arctic air, with the main energy staying to the south, and then hitting the mid-Atlantic states again. The models will shift some, but the chances of that storm early next week taking aim on WI are low.


      • I am not sure the blocks are the culprit. Granted, the 60W block is a bit early which is helping to block up the northern flow, but it isn’t overly strong. Conversely, the blocking from 140W-180W is just about right.

        The AO is about right as well, and I do see phasing, but not in an area that affects Milwaukee. I think the difference for your area this time is the stronger split flow resulting from the very strong southern jet. It is robbing much of the moisture with the convective output and shunting the moisture further south.

        Looking at the baroclinic trends, it has slid south a bit and waves that were dominant in the prior cycles are now either passed into the southern stream or phasing later than before.

        Oddly, based on your latitude, you are better served with a higher NAO trend to give a bit of a SE ridge which would push the waves up through the Ohio Valley rather than through the Tennessee Valley

        For those of us further south, we are getting the normal upper Midwest winter due to the push of cold air prevalent this winter.

  4. You got people up there on the LRC too? Nice its been effective this year Winter Storm Axel is heading our way the storm that gave us our first inch. Its almost exactly a 60 day track but for the rest of the season it looks like storms will be dipping down into Texas a little further oh well Gary predicted another 18″ for us for the rest of the winter. And no problem i finally got your website ill drop by every now and again

  5. KC’s about ready to get blasted by another storm that’s coming from Mexico. There’s a 100% chance for Friday, and lower chances all through the weekend, and next week we’re gonna get another arctic blast, with highs only in the teens…. Gary thinks we might get another foot of snow by the time the month’s over.

    I really don’t know why mother nature hates us. 😦

    • Keep the snow to the south…we just had 1-2″. I hope all is well in KC, I moved just in time to miss your worst winter in years!


  6. Hi Jeremy!! Hope you and your family are settled and enjoying winter, as best U can!! I am loving all the snow this year, even if I have not recieved as much as the KCI has. It has been a good one. I am looking forward to this next week, looks pretty active. By March I will be Spring ready though. 🙂 Have a great week. We all miss you.
    Pleasanton, KS

    • Monica,

      Great to hear from you! I think everyone around KC has had a pretty harsh winter, or at least 2-3 really brutal weeks. Our winter here really hasn’t been too bad. We went 26 days without a 1″ snow…which is pretty rare this time of year! Thanks for stopping by!


  7. Blah blah blah, rub it in, Jeremy.


    Everything here’s the same. Very boring.

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