Snow Chances & Frozen Wind Turbines

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

Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog!  The overall weather pattern is going to change pretty drastically over the next week.  This change should bring Southeast Wisconsin several chances for light snow, much colder temperatures, and a reminder that it is still winter.

There will be 2 big storms that move across the United States in the next 4-5 days.  The heaviest precipitation with both storms will likely stay to the south of Wisconsin, but each storm should bring us some snow. 

Below is the surface map from the 12Z GFS for Friday afternoon.  Notice the very light snow or flurries possible over southern Wisconsin.  The black lines on the map are called isobars, and the winds blow nearly parallel to these.  This means our winds will be off Lake Michigan on Friday and Saturday.  As the winds turn more northeasterly into early Saturday, some light lake effect snow will be possible.  Snow totals from this glancing blow of snow should stay under 1 inch.

The main storm with heavy rain and snow will be located over the Southeast and mid-Atlantic states.  The weather in those locations will be making headlines on Friday and into Saturday.  To illustrate just how much snow is possible the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center issues maps each day highlighting areas that are expected to get 4″, 8″, and >12″.  Below is the map showing the probability of at least 12″ of snow from 6am Friday to 6am Saturday.


One of the computer models that I looked at this morning gives Washington D.C. two feet of snow!  That is incredible!  We will show pictures of this huge snow on 12 News both on Friday and Saturday…so look for that.

Milwaukee’s best chance of picking up more than 1″ of snow will occur from Monday into the first half of Tuesday.  Another large storm will slide across the southern Plains and into the Tennessee Valley.  This storm will be a little closer and should give a decent chance of light snow, and maybe a little lake effect.  Behind this storm, much colder air will drop in for 2-3 days.  There’s a chance highs may be in the teens again!  Make sure to check back to the blog in the coming days for updates on possible snow amounts and also the storm tracks.

Several weeks ago I did a story in the blog about wind power in Minnesota and how it has vastly expanded in the last 10 years.  Today I read another interesting story in the Star Tribune about wind turbines in Minnesota, and problems some newly installed turbines have run into this winter.

Here is a link to the story… 

Picture Above: A crew from enXco Energy Services from California inspected a wind turbine on Wednesday in Chaska. The blades were turning when the crew arrived, but there are several similar turbines in the metro area and outstate that have been stalled recently by the Minnesota winter.

If you have any questions or thoughts on the snow chances or the wind power story please leave them in the comments section of this blog.  We always love to hear from you!  Don’t forget you can also follow our forecasts on Facebook at WeatherWatch 12

Have a great day!

Jeremy Nelson


9 Responses

  1. Happy weather-man’s (and weather-woman’s) day! *confetti*

    And yes, apparently it is for real, this day.

  2. Wow, up to 2 ft in DC possible! Wish we could get some of that around here 🙂

    • You may get your wish on Monday/Tuesday…guess what, that is the 8-9!

  3. The third wheel often overlooked in the LRC is sometimes the most critical. Long term longwaves.

  4. “For this forecast I do think a storm will form over the Midwest in the Feb. 7-9 timeframe and likely bring snow to many areas”

    Not too shabby, Jeremy….

    • Why do I ever question or doubt the LRC. It is much more reliable than models outside of 3-4 days. The long term long waves have memory, and they almost always fall into the same place at the appropriate time each cycle. If the storm comes together, it wouldn’t surprise me there were Blizzard Warnings close to home just like Dec. 8-9.


      • The NWS is calling for a possible advisory level snow (I believe this is about 3-5 inches) which should be perfect to satisfy snow lovers without crippling the city like the bigger storms usually do.

        I’m not sure if I want to credit the LRC idea though as this system is dropping down from central Canada where the early Dec storm was a panhandle hook. I’m starting to think Jeremy just has some kind of special gift and is trying to be subtle about it. Either way, I guess I can start looking forward to what happens next around the 23-25th.

      • Daniel,

        I’ll show the pattern to you. Each storm won’t look the same at the surface, but the upper levels have the same pieces of energy in place. Check back soon. Without the LRC trying to do any precise long range forecasting is just guessing…in my opinion.


  5. I e-mailed my brother in D.C. this morning to wish him luck with the big storm out there. I’m rather jealous. I don’t like winter very much, but as long as we have winter I wish we would get at least one more big snow event here. The one for early next week doesn’t look like much…according to Sally this morning.

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