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Since our weather is pretty quiet in Southeast Wisconsin I want to discuss something that probably went unnoticed to many during February. That something was the fact that not ONE tornado occurred in the United States! It was the first time in the National Weather Service’s database which goes back to 1950 that no tornado was recorded during the month of February. And February 2010 will go down was the last tornado-free month in the United States since January 0f 203.
There isn’t too much that we can take away from the lack of tornadoes up to this point moving forward. Considering back in 2003 the total number of tornadoes was above average by the second week of May. Really the lack of tornadoes to this point in 2010 can be attributed to the cold air that has resided over the Plains, Deep South, and Southeast. Without ‘warm’ temperatures and abundant moisture, severe weather has a very difficult time developing.
Below are two charts from the SPC showing the lack of tornadoes this year. The first shows red dots indicating tornado reports this year…all of those occurred in January. The second chart shows the month breakdown this year…notice no red bars anywhere during February!
Hopefully the lack of severe weather will continue, but chances are we will be hearing about severe weather in parts of the country sooner…rather than later.
Let’s move on and discuss our weather for Southeast Wisconsin. As we have been talking about for days some 40s are finally in sight! The 40s will likely begin on either Thursday or Friday across the region and stick around in to the weekend. The tricky thing this time of year is if a lake breeze develops or if the overall wind is blowing in from Lake Michigan. With the water temperature in the 30s, a possible day in the 40s or 50s can quickly be compromised with a turn of the wind off the lake. This wind pushes in air right above the lake inland, resulting in the air temperature in Milwaukee to drop into the 30s quickly. This is one thing we will watch closely now that milder days are on the way!
Below is a forecast temperature map for Saturday at 6pm…this is after peak heating and we are still around 37 degrees…so 40s for highs on Saturday look likely!
Even before Satuday I think our highs could sneak into the low for on Thursday or Friday!
By next week our attention will turn to a storm system moving into the Midwest. Like many March storms this will likely bring our area anything from rain to sleet to snow. If you read the March forecast that I issued in late February based on the LRC, this storm should come as no surprise! The latest data that rolled into our forecast center this morning continues to show a tricky forecast for early next week.
Below is the 12Z GFS forecast map for next Tuesday. The solid blue line very near Southeast Wisconsin is the 0C 850mb line. That simply means the freezing level at about 1500 meters above the ground. As a rule of thumb if this line is near or south of Milwaukee…the chances of this falling as snow are increased.
Right now I would just assume this storm could bring rain, sleet, snow or all of the above to Southeast Wisconsin next week. We will continue to update you with our thoughts in the blog and on WISN 12 News as we near early next week!
That’s it for today! Make sure to post your thoughts and questions in our comments section of the blog. Also, please join us on Facebook at WeatherWatch 12 Have a great day and please tell your friends and family about the Weather Watch 12 blog!