Hello, Spring!!!

The clouds were a bit stubborn this morning, but the sun came through this afternoon for a beautiful day. This is just the beginning of a super stretch of weather. The lake will keep things a bit cooler (5-7 degrees) the next few days, but it will still be quite comfortable everywhere. Last St. Patrick’s day the high was a record 75 degrees. It won’t be quite that warm on Wednesday, but should still warm into the 50s. Thursday and Friday may bring a strong enough southwest wind that will keep the lake breeze at bay. This would warm everyone up close to 60 degrees.

The above image is the GFS forecast for surface temperatures on Thursday afternoon. I believe the model is actually downplaying  the warm air for us. The key will be whether the wind is strong enough and west enough to hold the cold temps of Lake Michigan over the lake.

The next question is the big storm for the weekend and what types of precipitation it brings. As nice as it will be this week, it will be pretty crummy this weekend. Saturday looks to be all rain, but colder air could change the rain to snow on Sunday. It is way too early to tell how much, but if the GFS model is right, we could be in for several inches. Take a look:

The above image is for 1PM on Sunday. This would equate to heavy, wet snow for us. We will play a wait and see for a few days before getting too excited about this. Stay tuned.


5 Responses

  1. Jeremy,

    I think that you guys at WISN 12 should start the Weather Watch 12 Three Degree Guarantee. I think you had it at your former station in KC, but I think you should start it in Milwaukee. Since you guys have been very accurate in snowfall this winter, you should do it with the temps. I’d love it!


    • Bryan,

      Since Milwaukee is right next to Lake Michigan there are many forecast challenges we face each day that land locked areas like Kansas City don’t have to worry about. The 3 degree warranty also chewed up about 30 seconds of weather time which could have been used in a better way. So I don’t think you’ll see the warranty here anytime soon. However we will put our forecasts up against any others any day of the week.

      Thanks for the question.


  2. With high temps above freezing for much of Sunday wouldn’t the precip be rain? Or if it is snow wouldn’t it melt when it hits the ground?

    • Given how warm it is going to be this week, I think another factor working against as much accumulation (compared to as much as we would otherwise get in a mid winter storm situation) will be the warm ground temperatures. I remember when we got a snowstorm in early April a few years ago and the snow was actually getting melted during the storm from underneath because of the warm ground. Plus the snow ratios will be 8 to 1 or even as low as 6 to 1 because of the higher temperatures, relatively speaking, so it will take a lot more moisture to produce the same amount of snow.

      Without a real arctic surge afterwards (meaning highs around or below freezing) any snow we get won’t last on the ground for more than 2 to 3 days, if even that long.

      • Daniel,

        The ground is warmer now than when we had snow as you mentioned. I always like to say…if it snows hard enough and long enough it will stick and accumulate. I’m updating the blog now…but the temps look like they really crash on Sunday. So even though we may have a high around 40…that might be at midnight or 6am. Another thing to watch is how much precip. occurs when temps are cold enough for snow. Lots of things to consider but based on the cycle and looking back to November to a more comparable jet stream position I think we see some snow this weekend.


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