Weekend Storm Nearby…70s Next Week?

***Watch WISN 12 News for Milwaukee’s most accurate forecast at 5, 6, & 10pm!***

The weekend is here!  Thank you for taking a few minutes to read the Weather Watch 12 blog.  Friday was another cold day across Southeast Wisconsin.  Many locations only saw highs top out in the 30s.  And with the wind blowing right off 36 degree Lake Michigan waters…Milwaukee never had a chance of getting to 40.

A couple of pieces of good news for the weekend if you like milder weather.  First, the wind will shift more to the southeast heading into Saturday.  This combined with some milder air flowing in will result in daytime highs to start the weekend in the 40s.  The winds will increase to around 10-20 mph Saturday afternoon, so it will still feel cool.

The shifting winds will be a result of a storm system passing just to our south Saturday and early Sunday.  The big question all week was whether this storm would track far enough north to provide a few rain showers to our area.  Right now it looks dry for Milwaukee and points north.  But near the Illinois border there could be a few showers or sprinkles Saturday Night or very early Sunday.

Below is the surface forecast map from the HPC showing the low position and green outlined areas which represent rain for Sunday morning at 7 a.m.  You can click on the map to enlarge, and feel free to ask any questions about the map if you are uncertain of what the symbols mean.

Behind this area of low pressure winds will increase on Sunday…likely 15-25 mph out of the north-northeast.  This means a cool day with highs in the 40s.  After another day in the 40s on Monday, temperatures are set to soar!

In yesterday’s blog I hinted at the chance of reaching 70 next Thursday.  As of this writing I am putting a forecast high of 70 in the forecast for Milwaukee.  Hitting 70 next week would mean high would be around 20 degree above average.  The record highs next Thursday and Friday are in the low 80s, I don’t think we’ll quite make it there yet. 

In order for highs to reach the 70s for a day or two here is what we need to occur.

  • Strong ridge over the mid-Mississppi Valley extending into the Southeast.  This puts us on the backside of the ridge.
  • Southwest or west winds strong enough to prevent the lake breeze from pushing inland.
  • Sunshine!  Sometimes warm days can be held back by high clouds formed by warm air advection.
  • Good mixing…meaning the warm air aloft…say 3000 feet above the ground needs to be mixed down to the surface.  Keep in mind as air descends it compresses and warms.

If these ingredients come together like I think they should…Milwaukee and all of Southeast Wisconsin stands a good chance of hitting 70 or better sometime around Thursday.

Below is a map that includes many of the things discussed above.  The map is a 850mb temperature and relative humidity map for next Thursday, April 1.  The green represent relative humidity or cloud cover.  No clouds or few are present over Southeast Wisconsin.  The temperature at 850mb will be around +15C or 59 degrees.  There is also a strong southwest wind aloft indicated by how close the black lines are to each other.

This will be something we will continue to discuss in the blog and on WISN 12 News.  Any way you look at it March should exit like a lamb with highs well above average by the middle of the week.

If you have any questions on the warm-up or on the weather, please post your thoughts and questions to the comments section of the blog.

Have a great day!

Jeremy Nelson

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