Next Chance of Storms & Heat Wave Looms?

***Watch WISN 12 News at 5, 6, & 10 p.m. for the latest weather information!***

Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog.  I want to start by thanking everyone who sent in storm related reports and pictures from Monday evening.  Mark posted a number of images in the previous blog entry.  Before we discuss the upcoming weather I want to share one more photo.

This picture was posted on the U-Local section of WISN.com by the Reins family of West Bend.  West Bend was included in the Tornado Warning last evening, as rotation was indicated by radar.  This lowering of the cloud may or may not be something to worry about.  The picture makes it look kind of scary, but without being there and actually seeing rotation, this may be classified as a ‘Scary Looking Cloud’.

For the rest of today(Tuesday) and for much of Wednesday dry weather will prevail across southeast Wisconsin.  A cooling lake breeze will develop Tuesday afternoon and keep highs in the 70s near the lake, with low 80s farther inland.  Partly sunny skies should be the rule for the better part of Tuesday and continue into Wednesday.

As a warm front lifts north into the area Wednesday, temperatures will jump back into the mid to upper 80s.  With warmer temperatures in place, increased moisture(dew points near 70), and a front nearing the region, thunderstorms will be possible late in the evening and at night. 

The front will be weakening some as it nears our area, but scattered showers and t-storms are still possible.  Below is the forecast map for 11 p.m. Wednesday from our in-house high resolution computer model.  The best rain chance in the next 4-5 days will be from Wednesday evening into early Thursday morning. 

Behind the front, our winds will briefly shift to the west-northwest, but highs should still be in the upper 80s on Thursday.  All signs continue to point to the hottest stretch of weather to this point of the summer arriving next week.  I think 3 or more consecutive days with highs in the 90s and lows in the 70s will occur.  If this plays out like I anticipate, heat advisories may be needed for parts of Wisconsin. 

Here are the reasons why my confidence is medium to high in the building heat.  First, the long range models continue to show a big upper level ridge over the central U.S. from the middle to the end of next week.  This would mean storm systems and cold fronts will stay to our north.

Below is a 500mb forecast map from the GFS for Friday, July 23.  Notice the big high in the central U.S., this would easily result in highs in the 90s for Milwaukee!

That is reason #1.  Reason #2 is that this is all part of a weather pattern that has been repeating since last Fall.  This repeating pattern is known as the LRC, and this years cycle length has been roughly 60-62 days.  If you follow the blog then you may remember the Summer Forecast that I posted here May 27.  Below is the section that pertains to temperatures, discussing the building heat.

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Temperatures

Forecast: Above Average

Discussion: The current pattern has only produced 1 month(October) with below average temperatures from October-May.  I expect the trend of above average temperatures to continue into summer.  The warmest temperatures of the summer may occur around July 18-25.  This pairs with other warm-ups in previous parts of the cycle, including the 86 & 88 degree temperatures from May 23-24. 

As a side note, Milwaukee averages 10 days each summer with a high of 90 or warmer.  I think the warmest high temperature this summer in Milwaukee will be 95 degrees.

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We will continue to track our rain chances for late Wednesday and monitor the latest on the potential heat for next week on WISN 12 News.  Remember, if you have any weather related thoughts or questions, please post them to the comments section of the blog.

Have a great day!

Jeremy Nelson

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2 Responses

  1. The heat wave could be the first of two coming up with the other one being at the end of the month considering that on May 30 we hit 90 degrees and the previous cycle to that included 77 degrees on March 31 and low 80s the first two days of April.

  2. Jeremy – yes, without any type of motion to the picture, it looks like a SLC…if I had to guess, it looks like inflow.

    Daniel – there will be times where surface trends will help point out the pattern, but more times than not..it can be deceptive. Using the LRC for forecasting is a two step process. First is watching and understanding the pattern in the upper levels, the second is projecting how it will translate to the surface.

    The forecast Jeremy made regarding the possible heatwave toward the end of the month does indeed fit in the pattern and does have some support from the surface trends, but knowing a strong ridge would be in place, generally in the Summer, that spells hot weather..the question becomes, how long does it persist?

    I am kinda with you in thinking about the first week of August. We will see how the pattern holds up as it will continue to weaken as we head closer to August. It becomes very erratic through August into early September as the new pattern becomes established. It is the trickiest time of year to forecast based off the LRC.

    For some, this is the most frustrating part of the year, I for one…love it. I love to watch the transition and the features that go into it. Every year, we know the LRC pattern will set up, but it is always fascinating to watch it happen!

    I am sure Jeremy will share his thoughts during this transition so everyone can learn along the way how it comes about. It is very exciting stuff!

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