Summer Forecast Review & The New Weather Pattern

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Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 Blog!  September 1st marks the beginning of Meteorological Fall…which runs through November 30.  Before we know it the first frost will cover the ground, and our thoughts will be shifting to the first snowflakes of the season!

Before we talk more about what may lie ahead for the Fall and Winter, let’s take a look back to the Summer forecast which I posted exclusively in the blog back on May 27.  The long range forecast was based on a weather pattern theory that I use called the LRC.  And since this is the first day of school for many kids in Wisconsin, I’ll stay with the school theme and give my forecast a grade after review.

Let’s start with the facts, or hard numbers from the past 3 months.  Overall it was a warmer than average and wetter than average summer.  Here are some of the official numbers for Milwaukee.

Rainfall (June-August)

  • 19.38″  *2nd wettest summer on record* **5.61″ of rain fell on July 22**

Temperatures (Departure from Average)

  • June  +2.3
  • July  +3.6
  • August  +4.8

*Number of 90 degree days so far in 2010: 10 days*

*Warmest temperature of the summer: 92 degrees*

The above numbers are what actually happened in Milwaukee.  Now here is the temperature forecast that I made back in late May.  Nothing has been altered from the original blog post.

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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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Now compare the temperature forecast above to the one made by the Climate Prediction Center below.  The CPC forecast made on May 20 was calling for below average temperatures this summer! 

Now let’s move on to rainfall.  Below is the rainfall forecast I made and posted to the blog on May 27. 

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Rainfall

Forecast: Around Average (11.17″)

Discussion: Predicting summer rainfall is always tricky.  Thunderstorms are spotty by nature, and can produce a wide range of rainfall totals.  But based on the pattern over the last 8 months, I think we will hang close to average this summer in regards to rainfall.

June looks like the wettest month of the summer.  Active periods for weather to watch for come around June 7-9 and then a wetter period the last week to 10 days of the month.  This is when the ‘signature’ storm should occur.  Severe weather season should heat up in June, and likely will be the most active of the summer.  Several disturbances will pass by in the more active parts of the pattern.

***As a side note…the pattern begins to break down in late July and into August.  Out of the next 3 months, the forecast confidence for August is the lowest.*** 

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The July 22 rain event in Milwakee really threw the summer rain total for a loop.  Taking away July 22, the summer total would have been 13.77″, but of course we can’t take away the destructive flood that devasted the area.  This one event goes to show how tricky summertime rain forecasts can be due to convection, or thunderstorms.

After comparing reality to the forecast made back on May 27 I will issue myself 3 grades.

Temperatures: A- 

**Forecast called for above average temperatures.  Beat the CPC temperature forecast.  Only slight downside was forecasting a summer high temp of 95.**

Rainfall: B-

**Outside of the July 22 ‘freak’ storm this grade would have been higher.  The forecast of severe weather increasing and the signature storm repeating in the 3rd week of June all occurred.**

Overall Summer Forecast Grade: B+

Now it is your turn, please grade the summer forecast in the comments section of the blog.  Please add your reasoning for the grade!

Finally, with Fall right around the corner, the new weather pattern is about to set up!  If you are new to the blog or just need a refresher, here is what the weather pattern theory called the LRC(Lezak’s Recurring Cycle) states.

  • A unique weather pattern sets up every year between October 1st and November 10th
  • The weather pattern cycles, repeats, and continues through winter, spring and into summer. Identifying the cycle length helps tremendously when making long range weather predictions.
  • Long term long-wave troughs and ridges become established and also repeat at regular times within the cycle. These dominant repeating features are a clue to where storm systems will reach peak strength, and where they will be their weakest.
  • The LRC is a winter/spring/early summer-long pattern! There is a pattern! It isn’t just one long-wave trough, storm system, or ridge. It is a sequence of troughs and ridges that are cycling across the Northern Hemisphere.

Right now the new pattern is beginning to form, but is still mixed with a few features of the old pattern.  Over the next couple of months we will discuss the new pattern in the blog and watch as the weather pattern that will be with us for almost the next year forms!

If you have questions about the new pattern, or the old one please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section of the blog!

Jeremy Nelson

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8 Responses

  1. I’ll give you an A- especially for not giving in to the uselessness of the CPC long range forecasts. Expecting a high of 95 only made sense given how warm it was all summer, but I guess the moist air kept that in check… although there were a handful of days with heat indexes of at least 95.

    I pulled a couple of stats regarding the sustained warmth we had this year and it makes me wonder if this summer featured the most 80+ days on record.

    From June 1 to August 31 (92 day period)…

    Number of 80+ degree highs…
    2010 – 63
    2009 – 35
    1988 – 55

    Number of highs failing to hit 70 degrees…
    2010 – 8
    2009 – 21
    1988 – 9

    Number of days with a 70+ dew point at some point during the day…

    2010 – 34
    2009 – 9
    1988 – 23

    As you can see, even more sustained warmth and mugginess than the brutal summer of 1988.

    • Daniel,

      Those are some incredible stats! Thanks for taking the time to look that up and share with other bloggers!

      Jeremy

  2. Nice work, Jeremy. What is most baffling is that the CPC forecast is the gold standard for many businesses that need to plan ahead. How much money was lost this year on their forecasts? Seems using the LRC is a much better way to go [yes, I am biased..but the facts speak for themselves 🙂 )

  3. Jeremy,

    I think you did a darn good job with the forecast. Seeing as weather is so difficult to predict out past seven days, I would have given you a higher overall grade of an A- or A. I don’t know if you’re from Wisconsin or not, but if this is your first summer here…wow! You go girl!

    • Josh,

      I’ve lived in WI 10 of the last 13 years. It is not so much about knowing the climate of an area, but rather the pattern. When I was new to Kansas City I was able to help make relatively accurate long range forecasts. Thanks for reading.

      Jeremy

  4. On to the next pattern…. 😉

  5. Definitely looking forward to seeing how the next pattern sets up, and how things shape up over the next few months.

  6. Hey Jeremy I think you did a very good job, especially as this pattern breaks down towards the end of July/early August.

    Temps: A-
    Precip: B
    Overall: B+

    Coolness of the Meterologist: A+

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