Hermine Drifts North & Old Farmer’s Almanac

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Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 Blog!  When I arrived to work early this morning, I noticed that a copy of the Old Farmer’s Almanac for 2011 had arrived by mail.  At the end of this blog entry I will tell you what the almanac says for our winter in southeast Wisconsin, and why I would never trust the long range forecasts.

First, let’s focus on the current weather.  In our area, the strong winds that hit the area on Tuesday have moved on.  Peak wind gusts topped out around 50 mph in many areas!  Here is a list of cities and the measured peak gust.

  • 3 miles SE Pewaukee  55 mph
  • Milwaukee – Mitchell  49
  • West Bend  48
  • Grafton  47
  • Kenosha  47
  • Racine  46
  • Port Washington  45

While winds will be much calmer for Wednesday afternoon, we will still see winds around 8 to 18 mph.  With high pressure locked in across our region, dry and mostly sunny weather is in store through Thursday.  It will be cool high pressure as daytime highs will only warm into the 60s.

Below is a forecast surface map for 7 p.m. Wednesday.  Notice the high controlling our weather, and also the ‘L’ over western Oklahoma.  The ‘L’ is the remnants of Hermine.  Just click on the image to enlarge. 

As high pressure slides to our east late Thursday and into Friday, the moisture from Hermine will begin to lift north and east.  With a cold front advancing east and the moisture running into it, showers and thunderstorms are likely Friday Night into Saturday.  Below is a forecast map for 1 p.m. Saturday.  This is from the 6Z NAM computer model.  This shows a pocket of steady rain over our area to start the weekend.

If you are headed to Madison for the Badgers home opener…which starts at 11 a.m. on Saturday, stay up-t0-date with the latest forecast.  Right now I would say rain is possible for the start of the game.  The GFS computer model is faster with the rain and has most of the moisture out of our area by Noon Saturday.

Finally, I started the blog by mentioning I received a copy of the Old Farmer’s Almanac today.  I quickly paged to the area that went over the winter forecast for southeast Wisconsin.  With further delay…here is the forecast from the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Summary: Winter will be colder than normal, with the coldest periods in late December, mid- and late January, and mid- and late February.  Snowfall and precipitation will be below normal.  The snowiest periods will be in mid-December, January, and mid-February.

Summer temperatures will be near normal, on average, with below-normal rainfall.  The hottest periods will be September and October will be cooler and drier than normal.

The book also breaks down the months and talks about specific storms.  Here is what the almanac says the forecast is based on:

1) Solar science, the study of the activity on the Sun, including sunspots

2) Climatology, the study of prevailing weather patterns and conditions over time

3) Meteorology, the study of the atmosphere

If you read the blog, I base my long range forecasts on a weather pattern theory called the LRC.  Keep in mind, I will not be able to issue a winter forecast until November, because the weather pattern for the next 9 months is just forming!  I will try to give some insight and a preview of the forecast sometime in October!  Until then, we are stuck with the Old Farmer’s Almanac.  Let me know what you think of the almanac in the comments section of the blog!

Have a great day!

Jeremy Nelson


7 Responses

  1. Jeremy, interesting winter forecast from Farmer’s Almanac. Personally, I don’t put much faith in those predictions…not sure how often they have been accurate. I don’t like the “colder than normal” part of the forecast. I guess that usually goes along with lower snowfalls. Hope they are wrong.
    I am not looking forward to winter at all! I had hoped to be relocated to AZ by now where winter’s are in the 50’s and 60’s. With the economy as it is, it’s been tought finding work there.
    I’m anxiously waiting to see how the LRC pattern sets up for this winter. Keep up the good work.

  2. Here are some of my favorites….

    “the coldest periods in late December, mid- and late January, and mid- and late February” Isn’t that most of the Winter?

    “The snowiest periods will be in mid-December, January, and mid-February.” Opposed to June, July and August?

    I will say this…solar science is up and coming and may or may not have any real impact in forecasting, but I won’t fully discount it. I think using everything and anything available is the best approach. Too bad many other long range forecasters do not do this.

    I might see the cooler winter, but not sure I am fully on board with the drier winter.

    • The pattern certainly seems to be changing here…our above average days have now turned below average quickly. More cool weather next week.

      My favorite is the Old Farmer’s Almanac uses “Meteorology” to make their forecasts:)


  3. Many forecasts say that with the strengthening of la nina that we will see a snowier and colder winter. The other farmer’s almanac’s website says that it will be snowier due to that fact. Really it’s hard to say because we’re just starting fall so i guess we’ll have to wait and see.

    • Justin,

      La Nina in my opinion may be an influence for our weather, but it is not the driving factor. Look back to this past summer and several blog entries ago. I posted the Climate Prediction Center’s temperature forecast for this summer which called for cool weather in our area. That was completely wrong. The CPC bases most of their forecast on El Nino or La Nina. I like to look at the weather pattern in general, and then maybe sprinkle in a small influence from the other factors.

      Make sure to keep reading the blog this Fall as I will show the new weather pattern and what it means for our weather for the next 9 months!


      • Jeremy, Thanks for the info. I know it’s not the only factor, but the only reason I say this is because a lot of websites i’ve been looking at for this winter mention la nina and its effects. NOAA also has a page of data that shows temps and snowfall amounts when it was a la nina year compared to when it was not. Thanks again 🙂

      • Justin,

        I just think too much weight is put on El Nino and La Nina in the overall weather pattern by some forecasters. I’m sure Scott will add his thoughts if he is reading the comments in the blog. Make sure to check back…this is a good discussion.


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