Pattern About To Get More Active

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Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 Blog!  Yesterday in the blog Mark discussed the long stretch of dry weather that continues in our area.  Before the next chance of rain arrives, we will have gone a month with only 0.05″ of rain!  If you are hoping for rain or more active weather, there are signs showing up that the final week of October and the start of November could bring several storms to southern Wisconsin!

But first, I want to share a couple of pictures from my trip to Madison this past weekend.  I graduated from UW-Madison back in 2000 and have had season football tickets since 1996.  Everything surrounding the Wisconsin and Ohio State game this past weekend was perfect!  From the weather to the atmosphere to the game itself, certainly one of the best sporting events I’ve ever attended!

I was at the game in 2003 when Wisconsin beat Ohio State, but didn’t go on the field like thousands of others after the game, so this time around I didn’t miss my chance.  The first picture is my best ‘we’re #1 pose’.


The field was full of people, and so were the goal posts closest to the student section.  

That was a night that will always live as one of the greatest moments in Badger history, I’m just glad I had a chance to experience it!

Alright, let’s shift gears and talk about the more active pattern that looks like it will take hold beginning this weekend.  In order for the pattern to shift, so must the jet stream.  The jet stream is a fast moving river of air about 5 to 7 miles above the Earth’s surface.  The jet stream helps to guide storm systems across the country.

Over roughly the past month, the jet stream has remained mainly north of our area.  Outside of a brief dip or two, this has resulted in dry, and mild to warm conditions.  Below is a 300mb chart, or at the jet stream level.  The forecast map below is a good indicator of where the jet stream is located.  The blue areas represent increased wind speeds, and the core of the jet.

Notice that by this Wednesday, the main energy and storm track is still to the north of our area.    


For the first time really this Fall, there are signs that a big shift in the jet stream position will occur the final week of October and into November.  Below is the 300mb forecast map from the GFS computer model.  This is valid for next Tuesday.  Notice how the forecast jet stream position is now pushing into the Plains and parts of the Midwest.

If this verifies for next week, much colder air would spill into the region, and we would also see a good chance of rain.  Overall the long range models are trying to keep the pattern active through the first week of November. 

How the storms track over the next 2-3 weeks will be a key, because remember, the weather pattern theory that I use to make the winter forecast says that the long term longwave ridges and troughs are setting up right now.  Once the pattern is set, the overall weather will begin to cycle.  Could an active late October or early November signal a busy December?  Time will tell, but the weather looks like it is about to get more exciting!

Have a great day!

Jeremy Nelson


2 Responses

  1. Jeremy,
    Let’s hope so! I could use some snow days this year. Continuing the streak of white Christmases would also be great.

    It looked like you had a great time in Madison Saturday. I would love to go to college there. Such an amazing campus!

    • Bryan,

      We’ll have to see how many storms move through in the next few weeks. Just guessing a cycle length would put some of those storms back here in December. That could mean an active period when it is generally cold enough for snow.

      The game was a blast on Saturday! I enjoyed my years in college, and also when I worked in Madison for 5 years after school.


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