Cold now, more snow on the way

I hope you all enjoyed the first taste of snow yesterday with 3.6″ falling in Milwaukee. It was good to have the snow come on Saturday (less traffic) and that the first snow was not a whopper of a storm. The snow was the most snow to fall in our area since February 9th, 2010 when we had 8.1″.

Now, let’s talk about another active week. It starts off with very cold temperatures. Lows the next few nights will be near 10 degrees and wind chills will be below zero. Highs will only be in the low to mid 20s. Partly cloudy skies will last through Wednesday.

Thursday brings our first chance of snow this week. A weak clipper system will move through bringing light snow to our area. Here is the European and GFS models for Thursday.

As always, you can click on the image to enlarge. The two models are in pretty good agreement with the clipper. The models are in big disagreement for the weekend storm. Check out the Sunday forecast model maps.

The GFS brings a small amount of snow and only minor cyclogenesis (strengthening of a low pressure center).

The European model blows this low pressure center to a pretty major storm. Now, which model is going to be right? I am pretty confident that the midwest will get a strong storm this weekend. I do not have enough confidence right now to say that will be in SE Wisconsin. However, we will have to watch closely.

The other big question on my mind is whether this is the October 26th storm making its return visit. (I thought after a year of watching the LRC it was finally time to start chiming in.) If you don’t know what the LRC is, Jeremy has written about this for the last year in the blog. Here is the short version of what it is from the LRC website.

The LRC (Lezak’s Recurring Cycle)

  • A unique weather pattern sets up every autumn between October 1st and November 10th
  • “Long term” longwave troughs and ridges become established over the northern hemisphere
  • The pattern cycles and repeats over and over again until it slowly weakens and falls apart during the mid summer months

After one year of watching this with a very sceptical eye, I am more than intrigued. I am still learning and look forward to figuring out the cycle length of this winter’s pattern. I believe this week will play an integral part of figuring that out. Take a look at this weekend’s storm.

Take a look at the 500mb chart from October 26th.

Check out the locations of the troughs and ridges and now compare to the forecast for this Saturday from the European model.

I don’t know about you, but the big upper low is pretty close to the position on 10/26. It is a little farther south which would make sense now that the jet is farther south in a winter position.  Also, check the upper low near Hudson Bay. It is a bit farther east for Saturday/Sunday but in general vicinity. Furthermore, the other low feature matches quite nicely in Alaska. The ridges are also very similarly positioned. I believe that the storm this weekend is the return of the big wind storm from late October. That does not mean it will bring the same winds like we had then, but certainly could be a storm of note.

Ok, I finally dipped my feet in the LRC water. Let me know if you think I am crazy or the LRC is crazy in the comments section.



12 Responses

  1. There are times you will look like a prophet and think you are cheating..and other times you will be completely confused. Remember, it is something that pans out through the entire flow, not just one wave – and cycle after cycle. Long term longwaves can make certain waves look like others. I am sure Jeremy will help you with this.

    The first hurdle is acceptance. Sounds like you are making that jump. The second..and hardest is studying and learning how to use the theory for forecasting. Mother Nature always has variables that are difficult at times to figure out.

    Have fun with it this year!

    • Scott, it is definitely fun, but challenging. Much to learn.


  2. It is fun watching Mark as he dips his toes in the water. What does Sally think of the LRC?

    • Bryan,

      I’ve shown Sally maps and talked to her about the overall pattern a number of times in the last year. She did help me put some pieces of my winter forecast together. So I think everyone is watching and learning together.


  3. Hi WW12 Team!

    Jeremy — you emailed me with a pinpoint forecast of 2″ of snow for Reeseville, where I live, and that’s EXACTLY what we got! We had a brief heavy snow shower about mid-morning that left maybe a half-inch or less additional snow-fall. AWESOME JOB IN THE FORECASTING! Your accuracy is one of the big reasons why the only news, weather, and sports we watch is WISN! {Well that, and my wife thinks Mark is cute!}

    I will be staying tuned about to hear what will be happening this weekend…

    Don Steinberg

    • Don,

      Tell your wife thank you. As for Jeremy’s forecast last week…I give it an A+.

      Keep watching for this weekend. Looks pretty interesting.


  4. How come Mark and Jeremy are the only ones who blog? There are FOUR people who work in the weather department. What gives?

    • Sam,

      Blogging is something I love to do! So generally if I am off Mark will watch over the blog. Sally and Luke are not opposed to doing a blog, but generally if there is no big storm around 1 blog entry a day works great. You can talk to Sally and Luke on our Facebook page.


  5. 12z GFS has the “bomb” returning..just a bit further east. Will the following runs bring it further west?

  6. I like the timing of these storms. Keep them out of the work week so at least I can sit home and relax while the snow is ongoing. Looking at the long range makes me start thinking about the December of ’83.

  7. I would have to believe that with the potential of the storm this weekend, and the snowfall that might take place this Thursday that the pattern is cycling… around a length of 47 days. ??? These are exciting times!

    • Josh…that looks very likely! Every year there is one ‘signature’ storm that helps to define the cycle length, and this appears to be it! Once this weekend passes I think I should be able to pick out some future dates for potential weather events. This is the part where using the LRC gives us a huge advantage.

      I do think the weekend storm will trend more west as we get closer.


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