Coldest Weather This Season

***Wind Chill Advisory in effect from 8pm Thursday to 9am Friday***

Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog! After a record setting streak of 732 days without a below zero temperature in Milwaukee…it looks like the streak will end this Friday.

The last time bitter cold hit the Milwaukee area, registering a below zero reading at Mitchell Airport, was back on January 17, 2009. On that day the temperature dipped to -2.

The upcoming arctic plunge does have some upside. The really cold weather will only last about 36 hours. Then temperatures will moderate back to more tolerable January levels.

So when does the worst of the cold hit? Let’s start by looking at a forecast surface map from the HPC. This is valid at 6pm Thursday. By this time an arctic area of high pressure will be settling into the Midwest. This will push a cold front through southeast Wisconsin, the front should clear the area in the afternoon.

Near the cold front some flurries or a snow shower are possible. Behind the front, temperatures will drop quickly, and winds will increase! Just click on the map below to enlarge.

By Friday morning, our area will be in the deep freeze. Below are forecast low temperatures for Friday morning. Keep in mind these are actual temperatures, and NOT wind chill readings.

When the wind is factored in later Thursday through much of Friday, it will be bitterly cold. Here is a look at forecast wind speeds when the cold air hits. Keep in mind wind gusts could be even higher.

  • Thursday: West 8-18 mph
  • Thursday Night: Northwest 12-22 mph
  • Friday 6-8am: Northwest 10-18 mph
  • Friday Afternoon: Northwest-West 15-5 mph

With lows expected below zero to start Friday, and then daytime highs only in the single digits, wind chill values will drop into the -20 to -30 degree range! Below is the NWS Wind chill chart. Notice the math equation on the bottom that calculates the wind chill.

If you will be outside any amount of time Thursday Night or Friday, please grab the heavy duty winter gear!

Please post any questions or thoughts you may have in the comments section of the blog! Make sure to watch WISN 12 News for the latest on the cold, and when milder weather is expected back in the area.

Stay warm and have a great day!

Jeremy Nelson

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12 Responses

  1. I probably wouldn’t have believed it if someone were to tell me back in late November that as of the halfway point of January, we still wouldn’t have had a wind chill advisory, below zero temps, or a storm that prompted a winter storm warning (December 11th doesn’t count since it never even came close to materializing) in Milwaukee.

    • Daniel,

      This winter has not been too exciting from the stand point of big storms. Seems like for the metro area it has been a few close calls and that is it. I’m working on the February forecast now, and should have that posted in the blog by next Tuesday.

      Jeremy

  2. Great work as always Jeremy. Can’t wait to hear what February will bring and hopefully learn more about the impending “signature storm” towards the end of the month.

    • Scott,

      Right now we are around the November 30-December 1 timeframe going back about 50 days. The models still aren’t showing much for the end of the month or early Feb. I think that will change as we move into next week. Should be fun to watch!

      Jeremy

  3. I’m hoping for a day off on Friday…. But I wonder if -30 degree wind chill is enough to close school? šŸ˜€ Probably not! I remember -40 a few years ago did close ours and the MPS schools.

    • Dan,

      There is a Wind Chill Advisory from 8pm Thursday to 9am Friday. -20 to -30 wind chills expected. Guessing there may be some delays Friday morning, but a lot depends on school/business policies when it comes to the cold.

      Jeremy

      • Yeah, I’m at Marquette High… once in awhile we will close down when MPS doesnt…. so hear’s to hoping we do! šŸ˜€

  4. NWS forecast for tomorrow night in International Falls…

    Partly cloudy, with a low around -36.

    • Wish that was us šŸ˜‰

  5. Will it be too cold for me to write my name in the snow?

  6. Jeremy
    Thought I would pop in and say hi. Glad all is going well with the new gig. We miss you down here in KC! Keep up the good work and the great blog entries! Your listeners are lucky to have you up there! Take care.

    Ed

    • Thanks for stopping by Ed. Now send a little of your snow our way. Ever since I left KC you’ve had 2 pretty harsh winters!

      Jeremy

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