Next Snow Chance & February Forecast

***Watch WISN 12 News for the latest weather information!***

Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog! If you missed yesterday’s blog breaking down the February forecast, check it out right after this entry.

Over the next week the weather will have lots of ups and downs, and maybe a few other surprises mixed in. The first little disturbance to clip our area will dive in on Thursday. This should bring light snow to much of the area, and some accumulation is possible.

When forecasting these light events sometimes it can be a ‘game time decision’ as to how much snow will fall. Keep in mind that just a hundredth or two difference in precipitation can mean a trace of snow or an inch of snow!

Certainly each time one of these small snows move through it sharpens our forecasting skills. Below is a snowfall forecast for Thursday from our in-house computer model…the RPM. This puts around 1″ of snow through much of southeastern Wisconsin. The best chance of closer to 2″ of snow may be closer to the WI/IL border.

Snow Forecast Thursday

We’ll have the latest on WISN 12 News because the cut-off of snow versus no snow will be fairly close by. As soon as this disturbance pulls away another chance of precipitation moves in to start the weekend.

The bigger question mark creeps in starting early next week. Will the arctic air win out and spill across the Midwest. This would lead to very cold temperatures and night(s) below zero again. Or will the solution of the European computer model pan out and bring a major storm to parts of the Great Lakes, then a blast of cold? The biggest question in my mind is the ‘signature’ storm really falling on the 50 day cycle rather than the 47ish day cycle that I suggested this week? We’ll discuss this more in the coming days.

As we like to say…stay tuned!

Have a great day!

Jeremy Nelson


13 Responses

  1. Boy Jeremy, after seeing the 12z European today it sure looks like it may be 50 days. Monday, Tuesday and Wed. match up pretty nice with Dec. 11, 12, & 13. I was blown away when I saw that. Should be an interesting 5 days. Can’t wait to see what happens.

    • I second that. At least according to ‘another weather resource,’ Monday night into Tuesday shows potential for a good snow. 🙂


      • It will be fun to watch and see which model(s) change to the final solution(whatever it ends up being). For a long time…since December 18 I believe I said the pattern was closer to 50 days. The strong jet streak recently fooled me a bit in the models for this coming Saturday last weekend into early this week. I thought it was odd that the pattern would jump ahead to about 47 days, but the strong jet streak kept my mind on this Saturday being the ‘signature’ storm.

        Today, I looked back to October 22 and then the 54 hour 500mb map from the 18Z GFS…they are very close to one another. Obviously back in October the ‘signature’ storm arrived on the 26-27, now what will happen early next week?

        After re-examining the pattern, I think it is possible the EURO and one other model may have a better handle on what’s ahead. When I gain confidence in the forecast for early next week I’ll add more thoughts.

        After using the LRC for 5 years I should know to trust it and not question the pattern:) This is a great example of why I say to people to follow the LRC for a year before making a judgement.

        Overall the February forecast should still be okay, outside of possibly the first day. The coldest weather of the season I believe will arrive in Milwaukee the first week of the month, and a milder stretch of weather toward the middle part of Feb.


  2. Is it just me, or did this seem to come out of nowhere? I thought the signature storm was looking to stay well north, only giving us wind. So is this the signature storm, or just a panhandle hook storm we get during many winters around here? Maybe mother nature will be nice (as in giving us tons of snow) to the snow lovers and the students in the metro on tuesday!

  3. I think the reason this is all a bit confusing is that the storm we just had on the 17th lines up perfectly with the storm from November 30.

    November 30 to December 11 = 11 days
    January 17 to January 28 (this Friday) = 11 days
    Yet the signature may not come until it has been 14 days.

    It would seem the pattern repeats, but not at the exact same amount of days per cycle… and it may even change within the same cycle as would be the case here.

  4. If I remember right, didn’t the GFS have a hard time with this storm in Dec?
    Didn’t it start out with it far to the south and then two days before the storm, it flipped and lined up with the NAM and Euro?

    • The GFS has had a hard time all season:) Yeah, it started the storm on the East Coast back in December. I think the NCEP site is having issues this evening, can’t access it to get the 00Z GFS.

      NAM will start to reach the storm in tomorrow’s runs. Should be fun to watch!


  5. Hi Jeremy,

    From this morning’s snow, we got about 1 inch along the lake in Oostburg.


    • Sue,

      Thanks for the total…a little lighter than Milwaukee’s 2.1″.


  6. WW 12 Team —

    The most recent “clipper” clipped us here in Reeseville — Dodge County — with 2 1/4″ of snow. This gives us around 36″ for the season. You’re right, Jeremy — even the little snows do add up! {The bigger ones are just more fun to watch!!}

    Based on this blog and Wed. night WW 12 10 p.m. forecast, if the “signature storm” is what happens Friday night/Saturday, we’re not in for much?? But if the “signature storm” is Monday/Tuesday, we may get a bigger storm out of it after all??

    Eager to read your thoughts in the blog!


    • Don,

      The disturbance for later Friday will just give us another ‘little’ snow. The big question for early next week is if the waves in the 500mb flow can phase. The phasing was key for the storms back in January and December. When phasing occurs this taps into the Gulf moisture, and also the cold Canadian air. GFS was still not really on board this morning, Canadian model has a big storm. The NAM is just starting to reach out to early next week.


  7. Thursday, January 27, 2011 3:10 pm

    Hi Jeremy,

    2 ½” here in Pleasant Prairie


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