Coldest Morning This Season & Warm-Up Near!

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

Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog!  The coldest temperatures of the season landed on southeast Wisconsin early Thursday. 

Morning low temperatures started off around -7 to -17!  Here is a list of the official low temps.

  • Milwaukee  -7
  • West Bend  -12
  • Sheboygan  -14
  • Kenosha  -15
  • Juneau  -17

In western Wisconsin, Sparta dropped to -26!  The coldest spot in the United State was Embarrass, Minnesota which fell to -37!

The coldest weather I ever experienced was -32 back in early February of 1996 when I lived in Minnesota!  Now that’s cold!

The coldest weather is now behind us, and that means a nice moderation in temperatures arrives this weekend, and even warmer weather early next week.

When looking at the overall pattern and forecasting long range, the 500mb, or middle of the atmosphere map can tell us a lot.  In the winter, a quick glance of the 500mb map can give us an indication of an arctic flow or a milder Pacific flow.

The 500mb flow for the past couple of days has been showing a polar flow.  This means that the air pushing into our part of the country originated near the North Pole.  The air flows from one of the coldest parts of the globe over snow covered land in Canada, and eventually arrives in a somewhat modified fashion in Wisconsin.

Polar Flow

The opposite of a Polar flow is a Pacific flow.  A great example of a Pacific flow is what is headed our way next week.  Below is a 500mb forecast map from the GFS computer model.  This map shows a general ‘westerly’ flow aloft pushing in milder weather off the Pacific.

Mild Pacific Flow Next Tuesday

As the warmer weather moves across the Rockies, and then decends, the air warms even further.  This mild air will push in our direction and bring high temperatures in the upper 30s to even the 40s!

Our warm-up will be nice, but the deep snowpack and likely development of low clouds and some fog will keep our highs from reaching their full potential!

If you have been waiting for some of this snow to melt…you don’t have to wait much longer!

Make sure to check out WISN 12 News for the latest weather information! And feel free to drop your weather questions and thoughts in the comments section of the blog!

Have a great day!

Jeremy Nelson


8 Responses

  1. Do you see any flooding issues arising from the melting next week? I heard somewhere that snow melts faster when it is foggy and the dew points are in the 30s which is what I am assuming they will be at since fog only occurs when the air temps and dews are nearly identical.

    • Daniel,

      Great timing for your question. I talk about this issue on WISN 12 this evening at 6pm!

      Until the snow is gone, which will be a while, any warm-up will likely be accompanied by fog and low clouds at times.


      • Yeah, interesting segment about the flooding! That’s what I was also wondering, since I remembered the liquid to snow ratios were so low….that’s good! 😀

  2. The western trough and subsequent ULL next week into next weekend looks eerily familiar.

    • How strange.

    • Yes, take a look at the 500 millibar for November 8th, December 27th, and any of the forecast models for the 15th of Feb. . .the stage looks be getting set for an interesting event for portions of the Eastern 1/2 of the CONUS come the 20th or so (aka: November 16th, December 31st)

      LRC is a wonderful thing.


  3. Oh..and Nowata, Oklahoma hit -31 this morning. Yes – Oklahoma. Other areas nearby were in the -20s. Smashed a state record of all time low temp.

    • I saw that. By next week they will likely have a 100 degree temperature swing.

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