February Warm-up Ahead…Right on Schedule!

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

Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog!  After enduring a cold month and a half of weather in southeastern Wisconsin, with NO temperatures warmer than 35 degrees, a much needed(and expected) warm-up is near!  The warm-up that we will experience this week is directly tied to the warm-up that closed 2010. 

If you follow the blog, you know we use a weather pattern theory called the LRC to make accurate long range forecasts weeks and even months in advance.  Here is what the LRC states.

The ‘LRC’ which stands for Lezak’s Recurring Cycle is a weather pattern theory based on the following:

  • A unique weather pattern sets up every year between October 1st and November 10th
  • The weather pattern cycles, repeats, and continues through winter, spring and into summer. Identifying the cycle length helps tremendously when making long range weather predictions.
  • Long term long-wave troughs and ridges become established and also repeat at regular times within the cycle. These dominant repeating features are a clue to where storm systems will reach peak strength, and where they will be their weakest.
  • The LRC is a winter-long pattern! There is a pattern! It isn’t just one long-wave trough, storm system, or ridge. It is a sequence of troughs and ridges that are cycling across the Northern Hemisphere.

As I have mentioned many times, this year’s cycle duration is about 46-52 days.  Overall most of the weather events have repeated about 47-50 days apart. 

With the cycle duration in mind, and looking back to late December, the warm-up that arrives this week is right on schedule!

From December 29 to January 1, Milwaukee recorded the warmest temperatures(by far) this winter season.  Below are the highs at Milwaukee’s Mitchell Airport.  Keep in mind the average high in this timeframe is 29 degrees.

  • December 29  40
  • December 30  49
  • December 31  54
  • January 1  45

If you remember, this was the 2nd time the cycle had repeated this season, so the ‘warm’ part of the pattern can be traced back into November too!  During this timeframe the average high in Milwaukee was 48 degrees.  

  • November 8  66
  • November 9  61
  • November 10  58
  • November 11  65
  • November 12  54 


Now let’s fast forward from the December warm-up around 48-50 days, and you land on this week!  And again, another big warm-up is set to arrive.  This time we will be fighting a deep snowpack, something we lacked in both November and late December, but I’m still expecting temperatures well above average!

After a seasonal start to the week with mid-30s for highs, the warmest weather of the month will arrive late in the week.  By Thursday, highs should jump into the mid-40s in our area.  Below is a temperature forecast map from the GFS computer model.  This is valid at 6pm Thursday.

The wild card to the warm-up for our part of the country will be how much in the way of low clouds, drizzle, and fog will we contend with.  If we can combine some sunshine with the warm air in place, I think highs close to 50 would be possible. 

Either way, it will be nice to finally shed the heavy winter coats and maybe begin to see the edge of the lawn again!

Just think when the warm-up arrives the second week of April…70s may be possible!

Have a great day and please post any questions or thoughts to the comments section of the blog!

Jeremy Nelson


10 Responses

  1. 49 days exactly this time. That last warm up was a Wed, Thur, Fri, with the temps crashing early Sat morning. Throughout the many cold days so far in 2011, it was nice knowing even weeks ago that this would be coming.

    • Daniel,

      At least with the LRC…we can always look forward to something! After this I wish we could fast forward to the 3rd week of March!


      • Jeremy and Daniel G, the GFS is trending to an almost exact surface look and feel as the new year time frame produced. Quite discouraging since I am headed to the depths of the UP to enjoy some winter this coming Thu-Sun. And, of course, following the LRC led us to this knowledge a long while ago. Which is overwhelmingly amazing. Is it technology that paved the way for this discovery? Can we analyze the the early daily weather maps of the US and find LRC patterns within them? That would be an extremely exciting task.

        This is my first season following the LRC and it has given me great confidence that the cycle truly exists. A pioneering effort of the LRC in my community is calling… and I believe I have already begun. 🙂

      • Josh,

        Others that follow the LRC have used archived maps from past years to find the cycle. Sometimes they pick random years and then just start analyzing the maps to see if they can find the cycle. And each time it is a success. The LRC exists, and using it with other teleconnections like AO, ENSO, PNA, ect. can enhance its effectiveness.

        Glad to have you following along this year!


  2. Hey Jeremy,

    Incredible how accurate this theory has been with just about every facet – temps, precipitation, wind! But with each of the signature storms, has the precipitation really been all that great, or has it been more the fact that the rain to snow ratios have been so extreme that makes it such a big storm? I mean, with the March storm, if it happens to be all rain, do you think we will have all that much rain? Or is it everything that goes with it like strong winds, etc?


    • Dan,

      The ‘signature’ storm has been about the wettest storm each time through the cycle. This past time 0.71″ of liquid for the 3 day stretch from Jan 31-Feb 2. In December nearly an inch of precip.

      I expect another wet storm when it returns in March.


  3. Will we be seeing another storm soon? I remember a storm that was mostly rain around the new years timeframe

    • Robert,

      The New Year’s storm should come in late this week. But keep in mind it moved too far west then, and likely again this time to give us much precip. A few rain showers are possible Thursday or Friday. And maybe some highs in the 50s?


  4. You say there a signature storm in March what days are you looking at?

    • Mark,

      Since the last ‘signature’ storm was Feb 1-2…I would say we should see the next one around March 22-25. So bascially the 4th week of March. Guessing the severe weather component will be much greater in parts of the U.S. this time around.


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