Goodbye Sunshine

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

Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog!  If you don’t have a case of Spring Fever yet, you will be Thursday!  The warmest weather of 2011 is almost here!  But like any warm-up in the winter, you won’t have to wait long for temperatures to tumble back to average.

Let’s start off this entry with a ray of sunshine in honor of these mild days.  The picture below is from Alyson Parker of Hartford.  Even though there is still a lot of snow to melt, the sun and warmer temperatures give us some hope that Spring is not far away!

The picture was posted on the U-Local section of  Make sure to post your weather pictures, we love to show them here in the blog and on WISN 12 News!

Sunshine will give way to clouds starting later Tuesday as milder temperatures flow into the region.  The clouds will be the low grey variety by Wednesday and Thursday, and throw in some fog/drizzle and outside of the mild temps, we are looking at some dreary days.

A good way to look at forecast cloud cover is to use the integrated liquid forecasts from the NAM and GFS computer models.  These show the different forms of moisture that make up clouds.   From low clouds like stratus clouds that are mainly liquid water, to mid level clouds which can be supercooled water, to high clouds like cirrus clouds that are made of ice and snow. 

The map below is from the 12Z NAM computer model.  This shows an extensive area of low clouds(represented in green) from the Gulf Coast all the way into Wisconsin.  A good sign that we are dealing with mild Gulf of Mexico moisture.

Despite the cloud cover I think some areas will top out in the 50s on Thursday!  Remember, this part of the weather pattern is directly tied to late December, and on the 31st the high was 54 in Milwaukee!  Could we repeat that again?

Below is a forecast temperature map from the RPM computer model.  This map is valid at 2:30pm Thursday, about right at peak heating.  Notice the low 50s over southeast Wisconsin!

RPM Temperatures Thursday

Enjoy the warmer weather, because by Friday afternoon, temperatures will be dropping through the 30s.  And the cooler weather looks to hang around this coming weekend.  While it will be cooler, temperatures will stay pretty close to average in the 30s.

Make sure to post your questions and thoughts in the comments section of the blog!

Have a great day!

Jeremy Nelson


12 Responses

  1. Jeremy, What do you think of the Sun Mon storm?? GFS is showing quite a storm 🙂 You think rain or snow with this system ?

    • Dan,

      Right now it looks like more rain than snow. I need to go over the pattern to get a better handle on the Sunday/Monday timeframe. After the temps dropped quickly at the start of the year, 2 days later the temps bounced up a bit with some light precip. So at least there was a storm around in this part of the pattern.


      • I could almost see a cold rain changing to a mix/wet snow on the backside…

  2. A true sign of spring-like weather… looking at the temps right now, it looks like we have our first occurrence of “cooler by the lake.”

    • If it means Spring…it can continue:) The Spring lake breeze is not a very friendly one.


  3. Hi Jeremy and Mark —

    I caution against letting Spring Fever get too much of a hold on us just yet. We still have a ways to go before we can think Spring in earnest. And I speak from personal experience when I say that there’s nothing more depressing than to conclude that Spring is right around the corner, only to be met around the corner with a big ol’ late winter snowstorm. {I’m still willing to bet we get in on the winter storm part of the next signature storm — I’m thinking heavy, wet snow. It’s certainly happened before.}

    RE: Snow with the next signature storm — how far below average would temps have to be for us to get snow?

    Also, doesn’t “meterological winter” span December – January – and February for records keeping purposes? Which would make “meterological spring” be March – April – and May? If so, then does our “official snowfall total” for the winter include only what falls through the end of February? How does any snowfall in March {or even in April} get accounted for?

    Thanks in advance for your answers!

    Don in Reeseville

    • Don,

      I would include any snow from the first snowflakes in the Fall to the final snow in the Spring in our final snow total. Meteorological Spring is March/April/May. Certainly easier to remember than the official start date and time of Spring. And the time and sometimes date change.

      Generally in order to get snow that sticks temps should be 34 or lower. If it is snowing hard enough the snow will stick. So in late March we need temps about 10 degrees below average. But keep in mind that is a daytime high I’m basing the numbers off.

      Thanks for your thoughts Don.


      • Thanks to you, Jeremy, for reading through my ramblings!

        Here’s another thought/question — I remember that shortly after the New Years’ warm up, when temps fell back, we started getting the clippers back in the area. {We had some five inch snowfalls with those here in our area}. Do you see that happening again after this warm up concludes — perhaps as March begins?


      • I think March is active. The big question will be temps…but I will try to get a March forecast put together by next week. I’m also working on a unique weather story for our news. When I know the air date I will let everyone know.


  4. Looking forward to seeing what you have to report for March.

    Nice “tease” on the report for the news you’re working on 🙂

    I notice you and or Mark are getting a bit more air time with us for such reports lately. Does the one hour show afford the extra opps?

    When you know the air date, will you know which show time too? I can’t always make the 5 and 6 due to my work schedule, but am always “there” for the 10 show. Let me know so I can set my DVR if I need to.

    Good talking with you again today!

    Don in Reeseville

    • Don,
      That is the best part of the one hour show. We will have more opportunity to do in-depth weather stories.


  5. I hope that the storm for the beginning of next week brings a lot of snow for southern wi. Right now it’s looking like more rain than snow, but when it’s about a week away the current forecast will change multiple times. Im keeping my fingers crossed though. Any ideas on what the storm for the beginning of next week will bring?

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