Snow Melts & Updated Flood Potential

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

Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog!  Despite the dreary and damp weather on Thursday, temperatures reached the warmest levels of 2011!

In this blog entry we’ll look at the current mild weather and the updated Spring flood outlook.

As expected temperatures jumped into the 50s on Thursday in Milwaukee.  The snow and clouds/fog kept temperatures from topping out around 60 or better.  Some locations where there is much less snow did top out near 70!

Below is the surface map at 2pm Thursday.  Notice that Des Moines was 67, Milwaukee 50, and Fargo was 29.  So there is colder air lurking to the northwest.

Midwest Surface Temperatures Thursday

The warm-up this week may have some wondering about the flood potential from now through April.  While one storm system can change anything, the big picture is looking like mainly good news for southeast Wisconsin.

On Thursday, I participated in a National Weather Service webinar that went over the flood potential for the north-central part of the country.  The map below is color coded to give a specific flood forecast from late February through April.

  • Green dots: <50% chance of flooding
  • Orange:  Minor flooding
  • Red:  Moderate flooding
  • Purple:  Major flooding

Wisconsin Spring Flood Outlook

Notice that much of southeast Wisconsin is in a low threat for flooding.  A much greater threat exists closer to the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers.

For the northern U.S. the flood threat is greatest in the Mississippi River and Red River basins.  Here is the map below with the same color coding for the dots.

US Spring Flood Potential

The next chance of a ‘wetter’ storm system impacting Wisconsin will move in this coming weekend.  Right now it appears that a majority of this storm system for southeast Wisconsin would be rain.

Below is the 18Z NAM forecast for Sunday.  With the 540mb thickness line moving north of Milwaukee, it appears this would be a mix to rain for the onset of the storm.

18Z NAM Rainfall Sunday

We will continue to monitor the track and precipitation type with this storm as it may impact your weekend plans.  Check out WISN 12 News for the latest, and make sure to post your questions and thoughts to the blog!

Have a great day!

Jeremy Nelson


12 Responses

  1. Jeremy,

    Like I told you yesterday buddy, I am counting on you to keep this snow north and keep me out of returning to my winter depression. Work your mojo!

    • Craig,

      The 18Z runs keep this mostly rain. Still need to watch the start/close of the storm for a mix or some snow in spots. I would take rain, certainly would like to see under a half inch though.


      • I hear you. Those pesky Rocky Mountains do crazy things to storm tracks. I can tell you I will be for one praying that our friends in Minnesota and the UP get the brunt. Great I am sure I just jinxed it now.

      • We are starting to get back into the more active part of the pattern. Remember January? I’m going to look at the pattern more this weekend, but early in the first week of March we may have a storm system that impacts our area. In like a lion?


  2. Where are all the snow lovers? I do enjoy this shot of warm air we’re getting, but I for one am hoping that this storm pushes farther south in later runs. It’s too far out to really make any solid predictions yet. With the next storm system for the first week of march-do you think there will be cold air in place to support snow or will it be more of a rain event?

    • Justin,

      We are not done with snow yet…hang in there:) I think we’ll see more lows in the final week of February. But early March should push a low in our direction. By the end of February the average high is 37, so getting a purely snow event in March is more difficult.


  3. Will the ground be able to absorb any of the rain with the next system?

    • Lori,
      The snow that is still on the ground will absorb some rain, but the ground is still frozen. The majority of the rain will be runoff.

  4. Enjoy your nice amount of precip and yucky wintry mix…

    • Another lose my hair forecast. An updated blog coming this evening.


  5. Is it possible that we could have an ice storm on our hands?

    • It certainly is. I’m writing the new blog right now.

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