Looking Ahead To Sunday

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

Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog!  In looking over the models today, and the upcoming pattern, my eyes were drawn to this coming Sunday.  In today’s blog we’ll look ahead to another complex forecast in the final days of February.

Between now and then a system will travel to our south, there’s still a chance it would bring some light snow, but we’ll handle that on WISN 12 News in the next couple of days.

For now I want to look ahead to a storm system that will impact the area Sunday and Monday.  Of course before we look ahead to a storm, with the LRC we can always look back.

In the case of this coming Sunday-Monday, this part of the pattern would be associated with around January 10.  Below is the 500mb map from January 10 showing a trough with two upper lows over the Midwest and Plains.

500mb January 10, 2011

If we now jump ahead roughly 48-49 days we land on this weekend.  The 12Z GFS shows low pressure at the surface near Chicago.  This would push milder temperatures in our area, and also a chance of rain, sleet, and snow once again.

Sunday Surface Map 

While the final solution will shift around before this weekend, I do believe a mixed bag of precipitation will likely occur in southeast Wisconsin.  If you have travel plans Sunday into Monday, you can stay up-to-date with the latest forecast here and on WISN 12 News.

In the meantime, if you have questions or thoughts about this potential storm, please post them to the comments section of the blog.

Have a great day!

Jeremy Nelson


33 Responses

  1. Hey Jeremy! Great post as always. Will be interesting to see what happens… I hope it moves a little further south so we have more snow than mix 😀 That would be a lot of snow though! In terms of strength, does this even come close to the power that the blizzard had?

    Another few questions I would love to have answered if you don’t mind:

    1. Does the NAM only go out 4 days?
    2. Is the RPM just your in house model, or do we have access to that too?
    3. Is it possible to get access to the ECMWF?



    • NAM only goes out 84 hours to my knowledge. The RPM is our in-house computer model from our weather vendor WSI.

      The ECMWF is available on many sites. Just search for a few and you will get a feel which works best for you. The look and feel will vary from site to site.


      • Great, thanks for your time!

  2. Jeremy, I am learning at an exponential rate that the cycle breathes. When dealing with specific occurrences it is difficult to pin point exact dates from cycle to cycle. It is definitely a range of days. My backyard snowfall forecast may be a bust this time around (2nd half of the third and 1st half of the fourth) but I am not giving up. Perhaps I will change the forecast name to backyard “weather event” forecast rather than a particular type of precipitation. 🙂

    As always. FUN STUFF.

    • Josh,

      This is one reason why I always reference a range of dates. Trying to pin down one exact date/time for a storm to occur is tough. But with the LRC we generally know within 1-3 days when a feature will repeat in the pattern. Can’t wait for the 4th week of March;)


      • Jeremy, now that I’ve witnessed the LRC, live, through a few cycles I am anxious to watch it transition. Don’t get me wrong, I am very excited for the signature storms of this years cycle to recur again and again.

        As I dig into the archives and research past years, after finding what I believe is the the cycle, it is my goal to watch them transition. BUT, dang, that is not an easy task and it takes a lot of time! However, with the time I have put into 1977-78, I believe I have found the cycle length…

      • Josh,

        Looking at past years can be fun, but challenging. You can learn a lot by looking at past years though.


    • Wednesday, February 23, 2011

      Hi Josh,

      I’m nowhere near as involved as you and some of the other posters are with regards to the LRC or even forecasting at all. I would however be interested in what you find/determine for 78/79 and 81/82 seasons. My recollection is that there was some rather extreme weather going on around those times. Also, somewhere around 85 or 86, I recall my neighbors out with a hose washing their car around Xmas. Not your ‘typical’ Xmas for this neck of the woods.
      Hope your research provides you with a real sense of accomplishment.

      Tony (Pl. Prairie) < far SE corner of the state in case you’re not familiar with the location.

      • Hi Tony, I would be more than happy to share my work with you. 78-79 is on my to do list as 77/78 – 78/79 are the years I am researching now. They proved to be the largest consecutive winters here in Oshkosh with large monthly snows in Nov-Jan but considerably less in Feb-Apr. I am focused on finding out what the LRC looked like during this period.

      • Thursday, February 24, 2011 10:56 am

        Hi again Josh,

        Thanks for the reply and also the offer to share. For the time being, I’ll be watching your regular posts to this blog. You seem to be quite serious with your research and it was my intention to encourage you and perhaps provide some suggestions that may be of use for you to consider. It’s been my experience in a number of areas that studying extreme cases can provide some valuable insights. It can also be very trying and frustrating. As in my previous post: Hope your research provides you with a real sense of accomplishment.

        Tony (Pl. Prairie)

    • Thursday, February 24, 2011 3:16 pm

      Hi Josh,

      I’m pretty sure I stuck my reply to you in the wrong place! Sorry! I’m still pretty new to posting in blogs. Hope the sincerity of my post isn’t dismissed on the basis of it seeming to come from a guy that ‘replies’ to his self.


  3. So if I got this straight, it says we are at between .25 to .50 inches of moisture and using the liquid water chart from the last blog, that puts us in line for around 3-8 inches of snow depending on temps and low placement? Obviously you can’t put numbers on it, I am just trying to learn how to convert and read these charts. Sorry for so many questions in these last couple blogs.

    • Craig,

      The map I posted only shows total precipitation for a 6 hour period…not the entire storm. And since the 540mb thickness line is north of our area, this could be a mix or rain. When deciding precip type it also is key to look at the 850mb temperature.

      So putting a total on anything this weekend is extremely difficult.


  4. Hey Jeremy,

    I know that it would be incredibly unlikely for the Monday storm to play out exactly like this with it being so far out. But let’s say everything stayed like this. See how there’s a darker shade around Green Bay and NE WI? Would that indicate lake enhancement, and would that mean that Milwaukee would also likely be included in the darker shade as well?

  5. Ooops, forgot to include the link… sorry!

    • Dan, is this the “heart” of the storm?

      • Well according to this model, we would be pretty close to the heavy snow….. 🙂 But the GFS is being aggressive taking it north, so that the low would be on the eastern portion of the WI/IL border… so that would be a lot of rain.

  6. I’m sorry this is delayed, but I feel like the snow totals for Sheboygan were a bit exaggerated. I only measured 8 inches in my backyard, but you never know. THe drifting we had really messed with the snow totals.

  7. Can ridges/troughs and storm systems from one day in the cycle occur on different days of the following cycle. I wanted to ask this days ago but figured I would wait until we were in between storms to do so.

    What I’m getting at is why the ridging pattern from last Thursday matched up perfectly with December 31 and then the storm from Sunday also matched up with a storm from December 31. These events both took place on the same day last cycle, but three days apart during this cycle. It seems that the LP was just slow to form and progress and ended up coming through 3 days late.

    If you think the following storm on Sunday/Monday is from January 11 last cycle, the days have me very confused. December 31 storm versus January 11 storm was 11 days apart last cycle, but it would only be 7 or 8 days this cycle. This matches up perfectly with the difference in days between the warm day last Thursday and the upcoming storm early last week. So, if last weekend’s storm was the December 31 storm, it lagged behind in the pattern and that must be why it created a totally different outcome compared to previous cycles.

    Just wondering what you thought about this or if there is any chance that maybe the storm from last weekend was in fact a more energized version of some system that came through the country about January 3rd.

    • Daniel – you have happened on experiencing a very important piece of the LRC. It is easy to say, but difficult to experience. It is the piece about long term longwaves. This is perhaps the most critical piece of the LRC. Parts of the pattern will have features that will persist so long as that part of the pattern persists. Ridges and troughs will tend to have a “memory” through the pattern. It is because of this to watch the pattern, and not individual storms..and most of all..to give the pattern a few days from cycle to cycle to “breathe” a bit.

  8. Jeremy/Mark, Are you familiar with the “DGEX” model? Is that accurate or no?

    • There’s a group of individuals on a weather forum I frequent that analyze every model for every storm and the DGEX tends to be looked at with a grain of salt more often than not. A few days ago, it was painting a huge area of snow over the northern half of the country with some areas getting 20-30 inches by next Monday in case you were wondering how unreliable it is.

      • Haha gotchya… thanks a lot for the input… just came across it tonight and wasn’t sure what to think!

        Anyhow, has anyone noticed that the models are pulling the Thurs. night storm further north? NWS is even saying >.25 possible from madison to port washington line… interesting!

      • 0z NAM pulled back considerably. Now the .25 QPF line goes through Chicago and we’re barely into the .1 QPF zone. We’ll have to see if the GFS does the same.

      • Dan, shouldn’t we be looking at the 18z? Or are you thinking it will go back to where the 00z nam was?

      • I’m talking about the new 0z NAM which came out around 8:30 pm.

      • Oh I’m sorry! Would you mind sending me a link for that? I wasn’t aware that it comes out around 8:30!

      • Thanks! Yeah it looks like that one went a bit south again….

  9. It may have went south just a bit but you have to realize that just earlier today the models were way to the south and have shifted significantly north. By tomorrow morning and afternoon we should have a better idea on where the storm will go because the storm will either go farther north or south from where models are predicting it to go now.

    • This is true!

  10. GENS is bringing the .25 line close to SE WI

  11. Mark or Jeremy —

    All rain out of the next storm — please say that outlook will change and the reality will be that we get all snow!! Rain is not winter weather but spring, right?? So where’d winter go? Rain this time of the year w/ all the snow we have on the ground here in Dodge County — at least 6″ at my place and 6 foot plus piles in our church parking lot will make for one big mess and I can count on basement flooding. There’s no place it can drain away here. You can see why I want/need snow.

    Where does a snowstorm have to go so we get snow?

    Any chances things will change?


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