Active Pattern Continues – More Snow

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

***Look for the long range March forecast in the blog Sunday evening!***

Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog!  The weekend started snowy, and has the potential to end with more precipitation Sunday and Sunday night.

Before we tackle Sunday, let’s discuss the round of snow that moved through on Saturday.  About 1″-3″ of snow fell in areas from Madison east to Milwaukee and points north.  A few spots saw around 4″!  South of this line there was generally closer to an inch…or even less.

Please post your snow totals in the comments section of the blog.

Below is a forecast map from our in-house computer model the RPM at 3am Sunday.  This shows the light snow tapering to flurries. 

RPM Saturday Night

Remember to track rain, sleet, or snow day or night right down to where you live, just click on our interactive radar!

As one system moves out, the next one arrives on Sunday.  Milder temperatures will try to push north, and this will likely mean some flurries or patchy light snow early Sunday, will transition to a light mix by later afternoon.  Even a chance of a period of all rain/drizzle.  The best chance of a period of rain would be closer to the Wisconsin/Illinois border.

This storm system will put southeast Wisconsin on the edge, and make for a tricky forecast late Sunday and Sunday Night.  We are always analyzing the latest data in our weather center, as new information comes in about every 3 to 6 hours.  So as of this writing here is the big question for late Sunday.

The question is how far north will the main area of precipitation move, and will it be cold enough for snow?

The 18Z NAM(North American Model) forecast has temperatures warm enough that it would keep precipitation as very light rain/drizzle at midnight.  A littler steadier rain may be located near the Wisconsin/Illinois border.

NAM Model Sunday Night

Another model that we use to forecast has the steadier precipitation farther north, and colder temperatures in place.  Below is the 18Z GFS(Global Forecast System) forecast for 12am Monday.  A huge key to the map is the solid blue line over far southeast Wisconsin.  This line is the 850mb temperature.  And this particular line represents the 0 degrees celcius line, or the freezing line 1500 meters above the ground.

Often times this can be used as the rain/snow line.  If this model plays out snow would be possible Sunday Night from Milwaukee back to Janesville, and it may be enough to accumulate!

GFS Sunday Night

There is a huge difference between these two models…and not much time before Sunday Night arrives!  The track of the surface low will be a key to this forecast, and right now I’m forecasting some light snow/flurries Sunday morning with a change to a mix in the afternoon(possibly some light rain, best chance near the border), and then a change back to a period of snow Sunday Night.

I think the first computer model map that I showed is too warm, simply based on how far south the cold air dropped on Saturday, and neither model above picking up on that trend.  So a slightly colder solution is where I will lean for Sunday! 

On a side note lots of exciting things coming up.  First, I will post the long range March forecast in Sunday evening’s blog.  This was delayed a bit because I have been working on a special story that will air Monday during the 10pm News!  It is called ‘Trading on the Weather’  I recently visited the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group where Weather Futures and Options are now being traded!  A unique story that will have you asking…is this gambling on the weather?

Watch WISN 12 News for the latest on the weekend forecast!  Make sure to post your thoughts or questions to the comments section of the blog!

Jeremy Nelson


58 Responses

  1. Hi Jeremy,

    Believe it or not but we already have about 4.5 inches of light fluffy snow up here in Oostburg. It was so light my husband could move it around with the leaf blower. It is still snowing at a pretty steady pace. I haven’t seen big flakes in a long time and we are sure seeing them now.


  2. Hi Jeremy,

    Presently light snow falling, little or no wind. Light, uniform coating on drive, but still able to tell it’s blacktop.

    Tony (Pl. Prairie)

  3. 3.5 inches here in Cudahy at 7 pm… and still snowing.

  4. So how much snow do you think will fall tomorrow night? I was certainly thinking it was going to be a rain event…with the last couple day’s models.

  5. Oh, and I forgot to say, you’re the only TV station I rely on for weather. You always seem to have the right forecast before the other TV meteorologists.

    • Chris,

      Thanks for watching! I always like to say, “There is a difference in forecasts”. Some people think there is one general forecast and that’s it.


  6. Hey Jeremy,

    The location of that blue line on the GFS model is pretty interesting. I can hardly wait to post tomorrow night the rain fall amount for my back yard and the snow fall total for my front yard!
    Seriously, I really appreciate having the Weather Watch 12 blog, and the information presented available. I have plans to be out and about late tomorrow afternoon and evening so I’m watching this one pretty close.

    Tony (Pl. Prairie)

    • Tony,

      The 00Z NAM that just came out brings the heavier precip. back north, and it also had accumulating snow. A big change from the 18Z run!


      • Yeah, I just saw it. That’s awesome!

      • Will wait to see the GFS before continuing my lean toward a colder solution. RPM is also trending back north. Fun forecast:)


      • Hi Jeremy,

        Given the way these models have be ‘all over the map’ of late, I’m not surprised! No doubt, a few tough days at the office for you! Appreciate your efforts to make some sense out of the chaos. As for my planned evening out, rain or snow is no problem as I drive a 4 x 4. The possibility of freezing rain & black ice are my major concern. We’ll see!
        Had light snow falling here most of the evening, not much in the way of accumulation.

        Tony (Pl. Prairie)

  7. jeremy,

    the total for juneau is 4.5 inches of pure fluff. the storm is winding down to flurries here. alot of big flakes in todays snowfall. its the kind i like for shoveling. keep up the great work !!

    • Thanks for the update! Jeremy

  8. Any idea why these models are doing so much worse this year than in the past. I can understand slight shifts and precip type issues on borderline storms, but not when it shows a powerful storm, then shows low amounts of precip, only to go back to showing a lot more precip.

    I know some people think this is the fun part of following weather, but to me it makes following storms more than a couple days out completely useless.

    • Daniel,

      That’s why jumping on each run that comes out can give you a case of ‘modelitis’. Once you get it, it can be tough to cure:)


  9. HI Jeremy,

    Latest update for Oostburg at 9:15pm. We are now up to 6 inches of snow and it is still snowing pretty heavily. Still the very light and fluffy snow.


    • Thanks Sue

  10. Wow Jeremy, tomorrow night is getting interesting! 😀 GFS is just coming in now, huh?

    • 0z GFS puts around half a foot of snow in Kenosha. 3-5 around here.

      • Wow yeah, these models are starting to look good 😀 Dan G, I hate to ask you this again since I already did once, but could you send me a link to the 0z model? Thank you sir! 😀


    If I read this right, this could be a SHARP difference between just a few miles. Like if the 540 line drops that low, Fond Du Lac could get nothing, West Bend could get a little, Milwaukee could get 3 inches and Racine south could get 6.

    But I am not any good at reading these things yet but I am trying.

    • Yeah, and I’m wondering if a band of .75″ could line up? That would mean >6″… probably not likely though?

      • I am picking up bits and pieces everytime you guys post something new to look at. After you said that and looking at this, I think you are right that it isn’t likely but defiantly in the convo more so then even 6 hours ago. It is amazing what this winter has been like. The temp split from the Canadian boarder to Tennessee is has to make this like a highway effect. Amazing!

      • haha i’m with ya there, craig! I’ve just recently been watching gfs and nam (and others) like crazy! i was watching them a little when we had the big blizzard at the beginning of the month, but not close to as much and now I wish I had!

        Yeah even over the past 6 hours, a lot has seemed to change! Interesting to see what tomorrow’s models will bring! This winter has been incredible, for sure. So many little systems moving through too! That’s okay, it keeps me wealthier 🙂

  12. Oh and it’s funny how the National Weather Service has been either very slow or very conservative… I don’t understand it!

    • I am just surprised they haven’t issued a watch or advisory yet for atleast Milwaukee south because the model I just was staring at the last 5 minutes has it interesting down there. It could be a total flip from last weekend. Milwaukee north nothing, Milwaukee South something. I am confused. hahahaha

      • yeah exactly! They usually don’t go conservative on issuing watches! lol… I’m confused too… Who knows – maybe by morning everything will look different. I think this is the first model for awhile that actually brought a good chance of accumulating snow. The other previous models didn’t show much of a snow aspect to the storm.

  13. Dan K:

    I completely agree. The NWS has slight chances of a “wintry mix”. They’re being very conservative.

    • haha good i’m glad i’m not the only one who feels that way! 😀 i mean, i know the models just came in, but they’re saying less than an inch right now, and i dont know if they’ve even mentioned snow much in their forecast discussion!

  14. More snow! Yippy! To all of you snow lovers out there, just curious do you like driving in it to? I almost slid into another car tonight not fun to drive in.

    • Bryan,

      I’m 18 and just got my temps this past fall lol… so i dont even have my license yet, and I enjoy driving in the snow 🙂 But not for a long time. It can get a little irritating after awhile because ya gotta be all that more careful!

    • Stay home and order the UFC PPV. Safer.

  15. Latest NAM and GFS suggesting up to 0.5″ precip tonight in spots! That could translate to up to 5″ in spots??

    • Dan,

      12Z GFS will be out staring at 9:30. Models will be out an hour later with the time change next week.


      • Jeremy, thanks for the heads up. Is the 12z NAM out now? It says 2/27/11 on the time stamp, so i’m assuming that’s current then? It’s bringing precip to the very far southeast corner of the state now…

  16. The NAM has snow has the rain/snow line under us, though. I’m hoping for a one last big storm before winter leaves.

  17. The rain/snow line on the NAM is as far south as Chicago! Unfortunately for me, it looks like the bulk of the precipitation goes south of Sheboygan….

  18. Yeah, the rain/snow line is very far south but the precipitation in SE WI looks much weaker than it did yesterday. Looks like another storm will go south once again! What a surprise…

  19. Yeah these storms either go too far north and give us rain or too far south and give us nothing. If it wasn’t for the big blizzard we had earlier this winter would be very disappointing. Still upset though because we haven’t had too many snow storms this winter.

  20. 12z GFS centers snow on Chicago. .25 line is near Kenosha, .1 line around Milwaukee.

  21. Glad I’m in an area that is only suppose to get a trace out of this weather system! NO MORE SNOW! Spring is 21 days away. Of course, living in WI, that doesn’t mean too much. Winter has gotten really tiresome. I hope all those who want a big bunch of snow get it, just not where I live.

  22. Sunday, February 27, 2011 11:52 am

    OK, I’ve got a little over 3 hours to decide whether or not to head out for my planned event or to cancel it. This would involve a bit of traveling within 5miles or so north of the WI/Ill border between 4pm and midnight. Suggestions, recommendations,….anybody??? All opinions welcome. Thanks!

    Tony (Pl. Prairie)

    • Maybe other people have different opinions, but I doubt it’ll be bad before midnight so I’d keep it on as scheduled 😀

      • Dan,

        Thanks for your reply. Just before reading it, I saw that NWS issued an advisory for Kenosha county! If nothing else, between them and you I feel somewhat confident I should be ok at least til 9pm or so. My biggest concern is the freezing rain/black ice. Thanks again for your input.

        Tony (Pl. Prairie)

      • Glad to help, Tony. But keep in mind that I’m not a pro by any means! 😀 So I’m not responsible if I’m wrong hahaha. Looks like there will be some mixed precip possibly, so it’s a tough call. I hope you’ll be in good shape 😀

      • Dan,

        Understood! I accept full responsibilites for whatever I decide to do. Thanks again!


  23. Yeah the latest runthrough has the line sliding almost 60 miles south of where it was when I looked at it around 5AM. If that is going to be the current path I would think that any real precipitation should be south of Brown Deer and that isn’t really that impressive. Would explain why the National Weather Service hasn’t even issued an advisory of any sort and we are 6-8 hours from the “start”. Looks like Dodge, Fond Du Lac, Ozaukee, Sheboygan, and Washington might not see much of anything period.

  24. the 12z NAM and GFS models runs have been discouraging for snow-lovers. How much snow do you think we’ll get, Jeremy?

  25. When do the 18z model runs come out?

    • 3:30?

      • NAM is closer to 2:45 (at least for the hours relating to this storm)
        GFS is closer to 4:00

        Those models aren’t the best resource to use though when we get this close to the storm.

      • Daniel, what would you use instead at this point? GEFS or SREF or something else? What’s your personal opinion on what should play out in MKE?

      • There are high res models always talked about on forums I read. WRF is mentioned. I don’t really know where these are handily available though.

        I don’t really know how this will play out, especially when the possibilities include every type of precip and quite a range in QPF forecasts. You may wake up to a nice dumping of snow or you may wake up to dry streets.

      • haha yeah, these are the situations that make me think a meteorologist’s job is stressful 😀 Thanks for the thoughts, Dan G. Btw, you have a great first name.

  26. NWS just issued an update to their advisory. It is only for Kenosha county and that is for a possible 2 to 3 inch snow mark which would be consistent with the last 12z GFS run. That same GFS run early this morning had that 2 to 3 punch of snow from about Port Washington to Milwaukee. That model pushed it south again. I am not professional like you guys but I think that trend is going to lead more towards the dry streets north of Milwaukee. This forecast has changed more in the last 48 hours then any I can imagine. This is just amazing to the “budding” interest level of all this weather stuff for me. From heavy rain, to nothing, to a mix, to nothing, to snow, and back to nothing in 2 days. This is better then TV.

  27. Hi, Jeremy —

    Per your request of me on Saturday to report with a final snow total from Reeseville — we rec’d 2″ from the entire system. I know the report you received from Juneau was 4.5″ and that’s only 12 miles from here, so I’m not sure if a band of heavier snow lined up over a small section of Dodge County or what. I talked with our daughter and son-in-law this morning — they live in Juneau — and their report was between 1″ and 2″. I guess everybody’s way of measuring varies.

    From the sound of things in the discussion above, I guess I won’t have anything to report on from this next system. Thanks for the warning you issed above about “modelitis.” I think I have that! It really sets you up for a big fall when it doesn’t hold together! I’ll have to reign in my enthusiasm until I look out the window and see it’s actually doing something here.

    Will keep in touch!


    • don,

      i am still trying to figure out how you recieved only 2 inches in reesville and also your relatives in juneau also. i seen that beaver dam also reported 4 inches, horicon got 4.5 also along with surrounding towns recieveing anywheres between 4 and 6 inches. whats your method of measuring ? we will have to get together on the next measurable storm and see if we are close.

  28. Not that it matters this close in, but 18z NAM has precip missing even Kenosha entirely.

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