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Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog! Forecasting the weather anytime of year can be challenging, but my vote for the most difficult months to forecast the weather would go to either March, November, or December. These months can bring temperatures either side of freezing to the area. And this means the task of determining precipitation type, and where the rain-snow line will be located.
This challenge will once again present itself this week as another potentially wet looking storm heads our way.
Speaking of wet, most areas of southeast Wisconsin picked up rain on Friday. The final totals will come in early Saturday, but here are the early totals as of 7pm Friday. If you ever have a rain or snow total to share please post it to the comments section of the blog!
- Kenosha 0.47″
- Milwaukee Mitchell Airport 0.36″
- Sheboygan 0.20″
On Saturday, a few snow showers and flurries will be around, especially in the morning. Otherwise, a gusty north wind will put a chill in the air and keep temperatures in the low to mid 30s, but wind chills will be stuck mainly in the 20s.
One way to view forecast wind speeds is to look at various models. Below is the RPM forecast map at 2pm Saturday. This shows wind barbs(black symbols) with the one near Milwaukee showing a speed of 15 knots…or about 17 mph.
Keep in mind that one knot equals 1.15mph. Now what do the winb barbs mean and how do you read them? Here is a chart to help you out. This map is from the US Forest Service.
The next time you look at a surface map and wind barbs are used, you should now have a better understanding of what they mean.
Before we wrap up this blog, I want to touch on a wetter looking storm for the middle of this week. This part of the pattern produced rain(0.40″) back in late November and snow in mid-January(4.9″). And again this time through the pattern I am expecting precipitation in southeast Wisconsin.
Below is the 500mb(middle of the atmosphere) forecast map for Wednesday. This forecast map is from the 18Z GFS. What we are watching closely is the vorticity maximum over the Midwest, labeled with an ‘X’. Also, if you want to check out how fast the wind is blowing at 5000 meters above the ground look at the wind barbs and then use the chart above!
The location of the vort max helps in determining where the heavier snow may fall. Lots of time between now and Wednesday, but this is a storm that I believe will bring rain and snow to the area, just how much of each is the question right now.
Make sure to watch WISN 12 News for the updates! And post your thoughts, questions, and rain/snow totals to the comments section of the blog.
Have a great weekend!