‘Spring’ing Into The 60s?

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

Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog!  The returns of Robins, geese flying north, and the snow melting away are all signs that Spring is almost here.  While I think we have at least one more round of wintry weather in our future, there are many more signs of spring than winter in our area.

Just a couple of days ago I was walking around the side of my house and was pleasantly surprised to see flowers already in bloom.  The southeast side of my house gets the most sunlight, and as a result the soil is a little warmer.  I took this picture of a flower that was completely open, it was about 3 feet away from the house. 

Pretty Flower

A couple of feet from the single flower was a group that was just starting to bloom.  I’m not sure what kind of flowers these are, but if anyone wants to let me know feel free.  All I know is the flowers must tolerate temperatures in the 20s well, because since I took these pictures overnight lows have dipped well below freezing in my area.

Early Spring Flower

Good news for plants, and people, is that a big warm-up arrives for Wednesday and Thursday.  Highs on Wednesday should reach the low 50s in Milwaukee with a good deal of sunshine.  That sunshine will be partially erased heading into Thursday…but the warmth will not.

Check out the RPM temperature forecast map for 3pm Thursday(St. Patrick’s Day)!  This indicated low to mid 60s inland, with 50s hugging areas closer to Lake Michigan.  Just click on the map to enlarge.

RPM Forecast Temperatures March 17

Along with the warm weather, a few rain showers are also possible.  I think by the end of Thursday, most if not all of the snow in our area should be gone outside of piles.

But once the snow is gone, will it stay that way until next fall or winter?  Hard to give a solid answer, but I still believe that around March 22-24 a dose of wintry weather could hit the area.  This is the much talked about ‘signature’ storm of this year’s pattern.

The models will continue to show all kinds of different solutions heading into next week.  While my thoughts on the storm have not changed(rain and snow), the 12Z GFS forecast for early on March 23 seems to have the right idea.  This would bring rain and potentially some heavy snow to parts of the upper Midwest.  I would expect the surface low to be stronger than what is shown below. 

GFS Signature Storm

Once this storms passes by a pocket of cold air should drop south and bring colder than average weather to the region.  If we didn’t know about the LRC, or Lezak’s Recurring Cycle, we would just think this storm is a random event, but in reality this will be the 4th time this feature has occurred in the pattern!  Pretty amazing!

One final thing, the entire Weather Watch 12 team will be presenting ‘Spring Discovery’ at Discovery World here in Milwaukee on Sunday, March 27 from 1:30-3:00pm.  This is a program open to the public that will go over many aspects of severe weather. Included in the talk will be video presentations, and a look at our new tornado simulator.  We would love to see you at Discovery World on March 27 and meet you after the show.

Have a great day!

Jeremy Nelson


24 Responses

  1. I do believe the flowers are CROCUS

  2. Any guess this early out how much rain with the signature storm?

    • Lori,

      Most times the signature storm has produced 0.50″-1.00″+ of precip. I assume we’ll fall in that range again.


  3. How many people have made/changed plans based on the known upcoming signature storm? I would be curious to know if the value of the LRC is in just awareness or if folks are planning based on the forecasts. A little experiment if you will…

    • I took it into account for planning my graduation party… But didn’t have to worry about it since it’ll be in June 🙂 Besides, hasn’t Jeremy said that the jet stream weakens in the summer? Or will it still be strong around July 4th when the storm could return?

      By the way, great post, Jeremy.

    • lrcweather, next week I will be traveling around the area for work, to Green Bay and to Sheboygan. All taking place Mon-Thu. I have a feeling travel may be difficult on Wednesday. I think I will make it a long day on Tuesday to make sure I can hunker down in my home on Wednesday, just in case.

      Yes, I am planning my travel and work schedule around the LRC.

      • Kind of amazing we can use a tool like this to plan long range. I think people could also plan a storm chasing trip somewhere in the Midwest around May 10-13.


      • Jeremy, I am to a point now that the thought escapes my mind that not everyone follows the LRC and that recurrences in the cycle are ‘surprises’ to them.

        I’ve noticed a pattern in my attempts at finding the LRC in past years. It is that I am easily persuaded to think the cycle is shorter than what it really is. After a second or third analysis it becomes clear that I was jumping the gun.

        It’s amazing what I am finding but yet I have a feeling that I am ‘recreating the wheel’ so to speak while there are other more important tasks at hand for the theory to gain acceptance and for someone to start making some money off it… 🙂

    • The LRC has absolutely fascinated me and I am anxious to see how next week will play out! Myself and several other family members are traveling to Florida between the 23rd and 25th of next week. I warned them weeks ago about the “signature storm” potential during the week we are leaving. We’ll see if our travel plans get altered…

      • Jan,

        It really is fascinating. The more I learn, the more amazing it is. Stay tuned.


  4. And Jeremy, since the lake is quite cold now, is lake enhancement possible/likely any more, or no?

    • Dan,

      Thanks for the thoughts. If the air is cold enough lake enhancement/effect is a possibility, but right now the water temps are around 34-35. Unless we see a push of cold air, I think the lake enhancement/effect would be much less than the last time.


  5. Great Blog!
    So glad for todays blog! I saw my first Robin in our backyard this morning. I thought I was seeing things.
    I think he was looking for a place to make a nest.
    So good to see things kicked up a notch.

    Thanks for the sunshine~
    Enjoy this super weather!

    • Robbi,

      Thanks for posting. I’m looking forward to Spring…about a month from now:) The transition time is tough, but the signs of Spring have really popped up in the last week.


  6. Interesting that the models are actually portraying the signature storm well in advance this time. I remember the last couple of cycles, the models didn’t even catch on to a storm coming until it was within the one week period.

    • Dan, that’s interesting… so you think the precipitation amounts will increase a lot in the coming days?

      • Dan K,

        The GFS is already kicking out .50″-1″ Certainly could be higher. March storms usually carry plenty of moisture.


    • Daniel G,

      You will also remember the huge move south on the models a few days in advance of the Groundhog Day blizzard. We are obviously watching this closely.


      • I thought the models made a huge shift northward with that storm.

        I notice that the models tend to start storms too south in the first half of winter and trend northward, but after about mid-February they start them too north and trend south. Look at how many of the storms over the last month started out as all rain potential only to move south (the I-94 freezing rain/sleet storm, those other two storms that entirely missed us to the south).

        That trend on this storm would be some good news for snow enthusiasts, but the question is whether there will be enough cold air to be pulled down with how mild it is going to be for the next week over the entire midwest.

  7. The good news is that we will hold on to a good snow base at Greenbush until March 20th. A few small bare spots will emerge over the next few days, but 95%+ of the trails still will be well snow covered on sunday. A few of us diehart XC skiers would really loved to ski until March 27th. You have been talking about a big storm next week; is there any chance the Elkhart Lake area gets a quick 6″+ of snow versus far southern Wisconsin or does it look like we will be p

  8. Sorry, hit the wrong button. Is there any descent chance of 3-6″ snow for the Elkhart Lake area next week, followed by colder temps or will us dieharts have to hit the UP the weekend of the 27th. Need your expert advise. Thanks, Matt….PS: The flowers looks cool and yes they are crocuses, the first to bloom right when snow disappears.

    • Matthew,

      I would love to say we know the exact track the storm will take. I am quite confident that it will be a significant storm, however, where the rain/snow line ends up is still in the air. It certainly is possible, though.


      • Hey Mark and Jeremy,

        Shouldn’t the models be showing more gulf moisture to correlate with the storm the other several times in the cycle? Or are the models just slow to pick that up?

        Dan K

      • Dan,

        I wouldn’t get too hung up on the models right now. I do think this storm would produce 0.50″+ for our area.


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