Winter Hangs On

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

Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog!  Another ‘signature’ storm has come and gone, and now we are left with cold late March temperatures.

The storm again shattered weather records in parts of Wisconsin.  Here is a quick summary from the NWS in Green Bay:

Green Bay officially recorded 17.8 inches.  That’s the highest snowstorm total in over 120 years of weather records; only two storms produced more snow (29.0″ in March 1888 and 23.1″ in January 1889).  In addition, this storm is the third one this season to produce 10 inches or more of snow in Green Bay, the first time that’s ever happened during a winter season.

In Milwaukee the storm produced around 0.75″ of rain, and 0.2″ of snow.  The storm also produced a wind gust of 37 mph in Milwaukee, the 12th highest since October 26.  Here is a look at the highest wind gusts in Milwaukee since October 26.  6 of the top 12 have occurred with one of the ‘signature’ storms.

1)  October 26  61 mph

2)  October 27  61 mph

3)  February 2  60 mph

4)  February 1  52 mph

5)  November 29  52 mph

6)  December 12  48 mph

7)  February 18  45 mph

8)  January 1  44 mph

9)  March 20  41 mph

10)  November 22  40 mph

11)  March 5  40 mph

12)  March 23  37 mph

The focus moving forward for the rest of the week and through the weekend is on the cold.  Temperatures will be 10-20 degrees below average across the area!

The cold, dry air will help to keep a storm system to our south over the weekend.  We’ll watch this closely, but it will be hard for the moisture to push north into the very cold late March air.

Below is the 12Z NAM forecast at 7 p.m. Saturday.  Notice the strong area of high pressure to our north.  The east-northeast winds will keep pumping in frigid temperatures from Canada.  Farther south, low pressure will push in the Tennessee Valley.

NAM Saturday March 26

How does this compare to the pattern back in December?  Roughly four days after the ‘signature’ storm in December, this storm system slid to our south.  Below is the surface map from December 16, 2011.  When doing comparisons with the LRC I like to use 500mb maps, but I thought I’d show the surface map this time.

December 16, 2010 Surface Map

The storm staying south this weekend means we should miss out on snow, but not the cold.  We’ll continue to keep an eye on the track in the next couple of days.

Temperatures should moderate a bit next week, but it appears that March will end with below average temperatures. 

With cold weather expected this weekend, stay inside and join the Weather Watch 12 team for ‘Spring Discovery’ at Discovery World Museum in Milwaukee.  The special weather presentation is Sunday, March 27 from 1:30-3:00pm.  The entire Weather Watch 12 team will be there.  Included will be video presentations, a tornado simulator, and a model thunderstorm.

If you plan on attending let us know in the comments section of the blog! 

Have a great day!

Jeremy Nelson


10 Responses

  1. Hi Jeremy!

    Just out of curiosity what track did the signature storm take this time? Did the “L” go north or south of us? I don’t remember seeing its’ position on any of the TV shows.

    Is it just me, or do you not show the positions of the “H’s” and “L’s” and the jet stream so much anymore? Due to time constraints?

    My wife and I and our two grandchildren would like to be there on Sunday, but our Sunday morning schedules appear to prevent that. Maybe the next time it could be on a Saturday? Hope all goes well with it.


    • Hi, Don,

      Sorry you can’t make it on Sunday. The storm actually went just to our south. We had just enough warm air to keep us mainly rain. Another 3-4 degrees colder and we would look like Green Bay right now.
      As for Highs and Lows on the weather map, it is a day-to-day thing. Depends on what is going on. Jet streams are not shown too often any more. When it is relevant, I try to include.

      • Boooo! No love for the jet stream! Maybe you can get time once a week to do a monthly forecast? 😉

  2. Bring on the April warm up! So Jeremy or Mark I am guessing that since much of winter was below average as far as temps that we can look for a cooler then normal spring?

    • Bryan,

      I’ll talk more about the hope of warming up in the April forecast. I may shoot to get that out on Sunday or Tuesday. Hard to flip a switch and change the pattern, so I would not expect a warm humid summer like last year. Just initial thoughts without looking at much.


    • Remember that autumn was above average though. There have been a number of years in the past where winters were colder than normal, yet springs or summers were above average. I think we’re due to get torched this summer. Should be more pleasant days than last year, but I think we’re in for at least a few 95+ this year.

      • Friday, March 25, 2011

        @ Daniel G.

        Sure hope you’re posting from someplace from southern Ill. or further south!

        Tony (Pl. Prairie)

      • No, I’m posting right here in New Berlin. I just feel we’ve been getting lucky with not hitting 95 once in the past three years and it will eventually catch up with us. Imagine what will happen when the part of the cycle that has been giving us 15-20 degrees above average every time comes through in mid July. Even 100 isn’t an impossibility.

      • Friday, March 25, 2011 1:37 pm

        Hey Daniel,

        Didn’t mean to imply any criticism to your logic, prediction, or analysis. I’m well aware that the time to ‘pay the piper’ comes around eventually. I was merely stating, that strictly for personal preference, I hope this coming summer is not the time to do so. Really hot and humid weather is far from one of my favorites!

        Tony (Pl. Prairie)

      • Well, we’re certainly “paying the piper” right now for the early spring weather we had last year.

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