Cold And Snow Linger, Plus Meet The Weather Team

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

Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog!  Before we discuss our current and future weather, I want to take a moment to talk about an opportunity for you to meet the Weather Watch 12 team and learn more about Wisconsin’s weather.  Here are the details:

  • ‘Spring Discovery’ at Discovery World Museum in Milwaukee
  • Time: 1:30-3:00pm, Sunday – March 27
  • Cost: $12 (special discounted admission to Discovery World, good for the entire day)
  • Presentation will cover severe weather in Wisconsin with demonstrations, video presentations, and giveaways!
  • Your chance to meet the entire Weather Watch 12 team!

If you are going to be there, please drop a note in the comments section of the blog.  I would love to take some pictures with bloggers and post them here on Sunday evening.  I hope to see you Sunday!

Now onto our spring weather, that really looks and feels more like winter.  It’s not often that we get to talk about lake effect snow in late March, but that will be the case for at least another day.

Cold air riding on northeast winds will continue to produce some scattered lake effect snow showers and flurries on Sunday.  The snow showers will be most numerous in the morning.  Our high resolution computer model, the RPM, shows the northeast winds, and some snow(in blue) below.  With winds turning more northeast, and eventually north-northeast late in the day I think the snow showers will stay a little closer to the lake on Sunday.

RPM Surface Forecast Sunday   

Any snow accumulations early Sunday should stay in the trace to 1″ range.  Main roads would likely just be wet from the bands of snow showers.

Outside of the snow, a bigger story may be the cold temperatures.  The average high in Milwaukee is now 46 degrees.  Saturday’s high was only 30, tying for the coldest so far in March!  More low 30s are in the forecast Sunday.  The late March cold snap extends all the way through the Midwest.  Look at the RPM forecast temperatures for Sunday, some mid-30s showing up in Missouri.  Keep in mind average highs there are now near 60!

RPM Forecast Temperatures Sunday

The cold weather will continue through at least Wednesday this week with highs in the 30s.  With the cold weather in place, a storm system will slide by our area late Tuesday.  The exact track of the storm is not set, but I think most of the energy will stay to our south.

If we do end up on the northern fringe of the storm, snow would be the likely precipitation type.  Below is the RPM forecast surface map for 4pm Tuesday.  The snow will have to overcome dry air in place over southern Wisconsin, but it looks like a close call.  Watch 12 News for updates on this feature.

RPM Tuesday Surface Forecast

Finally, before we end this discussion I want to share a comparison that I did today with the weather pattern around April 1.  Just a quick refresher for anyone new reading this blog entry.  I use a weather pattern theory called the LRC to forecast long range.  The theory states that the weather pattern sets up each fall, and then begins to cycle.  The cycle duration this year is 46-52 days, with most events repeating around 50 days.

With that said, I looked at the 18Z GFS forecast 500mb chart for April 1, and compared that to 149 days ago, or 3 cycles ago.  What I found even amazed me!

Below is the 500mb GFS FORECAST map for Friday, April 1.

500mb GFS Forecast April 1 

Now compare that to the archived 500mb chart from November 3, 2010.  The features are almost spot on, and the pattern continues to repeat!

500mb November 3, 2010 Archived Map

This is a way that I check to see if the long range models like the GFS are believable, by comparing them to past parts of the cycle.

If you ever have questions about the LRC, or are new to the blog just let me know in the comments section of the blog.

Have a great day and I hope to see you on Sunday at Discovery World!

Jeremy Nelson


12 Responses

  1. I have always been fascinated by the weather. My husband and I are so looking foreward to your presentations tomorrow.
    Joan and Garret Nakama (parents of Nate Nakama-former associate producer, now working for KHON in Honolulu)

    • Joan,

      Great to hear you are coming on Sunday, please say hi! Please have your son send some warm weather back to WI!


  2. Jeremy, how is the warm up April 6th-11th looking? I checked the long range GFS yesterday and it didn’t look very impressive.

    • Bryan,

      It likely won’t be warm all of those days that I mentioned, but likely 2-3 should be above average. Trust the LRC:)

      Hope to see you tomorrow.


    • None of the past warm-ups were advertised in the long range either. The GFS can’t even get a decent handle on Tuesday night’s storm. Since last night, it went from giving us a snowstorm to missing us the furthest south out of all the models.

      • Daniel,

        Another good example is the extent of the cold right now. Models were not cold enough in advance of this weekend. Looking at the long range does make me nervous, but I trust we’ll see a warm-up around the start of the second week of April. Should be fun to watch!


  3. Euro may be a bit fast…but this looks interesting…!Geopotential%20500%20hPa%20and%20Temperature%20at%20850%20hPa!216!North%20America!pop!od!oper!public_plots!2011032700!!/

    Something similar to….

    But..the main show really should come behind it a few days. This part of the pattern is a second sorta “signature” storm as it has been a weather maker each time as well..just not as big as the other one.

    Spring is coming in full force!

  4. Jeremy, I can’t make your special at Discovery World today. Is there a chance of seeing it online or some other way to catch it.

    • Kevin,

      The Discovery World presentation was a huge success! I think we are doing another one this Fall…hope to see you then. The presentation will not be available online…sorry.


  5. I have a basic LRC question. What makes the pattern start in the fall as opposed to different parts of the year?

    • @Craig – it is proposed that when the jet is the weakest in late Summer, the pattern changes. There are other pieces that may also play into it. Once the pattern is set in late Fall, it continues on into early/mid Summer.

    • Craig,

      That is the million dollar question! Once more research is done, I think more solid ideas will surface. Thanks for reading.


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