Big Warm-Up Still On Track

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

Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog!  With quiet weather in store for Tuesday, I want to focus on the much anticipated warm-up that is finally showing up in the 7 day forecast.  The likely warm-up has been discussed here in the blog numerous times over the past month and a half.  So how is forecasting a big warm-up over a month in advance possible?

When making long range forecasts I use a weather pattern theory called the LRC.  The LRC states a unique weather pattern sets up each fall, and then begins to cycle or repeat.  Knowing the cycle duration(around 50 days this season) allows for accurate long range forecasts to be made.

Back on February 27 I made this statement right here in the blog when looking ahead to early April. 

While many are hoping for an early Spring, I just don’t see it this year for Wisconsin.  However, I do think the first good chance at highs in the 70s may be around April 7-11. 


Then on March 29 when I issued the long range April forecast I was even more specific!

This part of the pattern has occurred like clockwork in the 3 previous times through the cycle.  Each time producing a stretch of 2-3 days with temperatures at least 10 degrees above average!  I think the warmest days should occur somewhere between April 7-11, and the first 70s of the season are possible.

Each time the big warm-up came crashing down as a storm system moved into the region.  I expect that storm system to occur again around April 11 give or take a day or two. 

Until late Monday, most models had highs no where near 70 for Saturday or Sunday, but if you have been watching WISN 12 News over the past 3 days I been discussing a big warm-up for next weekend based solely on the LRC!  I will admit it is tough to go against the grain when mid-range models say one thing, and my experience tells me something else. 

Here are the reasons that I stuck with the warm-up.  I compared the past 2 times in the cycle, to what the models were forecasting for this coming weekend.  Here is the 500mb map from January 1, 2011, or 2 cycles ago.  The key feature is the upper level low over Minnesota and its position.

500mb January 1, 2011 Archive

Now look at the last time this part of the pattern repeated…around February 20-21.  Keep in mind this is at the 500mb level, or in the middle of the atmosphere.  The upper low of interest is over South Dakota and Minnesota.

500mb February 21, 2011 Archive

Now let’s look at how the GFS(Global Forecast System) computer model on Monday was handling this same feature that will repeat this weekend.  The map below is from the 12Z GFS and is valid Sunday Night.  This model shows the upper low over northeast Iowa.  This would mean temperatures would be cooler…as the warmer air at the surface would be farther east and south.

GFS 500mb Monday, April 11

By looking at the previous 2 times through the cycle, I was confident that the model was forecasting the position of the upper low too far east.  With a farther east forecast, surface temperatures would be much cooler in southeast Wisconsin.  By using the LRC and previous parts of the pattern(also looked back to November) I was able to determine that there was an error in the model, and that I should stick with the much warmer solution. 

Without the LRC there would be no way for me to know that weekend highs should be well above average!

After the 6pm news was complete on Monday, April 4 I wrote down the highs that all stations were forecasting for this coming weekend.

  • WISN  Saturday: 63   Sunday: 68
  • Other stations forecast range  Saturday: 50-57  Sunday: 50-54

Certainly anyone could be right at this point, and we can only look back after the weekend is complete.  But I just wanted to show this to highlight that not all weather forecasts are the same or formulated in the same way.

I look forward to this weekend and possibly our first run into the 70s!  We’ll also watch for storms as the cold front pushes in.  A lot to look forward too in the coming days!

What are your thoughts on this weekend and the LRC?  Just let me know in the comments section of the blog.

Have a great day!

Jeremy Nelson


28 Responses

  1. I love how progressive you guys are! I’d be willing to bet you’re right about 60s this weekend 🙂 You guys are always the most accurate and the LRC sure helps!

    • Dan,

      Thanks for sharing. I hope it warms up too, we deserve some 60s or 70s!


  2. I hope your right. I like to get my Christmas lights down and if I am shorts, that would be great!

    • Jim,

      May be a good weekend for yard work, taking lights down etc.


  3. I think the only wild card on Sunday would be the timing and frequency of any storms. Either way, it shouldn’t be a repeat of yesterday since the dew points should be in the 50s.

    • Daniel,

      I couple wild cards in my mind, but the positives out weigh the negatives. I think storms are possible later Sunday or Sunday night. Should be a pretty strong cold front that swings through.


  4. Jeremy,

    Can’t wait for the weekend to see how the forecast pans out. Even the NWS is saying upper 50’s Sat & Sun for Waukesha county.

    Also, do you anticipate moderate to strong storms around here Thur night?


    Michael R.

    • Michael,

      Our storms lately have produced some hail, so let’s watch for the possibility as Thursday Night nears. With severe wx I like to get more specific the day of to see moisture, temps, and where boundaries are located(like any leftover outflow boundaries).

      We may need to watch out Sunday-Monday too.


      • Hah! Jeremy, this morning, the NWS ‘updated’ their forecast for Sunday for Waukesha county for low 70s!

        Hee hee…..


      • Yeah…yesterday they had mid-50s. I’ve been writing down all the forecasts from various sources. No one else talked 70s in February, March, for this week until today. Looking forward to the warm-up!


  5. February 27th. Think about that.

    • A severe weather outbreak? Would be April 18ish.


  6. Jeremy, I am feeling your forecast. The LRC paralleled with your knowledge and analysis is pretty much gospel around these parts these days.

    I was working with my surface data this past weekend thinking of a way to forecast temps using the LRC. I came up with a very crude and simplistic formula that proved to have a 50% verification within a 10-15 degree range during cycle 3 & 4. Check out the graphs linked below.

    The formula is basically the mean deviation from average during the cycles for the particular day using the temp from that day, the day before and the day after. Kinda ridiculous, I know. What do you think?

    The graph says it should certainly be near or above 60 in mybackyard this weekend. 🙂

    • Josh,

      Thanks for reading and sharing the LRC with others. I heard you were at a luncheon and discussed it with some other mets. Interesting responses:)


  7. Jeremy, the other stations go by conventional tools and have no original thinking with weather forecasting. But you guys have the LRC and it has proven itself all winter. Almost feel bad for the competition, almost ; )

    • Bryan,

      I can’t speak on how others forecast, but we will use any means possible to provide viewers with the most accurate forecast. Using models, theories, ect.


  8. I’m getting a kick out of one of the competitor’s facebook pages that basically calls you guys out and sadly there are many responses that support their comments. It looks like there could be a rivalry starting up here.

    • Daniel,

      We can judge after the weather occurs. Right now just a forecast, anyone could be right. But I stand by any forecast our team makes.


  9. When will you start offering pollen counts etc? As an allergy sufferer I feel like things are already starting to happen.

    • Sam,

      Good point, we’ll talk about this more very soon. Pollen count should be on our site, if not I’ll look into that on Wednesday.


  10. NWS now has 75 for Sunday and the GFS has a trough in the Pacific and a ridge of high pressure/warmer air in the midwest east for Sunday. The LRC does it again! It just took the software about an extra 3 days to catch up with what Jeremy has been saying. Good job.

    • Bryan,

      This part of the pattern is one of the most obvious. Just think, anyone can use the LRC, some choose to not even give it a chance. I think that will change in the years to come.


  11. Now you are beating the NWS? Love it. I also echo Daniel G.’s comments about a competitor’s Facebook page basically calling your forecast out for this weekend as I was a little surprised by the action. Well surprise surprise, the aforementioned competitor has now updated their weekend forecast to begin falling more in line with Ch. 12. I will just be sticking with you guys for my weather forecasting needs. Keep it up and keep thinking outside the box.

    • Nick,

      Here at Weather Watch 12 we are not going to worry about what the other guys do. We take pride in our forecasts. I’m also surprised more are not using the LRC, but that is truly our advantage.


  12. Great job on the forecast! A lot of the other forecasts had 50s and maybe 60 for the sunday forecast but have now changed it to where your forecast is. You saw this warm-up coming first, and know i know why i am always on this website. Im excited for the possibility of sever weather on sunday, and even noaa has us in the area of severe weather on sunday and usually they dont make severe weather predictions that far out. We’ll have to see though.

    • Justin,

      The LRC comes through time after time. Thanks for watching and reading.


  13. The SPC has us in the severe risk area for Sunday. That’s six days out. Ages from a meteorological standpoint

    • Robert,

      Remember…along with the warmup there has also been an impressive storm system and cold front each time. I talked about the front and rain chances too.

      Yes, 6 days out is pretty far for the SPC. There are a couple good severe wx chances this month. Thanks for the post.


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