Winter Forecast Revisited

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

Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog.  Make sure to check out yesterday’s blog in entry on the tornadoes that hit Wisconsin on Sunday.

The National Weather Service has now confirmed 10 tornadoes hit the state on Sunday.  The storm surveys continue, so this number could change.  Check out the story on WISN.com about the tornadoes with damage video by clicking here 

A description of where the tornado outbreak ranks is below.

APRIL 10 2011 WILL GO DOWN AS ONE OF THE BIGGER TORNADO OUTBREAKS IN
WISCONSIN HISTORY.  IT IS TIED FOR THE BIGGEST TORNADO OUTBREAK IN
TERMS OF NUMBERS OF TORNADOES IN ONE DAY IN THE MONTH OF APRIL
(APRIL 27 1984-WALES F4 IN WAUKESHA COUNTY – 10 TORNADOES THAT DAY)

In today’s blog we will revisit the winter forecast that was issued here in the blog on November 23 based on the LRC, or Lezak’s Recurring Cycle.

The text of that forecast can be read here: November 23  And the video forecast that I did on WISN 12 News on November 23 can be viewed here: Winter Forecast 2010-2011

The one memory that everyone will take away from this past winter will be the ‘Groundhog Day Blizzard’.  Over the span of two days many areas of southeast Wisconsin saw anywhere from 12 to 24 inches of snow.  Milwaukee’s total for February 1-2 was 17.6″, and the wind gusted to 60mph!

Here are two pictures from that storm.  The first is from Virginia of Kenosha.  This picture shows her neighbor shoveling snow from a window, because his front door was blocked by snow.

Blizzard 2011 Kenosha

The next picture is from Somers, WI (near Kenosha) of the Schultz family.  This picture was taken after they spent hours clearing their driveway.

Kenosha Snow February 2, 2011

Now let’s see how the winter forecast made on November 23 did compared to the actual weather conditions that were recorded from December through March at Milwaukee’s Mitchell Airport. 

Here is the winter temperature forecast posted on November 23

Temperatures

  • Near Average
  • Multiple below zero readings, something Milwaukee did not record once last winter!
  • A good chance of at least one month having below average temperatures

Temperatures for December through March finished 0.8 degrees below average.  This was near average in Milwaukee.  The winter also produced two below zero readings in Milwaukee.  And the months of December and March were both around 1.5 degrees below average. 

Now let’s re-examine the snowfall forecast for this winter.  Here is the forecast from November 23.

Snowfall

  • 50 to 60 inches across southeastern Wisconsin
  • 10 to 20 inches more than last winter

The December-March total for Milwaukee was 60.7″.  This total was very close to the high range of the snowfall forecast.  Some parts of our viewing area were higher than 60.7″, and some were lower than 60.7″.

Overall for the first attempt at a winter forecast here in southeast Wisconsin using the LRC, I am very happy with the outcome.  Both the temperature and snowfall forecast were very close to the actual forecast made in November. 

Not only did this forecast fair well, but as the winter progressed we continued to provide specific forecasts that highlighted potentially big storms weeks in advance.  That is something you will find no where else in Milwaukee.

If any snow would fall the rest of April I will add it to the final total, but in my mind it is now time to focus on spring!

Have a great day!

Jeremy Nelson

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6 Responses

  1. Jeremy, I believe your interpretation of the LRC did a damn good job forecasting winter for SE WI. Top notch.

    That brings me to this weekend. Did you see the GFS snowfall forecast? Oshkosh is currently forecast in a significant accumulation area. I am thinking…

    Nov 21-23
    Jan 9-12
    Feb 26-28

    I will admit, this is a difficult one for me.

    • Josh,

      The latest GFS isn’t as cold for this weekend, still very chilly though. It does look like a late season snow could occur over parts of Wisconsin. I’ll check on the dates for this weekend’s storm.

      Jeremy

    • Josh,

      I like this comparison. About 150 days apart.

      http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/dailywxmap/dwm_500ht_20101118.html

      Jeremy

      • Very interesting!!

        I was so bent on Nov 12-15 being this past storm, I didn’t think that Nov 17-18 could possibly be in the same time frame in the cycle for this weekends storm so I tossed those dates out.

        Thanks for the insight. Perhaps I leaped a couple days ahead. I will analyze it more this evening!

        Always learning…

      • Josh,

        That first cycle was about 47ish days. So the quicker timeframe is possible. I just went right off map comparisons, I’ll check out the surface too.

        Jeremy

      • Jeremy, I believe I was certainly a couple days ahead of the pattern with my first analysis. Regardless the accuracy of this second analysis, going through the motions of the archived maps and seeing the flow of each cycle can do no harm.

        http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/dailywxmap/dwm_500ht_20101119.html

        51 days to this…

        http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/dailywxmap/dwm_500ht_20110108.html

        49 days to this…

        http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/dailywxmap/dwm_500ht_20110225.html

        and then 52 days to this…

        It took sometime for January to become some what clear to me.

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