Smoke On Radar & Warm Days Ahead

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Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog!  Meteorological summer began today(Wednesday), which runs from June 1 through August 31.  Temperatures will finally resemble summer rather than early spring this week.  In today’s blog we’ll discuss another warm-up for late week.

But first, I want to show you something a bit unusual that showed up on the radar.  With sunny skies and no threat of rain in the forecast on Wednesday.  The NEXRAD radar site out of the National Weather Service in Sullivan was placed in ‘clear air mode’.  This saves power, and is also more sensitive.  So the radar can pick up things like birds, bugs, dust, buildings, etc. 

During the afternoon hours on Wednesday, there was a controlled burn in Dodge county in the Horicon Marsh.  This burn sent up smoke that was carried east by the westerly winds.  The smoke was detected on radar.  The radar return extended from northeast Dodge county almost due east into northern Ozaukee county.

See the radar image below from Wednesday afternoon.  The smoke plume is located just below the label on the map.

Horicon Fire June 1

Not only can radars detect smoke, but I’ve also seen them show large flocks of birds.

The quiet weather in southern Wisconsin should continue through much of Thursday.  With winds out of the east-southeast cooler weather will prevail, especially near Lake Michigan.  Highs will remain in the 60s near the lake.

By Friday, a warm front will lift north allowing highs to once again jump into the 80s!  Just how warm Milwaukee and other lakeshore locations get will depend on when the wind direction changes to a south or southwest wind.  Right now highs in the 80s look good.

Below is the surface forecast map from the HPC for late Friday.

Surface Map Friday June 3

The summery weather will begin to cooldown over the upcoming weekend.  At least we are talking 60s, 70s, and 80s for highs in the forecast, not the upper 40s that we experienced twice last week!

If you haven’t done so already, make sure to join our new Facebook page!  We give weather updates several times a day, and post watch and warning information when severe weather hits our area.  Just click the link below to join!

WISN Weather Facebook Page

If you have any weather questions, please drop them off in the comments section of the blog.

Have a great day!

Jeremy Nelson


10 Responses

  1. Jeremy —

    Today is an absolutely perfect day from my perspective, w/ the exception of it could be a bit less windy. I don’t mind it warmer — but when it combines w/ the humidity like Monday, it’s hard for me to be outdoors. Guess it’s a “since I turned 50” kind of thing.

    Do you expect Friday to be heat and humidity or just warm?

    Is this the LRC-inspired trend for our summer season, do you think — a brief heat-up, then cooler, less humid?

    Don {Reeseville}

    PS — we had smoke in the rural part of our community too today — barn fire!

    • I think when it all comes down to it, a majority of people favor 70s and 80s with reasonable humidity which is why this should be a great summer if the storms don’t become too frequent during the daytime hours. Last summer we had a lot of storms, but many of those occurrences fell between the evening and early morning hours and made for many rain free days. If we can just get that to happen again, we’ll be looking good.

  2. Very interesting…I didn’t know radars could detect something like that.

    • Spencer,

      The nexrad radar is quite sensitive. Smoke contains particles that reflect back to the radar so it appears as light rain.


  3. Hi Jeremy!

    Have to admit I was more than just a bit skeptical of all that ‘possibly 90 degrees Memorial Day Weekend talk’! Of course I’ve been following along with the LRC info presented in the blog since last Oct or so and as the old saying goes, “it’s pretty hard to argue with success”. Even so, a prediction of 90 seemed to be stretching things a bit, even for the LRC! Well, the big warmup came and there were plenty of 90’s around! Nice piece of work on your part!

    Tony (Pl. Prairie)

    • Tony,

      Hard not to believe in LRC when you see the proof.


    • Tony and all,

      The LRC is a great tool that aides us in long range forecasting. It is the only method that I know to make detailed long range forecasts. As summer wears on, the pattern will be more difficult to follow, and eventually the LRC for this season will fade. But the exciting thing is when the current pattern fades, a new LRC pattern isn’t far away.

      So who will leave comment number 4,000 all-time in the blog. We are just 1 away!


  4. The smoke is pretty cool…I like watching bird migrations as well…LOL

    • There it is…comment number 4000 all-time in the blog! Thank you to everyone who adds to the conversation each day!


    • Big congrat’s for #4000 comment!

      Tony (Pl. Prairie)

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