Dry Spell Continues, Sprinklers on Standby

***Happy 4th of July from the entire Weather Watch 12 team!***

Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog!  Anytime the word ‘dry spell’ and a holiday weekend are mentioned in the same sentence it can only mean good news!

Sunday marked the 10th consecutive day with no rain at Milwaukee’s Mitchell Airport.  That streak will get extended to at least 11 days after the 4th of July.  So we are in the middle of the longest dry spell so far in 2011!

The dry weather on Sunday was accompanied by some high clouds.  The clouds were blown off showers and t-storms over Iowa and Missouri.  Any rain stayed well to our south.  Below is the visible satellite image from Sunday afternoon.  The high clouds are labeled, and so is an area in Minnesota and Wisconsin where skies were sunny. 

Visible Satellite Sunday July 3

The sunshine will spread over all of southern Wisconsin for the 4th of July, and with dew points around 60, and highs in the low 80s, it looks fantastic!  One way to forecast cloud cover is to use the NAM computer model’s water/ice forecast in all levels of the atmosphere.  Keep in mind that clouds are made of water(low/mid level clouds…like cumulus clouds) and ice(high clouds…think cirrus).  When no moisture is forecast in our area as shown by the map below, that should mean a sunny 4th!

NAM Forecast Clouds July 4

With the dry weather and highs recently 80 or warmer, we are beginning to dry out at the surface.  Some rain would be nice this week, but the chances are looking low at this point.  A weak front will near the area later Tuesday and into Wednesday.  An isolated shower or t-storm is possible, but not probably at this point.

The RPM computer model rainfall forecast through Wednesday at 1pm is shown below.  The main thing to take away from this image is that even if it does rain, it may not be much.  Milwaukee is labeled with an ‘*’ on the map.

RPM Rainfall July 6

Overall a quiet stretch of weather ahead, and one that I’m sure most will enjoy.  For now you may want to keep the sprinkler on standby as gardens and lawns may need a drink very soon.

If you have any thoughts or questions please share them in the comments section of the blog.  Have a happy and safe 4th of July!

Jeremy Nelson


5 Responses

  1. Sunday, July 3, 2011 4:46 pm

    Quite interesting (and kinda scary) video briefing available on the NWS/Chicago website about the recent ‘supercell’ storm that hit the lakeshore areas south of Milwaukee. Hate to think what would have happened should that ‘thing’ have moved another mile or two west before hitting Racine!

    Jeremy, do you think that small downward funnel like shape visible in the photo I sent turned into the waterspout reported off of Zion, Ill? Probably no way of knowing for sure, but I was curious if perhaps it could have been.

    Tony (Pl. Prairie)

    • Tony,

      There is really no way to make that determination from this still image. If I was there watching the storm to see where that feature was located, and if it was rotating I could give an opinion. So the answer could have been yes or no:)


      • Jeremy,

        For whatever it’s worth, I did not notice any obvious rotation. I’m estimating that ‘feature’ was at least 5 miles distance from me and I really didn’t pay much attention to it at the time. I do recall at the time thinking, oh, there’s one of those cloud features that people often mistake for a funnel cloud and let it go at that. Wasn’t til I heard about the waterspout off of Zion and watching the video briefing that got me thinking about the picture. Thanks for offering your opinion.

        Tony (Pl. Prairie)

  2. What kind of clouds on the model are those represented by supercooled?

    • Well…alto cumulus is one type of cloud to have supercooled water, meaning the droplets are still liquid even though they are below 0 celcius.


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