Great 4th, Lake Warming, And Storm Chances

Happy 4th of July from Weather Watch 12.  It was a wonderful 3-day weekend of weather. Highs in the 80s all three days. I hope you all enjoyed the great weather.

Jeremy mentioned it yesterday, but we are in our longest streak of the year without measurable rainfall. Today makes 11 days. After many cloudy, snowy, and rainy days for the first half of 2011, this streak has been nice. It is amazing how fast the surface soil dries. We could actually use some rain. We have a chance late tomorrow, but not a great chance. A cold front will move through Wisconsin on Tuesday arriving in our area late in the afternoon. A few storms are possible along the front. We will monitor for a slight chance of severe weather. Here is our high-resolution model for tomorrow afternoon at 5pm.

The RPM model is more liberal in putting in storms than the other models. For those of you hoping for rain, I hope the RPM verifies. I have mentioned this before, but the RPM has a very good track record for a 24 hour forecast. It is my model of choice for a one-day forecast. Here are the NAM and GFS models for Tuesday evening.

I would not count on getting rainfall, but a few locations in our area will likely at least get some rain. The rest of the week looks dry and sunny. Cooler and less humid air will be around Wednesday-Friday.

The sunny skies, light winds, and warm temperatures the last few days have dramatically warmed Lake Michigan. The surface water has warmed more than 10 degrees in one week. When there is light winds, upwelling does not occur. Upwelling is when the cooler waters in the deeper sections of the lake are transported to the surface. This happens when wind pushes the surface water and allows the cooler waters to move upward. Take a look at the lake surface temperature as measured from space.

Keep in mind this is the surface. It is much cooler just a few feet down. Here are temperatures of Lake Michigan for the last five years.

Most of this spring and early summer have been below the temperatures of the last few years. If we continue to have light winds, that could change.

Have a great week.



11 Responses

  1. I just love Wisconsin. After hearing everybody whine all spring about the wetness and coldness, we FINALLY get sustained warmth and dryness and the “raindancers” come out, crying that …”we need rain”!

    • Patrick,
      It is a no win situation. I have loved this stretch. I feel like we earned it after our nasty spring.


      • I didn’t mean to be negative. What an awesome July 4th weekend! Summerfest could not have asked for a better start.

      • How many years in the business and you STILL can’t please EVERYONE??
        Come on Mark; you’re just not trying hard enough!! 🙂

        Cordially, < honestly
        Tony (Pl. Prairie)

  2. Any chance that the recent influx of storms over the Lake have contributed to the surface temps warming/cooling at all (or vice versa)? I don’t think I’ve seen that much sustained activity over Lake Michigan for awhile. Surely that must have churned the waters quite a bit.

  3. Hi Mark, Jeremy, and all!

    A brief review of the Holiday weekend from Reeseville — in Dodge County — we were above 90 and very humid on on Friday, Saturday, and Monday. Sunday was the nicest day “temperature wise” in my opinion– 80’s and very low humidity. Today as of this writing, we are already 94 degrees. Today will make at least ten days of 90+ degree highs here beginning with the early June heat wave. My wife is beginning to distrust the LRC long range forecast — she was depending on the “cooler than normal” part so we didn’t have to use the AC as much. But it seems like we’ve had it on just as much as any othe rsummer. I guess that goes along with living in an “inland county.”

    Looking forward to Wed through Friday w/ less humidity.

    Jeremy — you mentioned possibly really hot on July 19 — do you see an extended heat wave as we had in June or just a brief blast??


    • Don – Milwaukee was cooler than normal for June per the NWS data. In fact, 4 of the 5 reporting stations listed on the NWS/Milwaukee climate page showed below average temperatures for the sites in Wisconsin.

      • Hi, lrcweather!

        Overall, I suppose we were cooler {and wetter} than normal for both May and June in our area too. It’s just that when you’re under “the big heat lamp” for5 days or more at a time, with the high humidity, you tend to forget the “overall” picture because it gets washed out by all the sweat 🙂

        I have to remember that alot of the lrc based forecast info applies mostly to the coutnies nearer the lakeshore and not us so far inland.
        Thanks for the reply!


      • Hello bloggers! The Weather Watch 12 blog moved to its new home today. There is a link directly to the blog on the main page of right now. The link under ‘Weather’ will be updated hopefully by Wednesday at the latest. With any move there will be a couple of bumps in the road. Overall I think this will help the blog as a whole. It will also allow our mobile readers to view the blog, which was not possible before.

        If you do not have a U-Local account already…please set one up. It takes about a minute, and then you will be able to comment in the blog like always. Also, feel free to share the new blog on your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets.

        Again, please hang in there while we iron out a few things this week.


    • Madison and Chicago were +1.2 for June. Green Bay and Milwaukee were cooler by about either side of a degree. The features seemed to fall into place during the month, but the overall results are starting to fluctuate a little more. Either way, the pattern seems to have broken for the most part now. Dry and warm weather has taken over and it won’t be a repeat of 2009 or 2004 like some had feared.

      • In my opinion, the patterns are still cycling, just a bit further north. It is quite evident the jet has weakened and is retreating north.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: