Joe’s Weather Blog: Weird Weather Alert

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Well these ups and downs are best when the ups are timed for the day time hours and the downs are timed to the night time hours…we’re kind of in a weird thing now that it’s almost the reverse.

For example…yesterday evening we dropped fast to about 30°, after a mild high of 46° or so. No problem right. Happens a lot during the winter, especially when the air is dry. Here’s the thing though, just above the surface there was a bubble of warm air coming through the region last last. This “warm” air (close to about 45°) a few thousand feet off the ground combined with the breeze last night and allowed temperatures to actually warm up overnight…so that when you woke up this morning, we were actually in the lower 40s. Here is a chart showing the rise in the temperatures overnight. We actually maxed out at 44° at 5:45 this morning.

ScreenHunter_16 Jan. 14 07.58

You can see the bubble of warmth overnight by looking at what’s happening a few thousand feet off the ground and utilizing the RAP model via NEXLAB.


The L across the upper Midwest is a compact but strong area of low pressure….so let’s work our way closer tot he ground now and take a look at the latest surface weather map.

It’s actually tough to make out the cold front, because of all the different airmasses out there this morning…one thing for sure there is a lot of wind out across the area this morning…we’ve already had wind gusting to 41 MPH.


So where is the precip with all this…that’s the rub. all these airmass changes are happening in a pretty dry airmass overall through the Plains states. So aside from clouds, that’s about it for us. Meanwhile it’s snowing to beat the band now across parts of WI and that is sliding to the ESE this morning.

Here is some information from the NWS in Milwaukee…looks like the worse, in terms of the snow will slide to their north…

That is mostly all rain up and down the east coast of the US. after a very dry fall there…they have been getting all the moisture it seems over the last couple of months while many areas of the Plains go lacking and that may not change much over the next couple of weeks…or thereabouts.

The air aloft will progressively get colder as the evening moves along and the storm near the Great Lakes wraps colder air into the region. The coldest air though will be moving off towards the east of here…so in a sense we’re sort of on the western edge of this airmass but the atmosphere will certainly be cooler through later tomorrow afternoon…when the whole process starts again…we warm up just above the surface tomorrow evening and turn colder again Thursday into Friday before we go through the whole process again (to a smaller extent) Friday night into Saturday.

With all this happening over the next few days you may be wondering IF we can time out the warm bubbles aloft with the daytime hours? The answer perhaps is YES and the timing would be Sunday. It’s very possible we could make a solid run toward or even above 65° Sunday afternoon (record is 66° in 1906) if things time out correctly. Always tough to forecast these rapid airmass movements that far into the future…but it looks promising. There may again be 30-40 MPH winds with this warm-up…but you might want to keep this in the back of your mind for outdoor activities.

Still not promising for any precipitation of significance for the foreseeable future. The pattern will be VERY amplified and that means very wavy aloft. The issue is that this will have a tendency to focus the more nasty cold weather of any duration across the eastern 1/3rd of the country and keep our cold shots more on a transient nature. In and out with pretty decent moderation in between. The other issue with this is that the west stays dry…and we’re caught in no mans land in terms of any potential storms or lack there off moving our way. Hopefully it changes but at least right this second…I really don’t like where we’re going through the most of the rest of the month in terms of getting some decent moisture here.

Speaking of the lack of moisture, Jack Deibolt,  one of our faithful viewers and weather aficionados wanted to illustrate our dry conditions long term over the past few years. Look at what he put together!

Here are his thoughts/comments!

Joe, here is a graphic I created using the spreadsheet I sent before. It shows the running departure from average (I had a meteorology prof who ingrained in me that we should never say “normal” in weather) and it really illustrates how bad things are when looking at the 2010s to date and how sharply things shifted in a more “permanent” way after mid 2012. We were really hurt in the summer months when average rains are 4-5″ per month and we barely got an inch or two, so to make up the averages as fast as we lost them, we’d need several summer months with 8-10″ rainfall totals or several winter months of 5-6″ totals – neither of which is likely. Summer rains are (spatially) far to spotty and the chance KCI hits the jackpot that many times is remote at best. Nov-Feb when our average monthly rains are 1-2″ and it would be “easiest” to make up the totals, there is usually not much access to deep moisture and with the prevailing westerlies or northwesterlies were at the far end of the long rain shadow of the Rockies, and even southwesterly winds around here come from the semi-arid higher terrain of west TX and NM.. not exactly the bonanza for big rains either. Interesting at any rate! Enjoy!

Thanks Jack for the input and for sharing with all our readers!

Have a great day and thanks for reading


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