LATEST FORECAST DISCUSSION
Meteorologist: Darren Maier
*MORE SNOW MELT & MILD TEMPERATURES THROUGH THE WEEKEND, FOLLOWED BY A WINTER STORM*
Mid and high clouds are on the increase tonight and will be with us the next few days as we eventually see more clouds in the forecast. This increase in clouds, combined with a light southwest flow will again keep temperatures up tonight, with lows in the lower 20's.
Another very mild day is likely on Friday as southwest breezes return with a partly sunny sky. Temperatures will continue to be at least 15 degrees above average and some towns have a shot at hitting 40 by later in the day. The mild weather will continue into, and even through this weekend, while we await the arrival of a winter storm.
Clouds are expected to fill in even more on Saturday but the mild pattern will continue with highs in the 30's. This will lead to more snow melt in the area but enjoyable temperatures to be outside for winter activities. Changes will begin to arrive on Sunday as a warm front to our south begins to lift up into the area while low pressure develops in the Southern Plains. This will be our next weather-maker and ultimately could be a rather significant storm for at least parts of the Upper Midwest.
As is the case most times in winter, the details remain unclear. A storm is likely to develop over Eastern Nebraska followed by an increase in strength and a track up to the northeast. How strong this storm ends up getting seems to be an important factor on the eventual track. One possibility is this strengthens quite a bit and slides up across the southern part of the state towards Green Bay. This would be too close to our area for an all snow event but we would still likely see some snow as the storm begins to move to our east and away on Monday. The other possibility would keep the storm a bit weaker and the track would stay further south, towards the Milwaukee area. After a brief mix, this would shift the heavier snow threat further south, over the Chippewa Valley. Either solution or one in between have merit at this point since this system hasn't even developed yet and the upper level energy that will lead to it forming is still out in the Pacific! So at this point it is still a wait and see situation.
Until the brunt of this system lifts up into our area by Sunday night, the day will be cloudy with an increasing chance of a wintry mix of precipitation. This could be a combination of snow/sleet/ice/rain but at this point it doesn't look to be very heavy or significant. Temperatures are forecast to again rise through the 30's. Precipitation is then expected to fill in and become more widespread into Sunday night and Monday. Any mix would likely change to snow but again as mentioned above, how quick this happens will all depend on the track of the storm. At this point Monday looks to be quite messy but the system should be moving away by the night time hours. Highs will be near freezing before some colder air arrives. Once this system moves away, the weather will dry out and cool off some next Tuesday and Wednesday but no significant cold air is in the forecast.