Wednesday, January 18, 2017 Latest Update: 6:25 AM
Clouds and locally dense fog have developed, with visibility down below a quarter mile in some places. Conditions are worse off to our east where a Dense Fog Advisory is in effect from Wood County over toward Green Bay. All of the recent precipitation and some melting yesterday has made for a very saturated atmosphere. Temperatures are still around freezing but we are expecting to drop a few additional degrees this morning leading to a refreezing of some of those big, slushy puddles so use caution driving!
The pattern is a mild one in the coming days as the long advertised January thaw has now begun. The polar branch of the jet stream which delivers arctic air masses into the U.S. will remain well to the north, with a milder, Pacific jet dominating. This means temperatures will likely run between 10-20 degrees above normal in this scenario, which is forecast to continue through at least this next weekend.
A foggy and cloudy start to the day, but with high pressure in the general area, some sunshine will be returning, leading to a nice afternoon. Highs will be in the upper 30s. Winds will also remain fairly light. Unfortunately any sunshine will not stick around for long as more low level moisture arrives from the south. A front is expected to develop and slowly lift north into the Midwest in the coming days. This will lead to the return of clouds and eventually some precipitation.
Those clouds should begin to increase again Wednesday night into Thursday, with a rising chance to even see a bit of drizzle develop by later in the day. It will remain mild, with highs around 40°. The front will then lift north into the area on Friday. This is when chances look to be highest for some precipitation. Though a bit of a wintry mix will be possible in places at times, the milder temperatures will prevail, bringing predominantly rain to the area. The best chance to see any mix would likely be at night when temperatures cool off some. Showers on Friday will come with highs in the upper 30s.
An area of low pressure will be spinning to our west, with not much net motion through the weekend. The close proximity to our area will likely keep clouds around and the chance for occasional light rain or drizzle. The flow will remain from the south, bringing highs up around 40° through the weekend. This system could still produce a little wet weather into Monday before finally drying out. Temperatures will remain mild but early indications are that colder air will be looming to our west and should make a return by later next week.
-Meteorologist Monica Ott