The Upper Midwest has had a consistent, cyclical pattern of late, generally transpiring over the course of a week or so. Warm over the weekend and through the early part of the week, then the threat of a little bit of precipitation, very cold by Thursday and warming up again for the weekend. It’s happening this week, and it happened last week in Green Bay. Forecasters generally saw that pattern and latched on to it in their forecast. The issue came down to temperature, as forecasters were a couple degrees too warm for where this cycle ended up falling in line. There was a three way tie atop the standings in the end, with the Weather Service, Weather Nation and Forecast.io splitting the winning share. Actuals: Thursday – High 15, Low -7 Friday – High 31, Low 3
The drive from eastern Wisconsin to central South Carolina, if taken today, would be slowed mightily by rain gripping a wide swath of the eastern United States. We will start this two day trek tomorrow, though, so nothing to fear! The drive will cover 1,013 miles, which we will in turn cover at a pace of 65.3mph. The second day will be a little bit shorter, by a half hour or so, and our target distance on Tuesday will be 523 miles. all very manageable, yes?
DAY ONE (Tuesday)
Low pressure moving through the eastern portion of the country is gradually unraveling today, and will continue to tomorrow. That means that precipitation which was translating quickly earlier in the week is slowing way down. None of it is reaching into Wisconsin, so the drive south towards the Illinois line should be drama free, but when we hit the Windy City, there is a pretty good chance it will be snowing. The snow will continue in this inverted trough south through Indiana, with a gradual change to rain south of Indianapolis. Precipitation won’t be heavy, but it won’t need to be to slow travel down. We’ll reach the eastern suburbs of Louisville, particularly the town of Middletown, by the end of the day.
DAY TWO (Wednesday) The back end of that system will swing to the south overnight. The dry slot will disappear from west of the Appalachians, and the light snow will return to our route, and last through our drive in Kentucky. We will turn south at Lexington and there might be a window of dry air by the time we reach Knoxville, which should last us through the rain shadow afforded by the Smokey Mountains from Asheville to Spartanburg, but the cold front associated with this low will start to redevelop on Wednesday afternoon. More rain will move into Columbia from the south, and will be there to greet us upon our arrival.
When you think of beachfront communities, I’m not sure Green Bay and Lake Michigan often come to mind. Northeast of Green Bay is Door County, though, which is an idyllic vacation spot. In the summer, though, probably not right now.
At 953AM, CT, Green Bay was reporting clear skies and a temperature of only 7 degrees. Clear dry air prevailed in the Dairy State thanks to the west winds, though some clouds were seen in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan thanks to flow coming off of Lake Superior, which has remained open this winter. Surface high pressure is in control thanks to a broad trough lying along the southern third of the country. Unfortunately, with the jet as far south as it is, warm air is pinned in the Gulf, and the ridge is particularly chilly. A shortwave upper level trough is translating through the Great Lakes as well, functioning similarly to a thermal trough, though mostly because it is left without a source of moisture. Still, as it pivots away from the area, a warm up can be anticipated simply due to the increased sun angle as we approach spring. Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 16, Low -4 Friday – Sunny and warmer, High 34, low 6
TWC: Tomorrow – Mainly sunny. High 15, Low -3 Friday – A mainly sunny sky high 33, Low 5
AW: Tomorrow – Very cold with plenty of sunshine High 16, Low -3 Friday – Not as cold with plenty of sun High 33, low 6
NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 16, Low -4 Friday – Sunny, High 32, low 5
WB: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 13, Low -3 Friday – Sunny, High 31, Low 6
WN: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 16, Low -4 Friday – Sunny, High 32, low 5
FIO: Tomorrow – Clear throughout the day. High 16, low -4 Friday – Windy in the afternoon and evening. High 33, Low 4
Brr! Ok, this is probably another reason most people don’t think of Green Bay and beaches. here is the satellite imagery. A lot of the white is actually snow on the ground, rather than clouds.