December, 2012

Lack of Snow Along the Lakeshore

December 20th, 2012 at 7:35 pm by under Weather

I am sorry that it took a while to get this to social media but my television responsibilities come first. We have been numerous comments on my snow forecast from yesterday. Basically everyone away from Lake Michigan thinks we did an excellent job, while the people right along the Lakeshore think we were pretty bad. Before I try to explain what was good and bad, let me say that the Lakeshore counties will be getting snow overnight.

I have dropped the amounts I am forecasting, but there should be accumulation as the wind direction changes and the temperature drops a little. The temperature drop will also help lead to more blowing snow overnight. Most of the area will continue with accumulating snow and strong winds that will gust over 40 mph through about 1 AM for central sections and through 4 AM along the Lakeshore. This is the updated forecast for total snowfall.

I am expecting snow to continue early tonight and most of the area will get 2-4 additional inches after 7 PM tonight. Including the lakeshore, due to falling temps and changing wind direction. What had hurt the snowfall totals within a few miles of Lake Michigan was a combination of wind direction, warm lake waters, and temperatures that were close for snow already. With the storm center passing to our south, we had Northeast winds off the lake for much of the day. Lake Michigan is at roughly 44 degrees right now and with the winds over the lake it helps warm the lowest levels of the atmosphere a few degrees. From what I saw, temperatures along the lakeshore where about 2 degrees warmer than the rest of the area all day long. That 2 degrees was enough to keep the precipitation as a rainy mix. While it was heavy snow in Fond du Lac at 34 degrees, there was a rainy mix in Manitowoc at 36 degrees and a snowy mix in Sturgeon Bay and Marinette at 35 degrees. If the lowest few hundred feet of the atmosphere had not been slightly warmed by Lake Michigan, Manitowoc would have around 11 inches of snow. Obviously, Manitowoc doesn’t have much in the way of snow at all.


This is the temperature profile from this afternoon in Green Bay…..

I highlighted the Freezing line in blue, the temperature profile of the atmosphere is in red. You can easily tell that it was snow falling, but the snow was melting in the final few hundred feet along the lakeshore, below the black line I drew in. I thought that the lakeshore would mix at the start, at least the first few hours, then switch over as the intensity of the snow increased. This happens often enough that I was expecting it. Reality is that the warm lake waters kept the lakeshore as a mix, and that will not change until the wind direction turns to the north or northwest. That wind shift is already occuring, so please have a little patience. You will get some snow tonight, but more than half of my forecasted snow fell as a 35 degree rainy mix today.

Snowstorm headed for the Great Lakes Thursday

December 16th, 2012 at 10:24 am by under Weather

While it’s still may days away, weather forecasting tools called computer models are indicating a big storm for the Great Lakes this Thursday.  The storm will have abundant moisture, a strong low pressure system, and lots of wind.  These conditions along with cold air on the back side of the storm will produce large amounts of snow. 

If the storms stay on track  parts of Wisconsin could see 8 to 12 inches of snow.  Heavy snow would have a major impact on holiday travelers by both car and air Thursday and Friday.

We are closely monitoring this potent storm so check back to and Fox 11 News for the latest forecast.

The maps below show the position of Blizzard Allison on the left, and the forecast for Thursday’s storm on the right.  While not quite as strong or large as Allison, Thursday’s storm has the eastern half of Wisconsin under the sweet spot for heaviest possible snowfall!       


Winter Storm Alan Snow Totals

December 11th, 2012 at 8:28 am by under News, Weather

Winter Storm Alan arrived Sunday morning; the snow continued through the day and made Green Bay look like…well, Green Bay for the national television audience on Sunday night football.  The snow was light for the most part and started falling when temperatures were a bit above freezing so amounts were held down but 3 to 6 inches fell in most areas.

A great website to check out the snow totals of any day can be seen by clicking here.

If you’re wondering just how official measurements are taken and why the totals aren’t the same as in your backyard,  Meteorologist Phil DeCastro got to the bottom of it.  Check out his report.

Below are some snow totals from Alan but since reports vary even in different areas of the city, a more comprehensive list can be found at the Green Bay National Weather Service’s website.  Also Milwaukee’s website




Fog, showers then sunshine

December 3rd, 2012 at 6:58 am by under News, Weather

Slow down this morning, it is pea soupy out there.  There’s a dense fog advisory in effect this morning with visibilities down to a quarter mile or less in many areas. Check our weather cameras to see what the driving conditions are where you’re going.

The best chance of showers will be from 4 pm to 10 pm and after that skies will clear and we’ll finally see sunshine tomorrow with highs near 48.

Although temperatures will be well above normal, we won’t set a record today (Record high in Green Bay is 62).  There were numerous record highs set yesterday in the nation; most in Texas.  Here’s a nice place to find record highs each day in the nation