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  



Mild Thanksgiving but cold Black Friday

November 21st, 2012 at 10:19 am by under News, Weather

Enjoy the next 2 days because a powerful cold front pushes through the state late tomorrow and we’ll feel the result on Friday morning.

After dense fog this morning the rest of the big travel day looks great with a high near 58°.  If you’re traveling through the air you may want to check ahead on your flight as there were cancellations and delays with flights going into and out of Chicago.

We may set a new record high tomorrow for Thanksgiving as breezy southwest winds bring in temperatures near 60° .

It’ll be downright blustery on Friday with strong northwest winds and highs near 37.


Mild Through Thanksgiving then colder

November 20th, 2012 at 8:19 am by under News, Weather

Unseasonably mild weather will continue for a few more days with high temperatures between 13 and 17 degrees warmer than normal (the normal high is 40°)  A cold front will impact us as we head into the long Holiday weekend.

Mild Deer Hunt and Turkey Day Forecast

November 16th, 2012 at 10:37 am by under News, Weather

We can expect fair weather through the weekend courtesy of a high pressure area which will drift west to east over the state.  High temperature today will be near 42° with a northeast wind at 5-10 mph but winds turn to the south tomorrow and temperatures will top out near 50° for the weekend.

It’ll be a mild start to the gun deer season with temperatures near 30° and patchy fog at sunrise, otherwise mostly clear skies.  Actually there’s not much difference in the opening day forecast no matter where you travel in the state.  As for Thanksgiving, it’s still looking nice. Have a great day!

Deer Hunt and First-Look Thanksgiving Forecasts

November 14th, 2012 at 10:49 am by under News, Weather

Very quiet weather continues with highs in the 40s and lows near 30.  So let’s take a look at a couple of  “Big Day” forecasts.  First is the Gun Deer opener on Saturday.  Things are holding with partly to mostly sunny skies at 7 am and temperatures near 30.  For Thanksgiving Day (and remember this is a long way out) right now it looks mostly cloudy and a high near 44.  A storm on the east coast may be impacting New England on Turkey Day and could even bring us a cool down as the day wears; so check back for updates. Have a great day!

No snow for deer hunters

November 13th, 2012 at 11:50 am by under News, Weather

Temperatures will warm into the upper 40s for the weekend with the morning lows near 30 both Saturday and Sunday and mostly to partly sunny skies. That’s a great forecast for this time of the year unless you’re a deer hunter and you want tracking snow.  All indications are that we won’t see snow for the next 7 days.  In Green Bay we have yet to see measurable snow (at least 0.1″) this season. The average date for the first measurable snowfall is today, November 13th.

Speaking of November 13th, it was 3 years ago today that I had to leave Good Day Wisconsin early to take my wife to the hospital.  A few hours later our 3rd child Georgia Anne was born.  Happy Birthday Georgia!  Below is a picture of  her from Saturday when we celebrated her birthday…when she got all her gifts.  Although yesterday she turned to me when she saw something on TV she wanted and said, “Dada, I want that on my real birthday.”  To which I replied, “maybe Santa will bring you that.”

Winter Storm Names 2012/2013

November 12th, 2012 at 11:58 am by under News, Weather

It’s about 30° colder today than yesterday with flurries and snow showers expected so it is a perfect day to unveil the winter storm names for 2012/13.  The first name was a boy’s name (Alan) since we started with a girl’s name last year (Angela).

In case you’re wondering who picks the names…that would be me.  I run it by my boss but I put the first list out there and sometimes we tweak it a bit.  I try to use popular names from different decades (the social security list of names comes in handy)  so that all generations get a chance to have a storm named after them.  For instance Alan was popular in the 60s and Denise in the 70s; Brianna in the 2000s.  I’ve also heard from a number of people who would like to have a continuation of names into the next year so that we would see some winter storms that start with  the letter “P” or “S”.  I may have to consider that next year because I admit, it is getting a bit lean for different names at the beginning of the alphabet.  Below you’ll find the names and the factors the FOX 11 meteorologists use to determine if a storm should get a name.

Don’t forget to tune in Wednesday during the FOX 11 News at 5 for Patrick Powell’s winter weather forecast.  Long range forecasting like this is very difficult and Patrick uses every bit of his expertise and skill to come up with an idea of what the season will look like in both temperature and snowfall.