Wisconsin Weather

Cold Arrives This Weekend Across Wisconsin; United States

By Justin Poublon
January 14, 2019 - 2:50 PM CST | 768   0

We keep saying it's going to "get colder" but exactly how cold? And when? It's the coldest time of the year on average. Model forecasts support below average temperatures for the remainder of the month with a handful of warmer days. Let's take a look at the latest model simulations and try to understand what this will be like...

Temperature Anomaly Graphics

The graphics below show the temperature deviation from average. More blue = more cold.

Monday, Jan 14 - Wisconsin and the Great Lakes are the warmest relative to average. This is partially due to the lack of snow cover in the region. Fresh snow is having a cooling effect across the Midwest and southeast Atlantic coast. The cold front has pushed all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.

Today Wisconsin and the Great Lakes are the warmest relative to average.
Today Wisconsin and the Great Lakes are the warmest relative to average.

On Friday, Jan 18 an arctic high begins to push into the lower 48 states not quite reaching Wisconsin yet. A winter storm will be moving through Illinois laying down fresh snow and tapping into the cold air dropping out of Canada.

By Friday, Jan 18 an arctic high begins to push into the lower 48 states not quite reaching Wisconsin yet.
By Friday, Jan 18 an arctic high begins to push into the lower 48 states not quite reaching Wisconsin yet.

Sunday, Jan 20 the arctic air mass is pulled down and uncorked on the country including the Great Lakes. Wisconsin staying relatively warmer due to lack of snow and warmer than average lakes (but still very cold).

By Sunday the an arctic airmass is uncorked across the country. Wisconsin staying relatively warmer due to lack of snow and warmer than average lakes.
By Sunday the an arctic airmass is uncorked across the country. Wisconsin staying relatively warmer due to lack of snow and warmer than average lakes.

Sunday, Jan 27 several days pass between the previous image and this one where there could be a warmer day or two mixed in. Overall not much change with cold air frequenting the eastern United States. All signs point towards this pattern sticking around for awhile.

Below average temperatures will continue (perhaps a warmer day or two) in late January. February will start cold too.
Below average temperatures will continue (perhaps a warmer day or two) in late January. February will start cold too.

Too me the cold looks more widespread than harsh...like it will be frigid for most instead of frigid for a few. Spreading it out as opposed to dumping it all in one spot. The wild card is snow. If Wisconsin were to receive a healthy blanket of fresh snow, temperatures will really bottom out.

Below is a temperature prediction for Sunday afternoon. Similar cold is expected later in January and February. Not terrible...but definitely colder. We can make the case for severe cold in future forecasts if that seems more fitting. We'll see how things look at this time next week. Of course this is a model simulation so the exact temperature may change but it is a good place to start.

An example of what temperatures could be during the coldest days in late January. Single digit highs possible. Only gets colder if fresh snow were to occur beforehand.
An approximation of what temperatures could be during the coldest days in late January. Single digit highs possible.

"DUDE, WHERE'S MY SNOW?"

If more snow were to fall this week temperatures would get even colder. We are not expecting much snow in the next seven days but watching another system set to hit Illinois.

Climate Prediction Center

The CPC supports our predictions with a cold outlook for 90% of the country over the 6-14 day period.

CPC 6-10 day and 8-14 Day outlooks. Both colder than average for Wisconsin.
CPC 6-10 day and 8-14 Day outlooks from left to right. Both colder than average for Wisconsin.


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