Turning Chillier & Stormy

The roller coaster ride of weather which has characterized this October will be going from a plateau down a bit of a drop in the days ahead as temperatures and precipitation (mostly times of rain showers) return to the area.  In my previous blogs, I made light of the fact that this month was certainly challenging some of the driest of Octobers in the past.  Having a little more than doubled the total rainfall from a couple lines of gusty showers that rolled through on Wednesday, we are out of the running for the top 2 spots in the record book for Wausau.  However with a change in the weather pattern beginning to take shape, there is potential that we may slide quickly down the list if some rounds of soaking rain hit the region.  For the first half of this month, an upper level ridge has dominated our weather, keeping it dry and mainly mild.  As we have worked through the 3rd full week of October, the jet stream has temporarily become more zonal (aligned in relatively flat west to east pattern).  As you can note below, there are a couple of troughs in play wrapping up the week.  One is located in New England and the other just starting to make headway into the Pacific Northwest.  What I don't have illustrated on the graphic below is a cut off low that is churning through the southwest states into the southern Plains, which is sparking severe weather in parts of Texas.  That low will not have a direct effect on our weather in the days ahead, but will help to start drawing some gulf moisture up through the central Plains.  Overall temperatures as of late in Wisconsin have been closer to average, with highs running in the 50s while overnight readings have settled back into the 30s.

So what is in the works for the days ahead?  For starters, better odds of rain and a blast of colder Canadian air.  No, I'm not hitting the siren to break out the winter weather gear quite yet, but with a trough deepening across the mid-section of the country starting Sunday and lingering for much of the last full week of October, it is going to be chilly in North Central Wisconsin.  Daytime highs will go from being in the low to mid 50s Sunday through Tuesday, slipping back into the 40s for the second half of the week.  The graphic below spells out what the jet stream pattern will look like for most of next week.

Update: Friday 10/22

A couple things are a given for Tuesday through Thursday of next week.  First, a cold front will blast through the Badger State on Tuesday, causing blustery and cooler conditions in the region.  Prior to the arrival of this front, Monday features some intervals of sun and clouds with the risk of showers and perhaps a storm increasing for Monday Night.  In the wake of this cold front, the jet stream pattern that you see above tells the story.  A trough sets up shop for at least a couple days in the Upper Midwest, providing for highs that don't get out of the 40s Wednesday and Thursday.  There is still the chance that some rain showers, perhaps mixed with a few flakes could affect the viewing area on the backside of low pressure that is forecast to track east across southern Canada.  However, this storm system doesn't appear to pick up a lot of moisture until it enters into the Ohio & Tennessee River Valleys Wednesday and Thursday.  Once again, be sure to check back in for more updates as this weather scenario becomes better defined.

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