Weather Roller Coaster Ride Starting 2012

Happy New Year!  We wrapped up the month of December 2011 on a mild note along with below average snowfall in North Central Wisconsin.  However as the ball dropped on the start of 2012, Mother Nature ushered in a cold blast of air from Canada.  Temperatures kicking off New Years started out in the 20s in the morning but as the day went, on fell back into the teens.  Add to that strong winds out of the northwest that ranged in speed from 20-30 mph and gusted up to 45 mph wind chill values were in the single digits to around zero.  A frost start to the year to say the least.

However as we look down the road for the first week of January, the tide is going to change quickly when it comes to the air mass in place across the western Great Lakes.  After high pressure pushes through from Monday to Wednesday, winds will be turning more to the south and guiding in milder conditions for by Thursday and Friday.  So instead of highs being in the teens, we're talking daytime readings peaking well into the 30s and even jump up into the low to mid 40s.  This is not unheard of during the winter around there, considering some February days when highs have maxed out at 50.  No less, this is certainly going to add a lot of variety to the weather from day to day.

As I made note of in the graphic above, this is going to be a mini-thaw, considering a cold front is expected to arrive by next weekend.  I don't think we'll plunge right back into frigid weather, but temps are likely to be back closer to seasonal levels for the first half of January.  When it comes to the snow on the ground, there will probably be some melting for later in the week, but I'm still confident that there will be more opportunities for accumulating snow in the weeks ahead.  Again, this may not be welcome news to the snowmobilers, but for those ski hills that have made their own snow this season, the weather has not caused any major problems to this point in the season.

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