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Warm March expected for Wisconsin and Upper Midwest

Mar 10, 2012
Spring Fever will begin earlier in 2012 throughout Wisconsin and Midwest. The Climate Prediction Center's long range forecast, issued on March 9, has indicated unseasonably warm temperatures to invade Wisconsin and most of the eastern half of the lower 48 the next few weeks. The 8 - 14 day temperature outlook is off the charts with temperature values forecasted to be 20 - 25 degrees above normal. The ECMWF and GFS long range computer models are also in agreement that warm weather is forecast during this time frame. The spring of 2011 had experienced a very cool March and April for much of the Midwest and Wisconsin, but so far 2012 looks to redeem last spring's poor outing.

CPC - Temperature forecast expected to be above normal - March 17 - 23, 2012ECMWF - March 2012 - Forecasted TemperaturesGFS - 500mb and Moisture graphics - March 2012

The cause of the warm weather is due to the jet stream that is forecast to amplify across the central U.S. This amplification helps draw warm air northward. Gulf moisture will accompany the warm temperatures across the Wisconsin region which will make it feel like early May instead of March. This expected weather pattern may promote higher chances of severe weather. The GFS model (above right) projects a strong 500mb trough that may slam into the warm, moist air sitting along the Mississippi River. This will increase the chances for severe weather across the upper Midwest, but the evolution of the 500mb trough is still in question.

Enjoy the Spring Fever!

*Update* March 23 - So far the record warmth for Wisconsin has verified! Below is a list of the record high temperatures the past week for Madison and Milwaukee. At times, Milwaukee has experienced a lake breeze | pneumonia front which caused cooler conditions.

Record High Temperatures

Record High Temperatures - March 2012 - Wisconsin

Make sure to browse the news section for additional U.S. and Wisconsin weather news information.

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