weather

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We just had a warm winter weekend, but winter is far from over. And with winter comes, of course, the constant battle with the snow — and the snow plows.

While it’s annoying to get plowed into your driveway or have to dig your car out of the street, Milwaukee fares pretty well in its response time compared to similar Wisconsin cities. But when those big winter storms hit, the cleanup can impact more than our everyday lives — it can influence politics.

Weather's Going To Happen Whether Or Not We're Ready

Jan 22, 2020
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The United States may be divided politically, but there's one thing just about everyone agrees on: Why can’t the weather forecast be more accurate?

There are certain things that can’t be predicted, but weather forecasting has become better in the past couple of decades as computer modeling has improved both in speed and accuracy. And those improvements are, in large part, thanks to Paul Roebber. He's a distinguished professor of mathematical and atmospheric sciences at UW-Milwaukee, and one of the leading forecasting experts in the U.S., and the world.

Holiday travelers have just one day until their Thanksgiving buffets — but before many can tuck into drumsticks and potatoes, they can expect to be buffeted by severe weather. The National Weather Service is warning of two big storm systems across the U.S. — one tacking up the Great Lakes and into New England on Wednesday, while the other is already making its presence felt in the West.

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Heavy rains are expected across southern Wisconsin Tuesday and into Wednesday morning. A flash flood watch is in effect until 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Updated at 4:10 p.m. ET

Swaths of southeast Texas were underwater Thursday after Tropical Depression Imelda caused catastrophic flooding. Scores of residents had to be carried through the floodwaters and motorists needed to be rescued from submerged vehicles. Children were forced to shelter in place at schools in Houston.

Updated at 11:55 p.m. ET

After days of drenching the U.S. Southeast from its perch offshore, Hurricane Dorian finally came ashore Friday morning. The National Hurricane Center says the eye made landfall over Cape Hatteras, N.C., at 8:35 a.m. ET, with maximum sustained winds near 90 mph — making Dorian a Category 1 storm when it hit.

Hurricane Dorian battered the Bahamas with high winds and rain for more than two days, and officials in the Bahamas say at least seven people died in the storm, including children. That toll is feared to rise as recovery efforts get underway.

Updated at 1:05 a.m. ET Thursday

Hurricane Dorian is strengthening again and is now a Category 3 storm with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph, although "some fluctuations in intensity are expected during the next 12 hours," according to the National Hurricane Center.

At least 20 people have died in the Bahamas as a result of Dorian, local officials say.

Updated at 2:15 a.m. ET Tuesday

Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis says at least five people have died in the Abaco Islands, where Hurricane Dorian made landfall Sunday as "the strongest hurricane in modern records" to hit the archipelago.

Minnis described the hurricane as a "historic tragedy" that's brought "unprecedented and expensive" devastation to Abaco.

Angelina Mosher Salazar

A heat advisory is issued for all of southeastern Wisconsin until 7 a.m. Saturday. With the heat and humidity, the temperatures could feel as high as 110 degrees.

The dangerous conditions have prompted the Milwaukee health department to put out a health advisory warning against heat stroke and dehydration. The extreme temperatures have adverse effects especially on vulnerable people such as Milwaukee's homeless population.

The U.S. government is juicing up its weather forecasting power.

This week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that it has upgraded its main weather forecasting model, called the Global Forecast System.

Interstates were closed for hundreds of miles in the Midwest and Plains Thursday, as a "bomb cyclone" brought a major winter storm to states in those regions. Some towns that just days ago were experiencing sunshine and temperate weather are now under 1 or 2 feet of snow.

Most of Nebraska and South Dakota remained under a blizzard warning Thursday afternoon, as snow continued to cause dangerous conditions. Minnesota, Wisconsin and much of Michigan's Upper Peninsula face a winter storm warning. Eastern North Dakota is under a flood warning.

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John Perrin

The Wisconsin winter got off to a seemingly slow start, but it sure picked up in January and February. While the snow and cold can make getting places harder, John Perrin knows winter can also be beautiful.

Perrin, who lives in Milwaukee, was driving southeast on the Menomonee River Parkway the morning of Feb. 19, when he saw a sight he knew he had to capture.

LaToya Dennis

Cold, snow and ice — Milwaukee has had a lot of all three lately. The winter weather is hard on most people, but when that snow and ice are not removed from public walkways in a timely manner, it can make getting around for people with disabilities even more difficult, sometimes verging on impossible.

“A lot of times when plows plow the streets the snow gets kind of piled up, unfortunately, right at a lot of curb cuts," says 32-year-old Milwaukee resident William Crowley.

Lauren Sigfusson

After an unprecedented number of weather-related closures, Milwaukee Public Schools is adjusting its calendar for the rest of the school year. Feb. 19 was originally a staff-only day for professional development. But to make up for lost time, it is now a regular school day with students expected in class.

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