A strong cold front punched east across Wisconsin Thursday, Oct 25, 2012 into an unseasonably warm and humid air-mass. This front was easy to identify in radar imagery since showers and a few storms were lined up with the front.
Additional showers and some storms were found in a 60-mile-wide band west of the cold front. The vertical depth of the clouds that generated the rain could easily be seen when looking at satellite pictures. Since the sun angle is lower at this time of the year, the convective clouds had a shadow on their east sides.
Below is an image - on the left is a radar image at 348 pm. On the right is a 345 pm visual GOES satellite picture.
The surface cold front is a thin line of showers and storms indicated by the red arrows in the radar image. Further west in Minnesota and northern Iowa you can see some snow shower activity where surface temperatures were in the 30s.
Note the bumpy appearance of the clouds over Wisconsin in the satellite pictures - where convective clouds had some vertical depth to them and a shadow on their east side. Some of the convective clouds did briefly reach to 25 to 35 thousand feet above the ground level during the afternoon hours. The cold front is somewhat visible in Illinois - as a thin white line of cumulus clouds.
West of the shower activity the effects of the jet stream can be seen - indicated by the blue line. Wind speeds in the jet stream were on the order of 100 mph around 35,000 feet above the ground level. Over western Nebraska one can see snow on the ground at the tip of the red arrow. Snow fell in parts of Colorado...Nebraska...South Dakota...Minnesota...and Iowa. Over eastern Nebraska one can see clouds in the satellite picture.
Kapela, WFO Milwaukee/Sullivan