Sunday’s Light Snow…Christmas Storm

Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog!  I hope your weekend has gotten off to a great start!  Before we discuss the potential ‘big’ storm for the Christmas holiday we need to focus in on the ‘Clipper’ system for Sunday. 

If you are wodering what an ‘Alberta Clipper’ is, here you go:

A fast moving low pressure system that moves southeast out of Canadian Province of Alberta (southwest Canada) through the Plains, Midwest, and Great Lakes region usually during the winter. This low pressure area is usually accompanied by light snow, strong winds, and colder temperatures. Another variation of the same system is called a “Saskatchewan Screamer”.

Our clipper for Sunday will be pretty weak and only bring temperatures down a few degrees behind it.  The snow on Sunday should be light, and begin during the afternoon.  The precipitation totals will be light, and below is a forecast from the 18Z GFS showing the TOTAL liquid precipitation expected on Sunday.  The darker green shade corresponds to just over 0.10″.  So what does this translate to in regards to forecast snow totals?  I included a band of 1-2″ and an area of under 1″.  Notice that Southeast Wisconsin should stay under 1″ of total snow accumulation on Sunday.  If you are traveling southwest of Madison on Sunday, those locations could see 1-2″ of snow.

By Sunday evening the snow will begin heading east and outside of flurries, it should be a quiet night heading into Christmas week.

More viewers trust Weather Watch 12 than any other station in Southeast Wisconsin, so it hasn’t come as a surprise that I have taken several calls from viewers asking about when the storm may arrive around Christmas.  So what does this storm look like right now?

The big changes in the MODELS from a day ago is two fold.  The first is that the storm is a little slower and farther north.  I have fully expected the models to start showing a more northern track based off this year’s pattern and the lack of arctic air in place to push the storm south.

Below is the 18Z GFS forecast for midnight Christmas Day…so Christmas Eve into Christmas Day.  This shows an area of low pressure over central Illinois, and snow extending into Southeast Wisconsin.  This solution seems more believable, but this will not be how the storm plays out 5 days from now.

Right now it is too early to talk snow amounts, but I am confident in saying this storm should bring accumulating snow to Southeast Wisconsin, and even lakeshore locations should see a white Christmas.  If you have travel plans and can move them to Wednesday I would recommend that.  There’s always a chance we could see nothing from this storm, but I think those chances are very low. 

Don’t forget to use the interactive radar on!  You can set the radar to anywhere you may live or be traveling to.  There is also a great feature called FUTURECAST.  This option allows you to see what’s coming, and best of all, it will show you forecast snow totals!  Check it out…it is free!

Have a great Sunday and thanks for stopping by!  Feel free to leave a comment or question at any time.

Jeremy Nelson


3 Responses

  1. Hi Jeremy,

    Miss you in KC. You forcasts were always right on. Hope you and your family are doing great. Best of Luck,

    KC Fans

    Echo and Carol

    • Thanks for heading north to our blog at WISN:) KC was a great experience for me and a very nice place to live, but I’m excited to be in Milwaukee and at WISN. Hopefully a whole new group of people will find the LRC as fascinating as we do!


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