Snow For Thursday, but how much?

Greetings from the weather center. With snow in the forecast for Thursday I thought I would give you a little taste of what meteorologist look at to try to figure out what track the heavy snow will take. The system is not like the December storms which originated out of the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles. This one is more of a clipper system, so it will not have as much moisture to work with, but will still likely bring us some measurable snow.

The above image is the NAM model total precipitation through Thursday afternoon. The lighter greens in Wisconsin represent .01″. The next shade of green is .10″. The darker shade of green near the lake south of Milwaukee is .25″. This would generally bring a 1″-3″ forecast with some lake enhancement bringing some totals to 5 or 6″. Keep in mind the temperatures are going to be cold so the rain to snow ratio could be as high as 20:1.

The above image is the GFS model of the same period as the NAM model. Note the similarities between the two models. This often does not happen, especially when the snow event is still 3 days away. This model would yield 2-4″ totals with higher amounts near the lake Milwaukee south.

Lastly, this is the model provided by our weather graphics provider, WSI. The RPM model puts out specific totals and at this point paints a 4″-6″ storm across the area.

This is just a small peak at what meteorologists look at when forecasting snow. I am not confident of the eventual track of this storm yet so I will not include any totals on 12 news at 10. The storm itself is now entering the northern Rockies and I think it is prudent to wait to see the storm emerge from the Rockies before putting snow totals on the air. Stay tuned and thanks for reading.



2 Responses

  1. Very interesting… personally I’m hoping for the rpm’s forecast of 4-6 out here in muskego. Hopefully you can try to do a daily update to see how the models change and come into agreement.

    Also… Seeing that 2 Milwaukee stations are now HD, u was wondering when WISN might make that big switch. Hopefully soon… Can’t wait to see the best weather forecast in HD!


  2. Thanks for the note, Bryan. I will try and keep you updated the next few days as the clipper gets closer.

    I also would love to see us go to HD, but the economy has not been kind to TV stations. Thanks again for the kind words.


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