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The weather has been nearly perfect with highs in the 50s and 60s this week. Again on Friday the high topped 60 in Milwaukee. But as you have been hearing about all week, the mild weather will come to a screeching halt this weekend. Spring officially arrives on Saturday at 12:32 p.m. and to greet the first day of Spring some snow is in the forecast!
In this blog entry we will break down the chances of rain, a wintry mix, and snow. Also, we will go in depth and look at forecast snow totals for Southeast Wisconsin and surrounding areas.
Let’s start by talking about the setup for this storm. As I mentioned above the high temperature in Milwaukee was in the low 60s Friday afternoon. But just off to the northwest a strong cold front was pushing cold air back into Wisconsin. At 1 p.m. on Friday it was 60 degrees in Milwaukee, but only 33 degrees in Eau Claire! The cold air will spill into Southeast Wisconsin Friday evening and night.
As the cold front moves in, precipitation will be moving up the front. For our area this should start as a few rain showers, but then quickly transition to a mix and eventually all snow as temperatures crash into the 30s. Our window for precipitation will begin between 6 p.m. and Midnight (depending where you live) and run about 12 hours until around midday Saturday.
Below is the forecast surface map for 7 a.m. Saturday. The ‘**’ symbol near Milwaukee represents light snow. The dashed line around the south side of Chicago is the rain/snow line.
Rain, a mix or snow will not fall during the entire window for precipitation. But during this timeframe there could be a couple of quick bursts of snow. If we are going to see snow accumulation overnight and Saturday morning, the chances are pretty good it would mainly be on grassy surfaces, and range from trace amounts to around 1″ across our area.
Below is the snowfall forecast from our in-house high resolution computer model. Notice the areas that could really get hit are over Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.
Certainly if the storm is a little wetter and slower moving we could have some spots above 1″ of snow in Southeast Wisconsin…but the chances of that look low. However, the odds of some spots in the Plains and Midwest picking up 8″ or more of snow from this storm are pretty good. Look at the probability map below for Saturday. These are the odds of the highlighted areas picking up 8″ or more of snow!
So right now it looks like outside of a little snow and colder temperatures this weekend, Southeast Wisconsin will just get a wintry reminder.
For the very latest forecast make sure to tune to WISN 12 News at 5, 6, & 10pm. We will be updating the snowfall forecast with the latest information on all our shows. Also, please join us on Facebook at WeatherWatch 12
Have a great day!