Lake Effect Snow & Week Ahead

***Watch WISN 12 News for the latest weather information!***

Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 Blog!  Bands of heavy lake effect snow buried parts of extreme eastern Racine and Kenosha counties with as much as 10″ of snow late Christmas Day!

One more band of lake effect snow is possible Sunday morning before winds shift enough to push the bands back over Lake Michigan.  Here is a look at the radar around 4am Sunday.  Notice the band of snow over the lake, this will gradually move back west and graze parts of Racine and Kenosha counties.

Lake effect snow advisories continue until Noon Sunday for Racine and Kenosha counties.  If the snow band does push back in, an additional 1″ to 4″ is possible, but as of 9am it looks like most areas will stay around 1″, or even less.  As with any lake effect event, snow totals have varied greatly across the area.  Here is a look at totals from lakeshore counties thru 6am Sunday.

  • Kenosha  6″-10″
  • Racine  5.5″
  • Franksville  4.0″
  • Cudahy  1.1″
  • Milwaukee Mitchell Airport  0.6″
  • WISN 12  Dusting

Lake effect snow bands can produce some incredible snowfall rates and blinding snow.  That is what occurred last night as a heavy band of snow blanketed parts of Racine and Kenosha counties.

The image below from the NWS shows estimated one hour snowfall accumulations from 923 to 1023 pm CST.   Green areas are 1+” of snow per hour, brown 2+” per hour, and red 3+” per hour snowfall rates! 

If you have a snow total or pictures of the snow please send them to us!  Pictures can be emailed to and totals can be dropped off in the comments section of the blog. 

Moving forward this week, quiet weather will hold through Wednesday.  After that the much advertised New Year’s storm will head into the nation’s mid-section.  As of this writing it appears that mild air will surge north, placing southeastern Wisconsin in the warmer part of the storm.  This would mean a chance of rain, before colder air changes any moisture over to snow.

Below is a total precipitation forecast from the 6Z GFS computer model.  This would indicate around 0.50″ to 1.00″ of precipitation, most coming in the form of rain.  Just click on the image to enlarge.


We will continue to monitor the trends and have the updated forecasts on WISN 12 News!

Have a great day!

Jeremy Nelson


10 Responses

  1. So what happen to the huge snow storm for the new year’s eve weekend. 40* don’t make snow???????????

    • Dave,

      There will be a lot of snow in parts of the Plains or Midwest from this storm. We identified this system back on December 15 using the LRC. Much like the last time through the cycle it appears that the track of the main low pressure area will stay to our west. This would bring us warmer temperatures in the 40s with mainly rain, but a chance of some snow as colder air spills in. If you love snow hang in there.


  2. 50s and thunderstorms for Friday. Bye, bye snow cover.

    • Patrick,

      We’ll have to see how far north the really mild air gets, but 40s look good at this point. If we see rain, the snow will vanish pretty quick.


  3. Jeremy,
    We got 8″ from 8:05 – 11:05 last night at my house in Kenosha. From 9:05 – 10:05 we received 3.7″!
    This morning we’ve only received a trace of snow.
    My total from yesterday, counting what we got in the morning, was 8.3″. It had a water equivalent of .3″.

    • Steven,

      Thanks for the report. Glad most of the snow stayed over the lake this morning…seems like you got plenty last evening.


  4. Bring on those warm (relatively speaking) temperatures later this week! Looking forward to losing a lot of the snowcover and ice. Ready for Spring.

    • I’m with you there Cliff, but don’t forget about what happened three years ago after we had that early January day in the 60s complete with tornado… plenty of snow and cold including a huge snowstorm on the first day of spring.

      • Daniel,

        Winter always has ups and downs, but it appears later this week will be a big up!


  5. I was down in Racine last night felt like I was in the UP with all the snow they have compared to the 1” snow cover we have in Stallis.

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