More Light Snow Chances Ahead

***Watch WISN 12 News for the latest forecast snow totals!***

Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog!  Our ‘quiet’ winter chugs on here in southeastern Wisconsin while another major storm hit parts of the Northeast and New England on Wednesday. 

Here is a look at snow totals thru 4pm Wednesday, keep in mind it was still snowing in some areas.

  • Windsor, MA  29″
  • Woodbury, CT  28″
  • Hartford, CT  22.5″
  • Boston, MA  11.6″
  • Central Park, NY  9.1″

The seasonal snow total in Milwaukee stands at just 12.4″, or 9.4″ below average.  We should chip away at that deficit in the next 5-7 days as several opportunities for light snow are in the forecast.

The first chance will push in late Thursday and continue into the evening-night.  Here is how our in-house high resolution model is handling the light snow.  Overall as of this writing a dusting to 1″ of snow looks like it should cover much of our area.  

After the quick burst of light snow Thursday evening/night, the focus will shift to Friday Night and early Saturday.  That is when a second round of light snow will move across the area.  Again totals should stay on the light side. 

If one system needs to be watch more than others I would say it would be the one that could bring us some snow Sunday Night and Monday.  Most models are keeping the bulk of the energy just to our south.  But any shift north would put our area into a steadier snow.

Below is the 18Z GFS forecast map for Sunday Night at midnight.  Just click to enlarge.

This will be snow chance #3.  If the low does stay to our south, easterly winds would at the very least provide a chance of lake effect snow on Monday.  As always with lake events, snow forecasts are tricky to say the least.  So we’ll continue to see how the system tracks, and what impact that has on surface winds.

With lots of snow chances in the forecast make sure to try out our interactive radar here

You can zoom the radar to anywhere in the country.  Also, give Futurecast a try, it is computer model data that shows precipitation and forecast snow totals.

For all the updates on how much snow to expect and when, just watch WISN 12 News!

Have a great day!



14 Responses

  1. Jeremy,

    Practicing on trying to calculate an LRC length today as in two weeks I plan to attempt my second backyard snowfall forecast through the middle of March. I started by looking at the 500mb plot of Jan 10. 47 days ago on Nov 24 looked somewhat similar, however, I have doubt since you stated lately that the length is at 50 days. And then it all went haywire… any insight?

    • Josh,

      I still think the cycle length right now is around 50 days. The overall cycle since the pattern set-up this Fall has been around 46-52. So when everything is all said and done the duration will likely average out in the upper 40s to around 50 days.

      Keep in mind as the waves progress around the globe the seasonal affects and any type of blocking that may occur can alter the over flow and cause the slight shift in the exact number of days that a feature may cycle back. I’m still looking for the signature feature of this year’s pattern to return around the end of January.

      Also, with the extreme cold lurking to our north and northwest over Canada, some of the features have been pushed south, that say in October were much farther north. With that said, the overall long term longwave positions are still in place.


      • Thanks for the response on this one Jeremy. I think one thing I have to remember is that the cycle breathes. It is not a static amount of days. And like you said a couple entries ago about planning ahead, “always view the cycle as a range of days”.

        Also, it looks like the AO is about to go positive soon, which means a warm-up? Something that would probably take place with the signature storm at the end of the month?

        FUN STUFF.

      • Josh,

        It should warm-up in advance of the signature storm. It happened in both October and December. If the track is west or very close to Milwaukee, I’m thinking this could produce many types of precipitation again.


  2. I am surprised that we have had so little snow and what we have had has mostly been light. I mean it’s Wisconsin…It’s expected that we get some significant storms!

    • Dan,

      Look back to the December 11-12 storm. Parts of the area did get a big snow, and due to lake influence and temps just above freezing Milwaukee and some areas close to the lake were left out. I still think we see a 6″+ storm this winter. If we get to February 15 and are still lacking the 6″ or more storm, then I may start to worry.

      Several chances of light snow are ahead over the next 5-7 days. We’ll keep a close eye on one of the storm next week. The lake may be in play on that one.


      • Why are you so confident we will get a signature storm?

      • Dan,

        There are a few reasons. First I’ve followed the LRC for 5 years now and the big features always seem to return. This storm came back in December, and right now I see no reason that it shouldn’t come back in some fashion again around the end of the month.

        Now the question is what will it produce and how much.


  3. Remember Jeremy that the snow that you think we will see in the next 5-7 days MIGHT be lake enhanced and that it could help with higher totals. But…… for those of us who don’t live in a county close to the lake, we still haven’t seen the 6″ + snow yet. The Lake never affects us. So I think you get EVERYONE a little too excited when you talk about lake enhanced snow. You might as well go ahead and say, “Well, if you don’t live along or close to the lake, you won’t be seeing much snow this winter at all.” After all…. its proving true. I feel like we should have nothing to talk about on here unless it is a 6″+ snow storm that will affect other counties besides the lake shore ones. Just some thoughts.

    • Ryan,

      Lake enhanced and lake effect snow can impact inland areas to and add to the totals. Just yesterday a narrow band of lake enhanced snow moved over parts of Waukesha county, Pewaukee had 3″ of snow. Meanwhile a location right on the lake – Mitchell Airport – had only 1.5″. The first two chances of snow(late Thursday, and then early Saturday) won’t really have a lake component to them. So the snow totals may vary less. All I was saying for next week is that the winds may be more favorable for some enhancement or lake effect in addition to the general snow.

      As for the 6″+ snow this winter. I know parts of Washington, Jefferson, Dodge, Sheboygan, and Fond du Lac counties, plus eastern Racine and Kenosha have seen a 6″+ snow. Certainly not everyone, but there have been a couple good snows in spots.

      I think all types of weather are exciting, and even little snows, so while some may be bummed out about more light snow. The next week does look pretty exciting, so we’ll have lots to discuss in the blog.


  4. Sounds good Jer. But if by exciting you mean (light snow chances), I don’t think it will be very exciting.

    • Ryan,

      I’ll add more to the blog this evening. But late Sunday into Monday is something we need to keep an eye on. Little stronger piece of energy and right now it is just to our south.


  5. Interesting that the arctic blast the models were pushing so hard for a few days ago continues to not materialize for next week. We’re about to get past the two year mark (1-17-2009) of having no zero or below temperatures officially at Mitchell. After the bomb comes through again is probably when that will change though.

    • Daniel..wouldn’t give up hope…still a possibility.

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