Tonight’s Snow and Next Week’s Storm..Update

***UPDATE AT 10:30 PM*** Snow never really materialized around here. Only an inch in Sheboygan. Dusting elsewhere.

The GFS is in. It still keeps huge low pretty far south. Stay tuned all weekend and next week. Here is the updated GFS forecast for Tuesday night. The low is centered over Tennessee. That would keep us on the very northern fringe of this, but the lake-effect snow would still be possible.

Another clipper system cruises through the area tonight. I think the National Weather Service is a little overzealous with the winter weather advisory for our northern counties. The main brunt of the snow will stay to our north over Green Bay where as much as 5″ may fall. I’m expecting Milwaukee and Waukesha will get around an inch. Sheboygan could get as much as 3″. Lesser amounts to the south. The main accumulating snow will arrive between 7pm and midnight. Here is the radar from 3:15. Not a lot of snow, but watch out for slippery conditions tonight.

Do you remember earlier this week when I was blogging about the “signature storm” and thought it was the small system hitting Wisconsin right now. Well, I was wrong. I have much more to learn about the LRC. I believe the storm next week is the return of the strong storm of October 26th and December 11th. The models are finally coming around and starting to show a powerhouse storm. The eventual track is still uncertain, but snow lovers out there should hold out hope for a big storm. Take a look at the Canadian, Euro, and GFS models for Tuesday night. I’ll start with the Canadian.

The Canadian model keeps the low across Kentucky, but this is too close for comfort. Now, the Euro.

This is a complete flip-flop from yesterday on the European model. Yesterday, it had the low staying WAY to our south. Now it puts it into southern Indiana. This would certainly bring us some snow. Finally, the GFS.

The GFS keeps the majority of the snow to our south, however, with each model run the low keeps creeping farther and farther north.

I don’t believe next week’s storm will a track like the previous storms in October and December. The colder air will keep the low far enough south that we don’t have to worry about rain this time. Another issue to think about is that even if the low stays well south of us, we will likely have 3 days in a row with Northeast winds. This may end up being a big lake-effect snow or a big lake-enhanced snow. Stay tuned.



43 Responses

  1. So this might be a win-win situation for us snow lovers? How’s the moisture content for this looking? I heard Tom on Channel 9 in Chicago say that this storm might put down 1 inch+ of moisture, at least one model says so. Let’s hope!

    • Bryan,

      Easily over one inch of QPF if we end up in bulls-eye.

      Otherwise, lake-effect could be exciting as well.


    • This storm is gonna be our one big storm for the winter in the Big Bend-Muskego area! 12-18″ for us with this one, that’s just my prediction! Gonna make up for the lackluster winter snows we have had so far…Okay so I’m being very optimistic, but the further into the winter we get without a big storm, the more I start turning my thoughts toward spring. Bring on the snow! Oh and Mark if I get this right do I get to be added to the WISN weather team???

      • Dave,

        If you get this right will you come shovel my driveway? 🙂


  2. Hi, Mark!!

    Good to read your thoughts on the blog!

    When you connect the “signature storm” with lake-effect/lakehnaced snow, do you mean that’s the only kind of snow it would bring? If so, that would probably leave us here in Dodge County out of the snow picture? Or do you mean lake/effect/lake enhanced snow would be an additional “side effect” along with a more general “big snow” that would reach us even here in “Dodge”?

    Speaking of counties, I’m never sure where Dodge County lies in terms of weather forecasting. Are we included when you say “our northern counties,” or “western counties”? Also, when you say “southeast Wisconsin” is Dodge included in that — or are we “south central Wisconsin”? We didn’t learn about couonty lines in geography class. 🙂

    Dn’t let the mistake in the timing of the arrival of the “signature storm” get you down — it’s just God’s way of keeping us humble! {He is THE WEATHERMAN, you know 🙂 }.

    Looking forward to hearing back from you — and thanks for responding!

    Don in Reeseville

    • Thanks, Don.

      Even if the storm stays to our south, I think lake effect is likely. Still unsure if the bigger storm will hit you.

      As for Dodge county, I would include you if I am saying north or western counties. I consider Dodge county part of SE Wisconsin.


  3. Any ideas on the timing of this storm?

    I am one of probably many folks who are headed south to Dallas (well, Arlington). Was probably going to leave Wednesday.


    • Wednesday would not be a good day to leave. Either leaving as early as Monday or waiting until Thursday might be a better idea.


  4. I remember when 7 day forecasts meant something. Now with these models never having a clue in the long range, it seems like 3 days is about the most you can get… if even that much sometimes.

    Either way, it would be impossible to jump on any of these solutions yet. The only thing for sure is that we figured out it is the signature and the February forecast blog Jeremy did would have to be adjusted to at least a couple of days later for all events listed.

    • Daniel,

      When we have a very active weather pattern, the 7day is not the easiest forecast. However, I would argue that most times it is certainly helpful for forecasting overall trends.
      The LRC cycle is looking about 52 days now.


  5. Friday, January 28, 2011

    Hi Mark!

    Certainly starting to get ‘interesting’ for next week, especially for me down here in the far SE corner of the state. The prospect of a low over northern Indiana moving air east to west over the southern part of L. Michigan with a bunch of cold air to the north mixing in sure got my attention! Got my yard stick ready to supply you with a measurement or two. Just hoping I don’t have to use more than the first half of it!


    • Tony,

      “Interesting” indeed. Stay tuned.


  6. This storm will bring a dose of humility and likely loss of hair and graying of the ones that are left. 😉

    • K.C. might have some more fun.

      As for hair, it’s a race between balding and graying with me. Not sure which one will win.


      • Yeah…not sure if we get a foot of snow, or an inch of ice, half of each or it evaporates in thin air.

        I am with you on the hair thing.

  7. We’ve had more then enough snow here on the south side of the city. Tired of shoveling, tired of snow blowers. Really hoping this whole thing misses us and goes somewhere else.

    I’d like to go back to December when it was just dry and cold.

    • Dave,

      I always love the variety of opinions on snow here. Enjoy the quiet weekend before next week’s fun.


      • Mark, I agree with you. It is certainly a full range of hate and love.

        Interesting how and individual can hate winter snow and/or hate summer heat living in WI. It’s the best of both worlds and it should be embraced. 🙂

  8. Some of the forecast models are still south of our area. Do you think these models, such as the gfs, will continue to trend further north. This year it seems like the models would go too far south and bring it north in time, so hopefully that’s what they’re going to do. We’re due for a huge snow storm. It’s been a pretty boring winter so far this year. Im trying not to get too excited because anything can happen.

    • I’m so Excited!!! 😀 Nice work, Mark.

    • Get excited!! Be optimistic, I too have been burned by the lack of snow…but I think the models will continue to trend north like they did in the past and we will get this good snow storm!! Not an expert but optimistic!

  9. i use this one

    • Thanks Justin! Man I love this blog 😀

      • Another great place for model data is the e-WALL,

        It looks very intimidating at first, but if you read through the tutorial it helps you understand what’s going on. I use this site almost exclusively now.

  10. Hey there, Snow Watch Team!! 🙂

    Last night I was excited — reports were potential was far more likely that we would get the big storm. The later update posed by Mark seems to back away from that. So now I’m not sure if I should maintain my excitement or not.

    When do you think you/we will have a more solid foundation for what to expect?

    This up and down with “expect storm” — “don’t expect storm” is messing with me! It’s almost like watching some of the most recent Packers games –couldn’t count on a win until the last minute. It looks like it’s the same way with this storm.

    Somebody tell me I’m wrong to be losing confidence!!!

    Don in Reeseville

    • It’s got me worried too! But it’s still what — 3 or 4 days away? You know how much can change in that time, so hopefully it will start trending northward in that time! 😀

    • 12z GFS is a little closer to giving us a big hit. It actually sneaks into Chicago with some good QPF. It comes down to the power of the arctic high… if it isn’t strong enough (and judging by the reduced temp crash after this storm, I would say it isn’t as powerful as initially believed) then the storm will be more likely to push into this area.

      • Right now I side with the slightly more northern solution of the NAM. We clearly know now where we have seen this storm before. The GFS continues to trend north with every run. If you love snow I have a good feeling about this week.

        Keep in mind last time we were trying to pin down the forecast when the storm was on top of us. This time should be a little more straight forward. Hopefully we will start talking snow totals for Monday later today or early Sunday. The main energy isn’t until later Tuesday or Wednesday. Those totals will be put out a little later.

        Lots to talk about in the coming days!


  11. The latest story posted on wisn talks about the storm taking a southerly track. Has more information come about that makes it appear this way?

  12. Love reading all of the comments on this storm. It’s making it even more fun to watch!

    I have gut feeling that we’re going to get hammered. I keep thinking back to Dec when the models had such a hard time with the storm, it’s like deja vu. I really think it will take a track farther west than the models currently have it. Hopefully not to far west though.

    • as much as i want it to shift north, the models are coming into more agreement that the heaviest snow will fall south of us and we’ll just get clipped again. I mine as well be pessimistic because more likely than not we’ll only get a few inches like every other snow “storm” we’ve had this year

    • I think things will fall in between what you guys are saying. With the added potential of lake effect/enhancement I think low numbers aren’t too likely, but the models are starting to get more consistent and the track doesn’t favor us for being in the heaviest swath. We need the low to pass around South Bend for that and right now it is passing over southern Indiana and heading ENE instead of NNE.

  13. I rest my snow storm anxiety on the LRC pattern taking hold. The only thing that gives me the yips is the lengthening of the cycle. Since this is my first season following the LRC I am curious of previous years cycle length fluctuations. Is there a cycle for that as well, or is this something completely up to mother nature? Is there a way of predicting the fluctuations in the cycle length?

    If curiosity killed the cat I am certainly getting low on lives…

    • Josh,

      This is a good example of why I say to follow along for a year. That way you can see the little and big features repeat. The cycle durations, and seasonal effects on the pattern. Also you get to see the pattern set-up in October, and begin to fade in late summer.

      Once this storm passes and I have the archive maps(500mb) to look at we can discuss this much more. It’s tough to base the upcoming storm on forecast maps since they will change before Tues/Wed


  14. I know it’s not our market, but people should check out Tom Skilling’s Facebook page. Everyone is talking about this and how the models are inching north. Tom plus you guys at WISN is helping me get my fill of this storm!

    • Bryan,

      Anyone interested in weather should check out lots of information. Whether it is discussions here in this blog or others around the country. You not only get a good idea of others thoughts, but find out who you can trust.


  15. Is it getting interesting yet? Seems the northern ULL looks familiar. It is hard sometimes when one gets blinded run to run on model outputs, but the LRC has trends that cannot be ignored… This storm will look half a dozen ways before it happens. I am not buying into any one solution.

    • lrcweather, I adhere to your intuitions.

      Jeremy, I am looking forward to your future discussions on the ‘signature’ storm.

  16. Thank you, Steven! Much appreciated 🙂 Added to favorites

    • You’re welcome Dan.

      • Look for the new blog around 7:30pm.


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