Messy Sunday Ahead

***Watch WISN 12 News for the latest on the winter storm!***

Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog!  A complex winter storm will begin impacting southeast Wisconsin early Sunday morning.  Keep in mind that WISN 12 News is on from 5-6am and 7-9am Sunday morning.  Live radar updates and road conditions will be shown throughout the show!

If you are at home or on the go Sunday, make sure to stay updated with our interactive radar!  Just click below!

The first wave of precipitation should arrive around 6-9am in most areas.  This initial push of moisture will likely be either a period of snow, a mix, or freezing rain.  With temperatures stuck in the 20s early Sunday, freezing rain looks like a good bet from Madison to Milwaukee and point south.

Here is the RPM forecast for 8am Sunday morning.

RPM Sunday 8am

As freezing rain occurs, I expect roads to become slippery in many areas!  Use caution traveling on Sunday.

In parts of Dodge, Washington, Ozaukee, Fond du Lac, and Sheboygan counties the precipitation may be snow, then a mix of freezing rain/sleet/snow.  This part of the viewing area needs to be watched closely for an intense band of moderate to heavy snow pushing through by late mornig or early afternoon.

Below is the RPM surface and precipitation forecast for Sunday at noon.  Use the map above and the color key if you are wondering what each color represents.  The big question is…will this pocket of heavy snow develop?  If it does…it could produce a very quick 2″-4″ of snow.

RPM Noon Sunday

For much of Sunday afternoon I expect rain near the WI/IL border, a mix, rain or freezing rain near Milwaukee and Madison and points in between.  Farther north a messy mix of all of the above including snow.

From early Sunday through 6pm, this is when most of the freezing rain will occur in our area.  I expect ice accumulations to range from 0.10″ to 0.30″.  Figuring out ice accumulation is never easy, and especially in this case.  How much of the liquid precipitation will fall as freezing rain?  Below is the total forecast precipitation amount from 6am Sunday to 7pm.  Notice that almost all areas are around 0.75″.

RPM Precipitation Forecast

As the surface low pushes east and tracks through north-central Illinois colder air will fill-in and change all the precipitation over the snow.  This should occur across southeast Wisconsin Sunday evening and night.  Just depending on where you live.

Snow totals will vary greatly across the viewing area!  And just a slight shift north or south, or a degree or two difference in temperatures will mean the difference between mainly freezing rain, or heavy snow. 

Right now around parts of Fond du Lac, Ozaukee, Sheboygan and parts of Washington counties a band of 6″-10″+ is possible.  If this area would see all/mostly snow from this storm then these totals would be higher.  Lowest totals will be near the WI/IL border with 1″-2″ in non-lake effect areas well inland.  Parts of Racine and Kensoha counties may see some lake effect snow Monday, pushing totals up another inch or so there.  In and around Milwaukee totals should approach 4″.  If a band of snow occurs Sunday morning then this total would be higher.

The RPM snowfall forecast is below.  The higher totals around some lake county areas is from lake ehanced/effect snow that will kick in Sunday night and Monday.

RPM Snow Forecast

Stay with WISN 12 News for updates all day Sunday, and look for updates right here in the blog!  Make sure to let us know what you think, and post your storm reports to the comments section of the blog.

Jeremy Nelson


15 Responses

  1. The 0z NAM nudged south again. I’m getting worried that the I94 corridor is going to take the brunt of the freezing rain.

    • Yeah, both the NAM and GFS seem to be giving us more snow in the MKE area, right? I’m wondering if totals will have to be boosted, especially with thundersnow possible?

  2. Hey Jeremy, do you think thundersnow is likely again?

  3. I’d say thundersnow is a good bet. Loving that forecast for Sheboygan!

  4. WISN, Weather Watch 12, & Sponsors

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  5. Could the southern half of SE Wisconsin be under an ice-related watch/advisory/warning today?

    • Chris,

      The first wave of precip is moving through now. With temps so close to freezing a major ice event is unlikely..and that is why no advisories for freezing rain are in place. The winter storm warning does cover some icing. But the warning was lifted for the southern most counties.


  6. Hi, Jeremy!

    As of 11;30 a.m. here in Reeseville — Dodge County — we have a very minor snow accumulation — less than 1″ — started probably around 9:30 a.m. Really heavy, and big, wet flakes. But since probably 10:45 a.m. nothing but a light mix of rain/sleet.

    What are your most current thoughts on what we should expect in our neck of the woods? As usual, all forecast accumulation maps I’ve seen draw the line right through our town! Yours in this blog is 1-4″ ? Others put us between 4-8 and 8-13. Help me sort through this?

    Thanks much!


    • Ooops!

      I wrote the above post too soon. At 11:45 a.m. precip has gone back to all snow here in Reeseville — heavy, wet flakes as before — intensity of snowfall is very heavy and visibility very limited.

      Will keep you posted.


  7. Ooops!

    I wrote the previous note too soon. As of 11:45 a.m. here in Reeseville — Dodge County — precip has changed back to big, wet snowflakes. Intensity is VERY HEAVY and visibility very poor.

    Will keep you posted via this or future blogs!

    Still looking for answers to questions in my previous post, however.



  8. Portions have been downgraded to a Winter Weather Advisory. The NWS has us in a mix of rain of snow for today…no ice. Is this the case?

    This storm appears to be a let down for the southern portion of SE Wisconsin.

  9. Heavy snow on the south side of Milwaukee. Flakes as large as tissue sheets. No rain at all. Thinking this will be an all snow event here. 2 inches on the ground now.

  10. Steady snow with 1/2 mile visibility at best on the far northwest side of Milwaukee. About 2 1/4 inches of snow so far. I just drove from Manitowoc. No snow at all there when I left but it started snowing around Cleveland. Heavy snow through most of Ozaukee County. I-43 snow covered. Reasonable drivers going no more than 35 m.p.h.

    • Patrick and Dave…Thanks for the update! Some sleet should mix in. Most of the rain stays over the southern tier counties.


  11. What is awesome about this storm? It is a pleasant surprise to me because the previous time through the cycle, Dec 31 – Jan 1, much of the precipitation dissipated as it moved through WI and it was mainly rain. Same storm with majorly different outcomes in my back yard! Loving it.

    I will be updating my blog as time allows with the conditions out my door. 2.4″ measured at 1:09pm.

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