Major Storm Targets Wisconsin; northern Plains late this Week
By Justin Poublon
April 9, 2019 - 3:47 PM CST | 965 0
A major storm system low will track directly through Wisconsin late this week. On the northern side of the low pressure system heavy snow will fall. Right now this appears to be Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. Latest forecast models have shifted the heaviest snow northward from previous predictions. It appears Wisconsin may dodge the dangerous/crippling snow but will get hit with several other aspects of the storm such as strong wind gusts, heavy rain, and t-storms Wednesday PM thru Friday.
With so much stuff going on; let's break it down into simple easy to understand maps that will help you prepare!
Mid-day Wednesday the storm will begin as snow in the south. This band lifts north as heavy snow Thursday morning - followed by a surge of warm air aloft turning snow to rain in southern & central Wisconsin (wintry mix north). Wind gusts increase. Heavy snow falls over northwest Wisconsin and Minnesota. On Friday the storm comes to an end with minor additional snow accumulations northwest.
HEAVY SNOW & WINTRY MIX
Storm total accumulations will range from 2-4" in southern Wisconsin to 8-12" over northwest Wisconsin. The majority of snow in southern Wisconsin will fall Wednesday PM before changing to rain. The majority of snow north will fall Thursday into Friday. A wintry mix is possible in the north including sleet or freezing rain. Only minor ice accumulations if anything are expected.
As you probably know; meteorology is anything but clear cut. When this storm first showed up on the models last week it looked like a southern Wisconsin snowstorm. Since then after many jumps back and forth; here we are with a pretty typical winter storm track and model still disagree. In comparison to the 2018 blizzard this storm is the same magnitude just shifted west. This is why I give it so much respect despite the model inconsistency.
Someone is going to get blasted. Last year it was Wisconsin. This year it's Minnesota & South Dakota where heavy snow of 1-2ft will fall. It's going to be a blizzard out there.
Storm track changes could still occur; if anything it would be further north. Based on the latest models this is my expectation. We've already waited longer than usual to post a forecast. This storm has been anything but easy to pin down.
RAIN & T-STORMS SOUTH
Snow will fall Wednesday PM switching to rain Thursday. 1-2" of rain is expected but I don't believe this will cause any problems. The ground is dry and will soak it right up. Thunderstorms will develop into central Wisconsin during the day Thursday (a rumble of thunder possible north). Hail is very common this time of year due to low freezing level (cold air aloft). Should a thunderstorm develop expect hail and gusty winds. I've marked southern Wisconsin with a "Strong" threat primarily for hail right now. We monitoring to see if any additional threats emerge as we get closer to the event.
A dry slot will cut across Thursday night ending most of the precipitation. Still a chance for light rain or sprinkles on Friday. When you total up the rainfall amounts it should be 1-2" in the south. More mixed precipitation in the north will reduce rainfall amounts. Never clean the way that breaks out.
40-50 MPH WIND GUSTS
Very strong wind gusts will increase Wednesday night into Thursday reaching 50 mph at times! The strongest gusts will occur over Minnesota near 60 mph! Add in a foot of heavy snow and this will cause blizzard conditions potentially reaching into northwest Wisconsin on Thursday. For the rest of us it will be wind driven wintry mix or rain.
NWS WARNINGS & ADVISORIES
Winter storm watches have been
Highs will warm enough to melt the snow Friday into Saturday. Another storm will approach on Sunday which bears watching.
NEXT UPDATE - I will fine tune the forecast on Wednesday morning if needed. We always provide updates leading up to and during the storm our facebook page. Thanks for reading!
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