Wisconsin Weather

March Snow Storm Heading to Wisconsin [UPDATED]

Mar 5 2018 9:00 AM CST| 0 Comments | Wisconsin | Weather Forecasting

MON 9:00AM - Made a few adjustments to the snow map. Needed to trim back the 6-9" region in northwest Wisconsin. A westward shift in storm track pulled the heaviest snows west into southeast MN. Would like to reduce snow totals in the south given temperatures rising into the low-mid 30s Tuesday. For simplicity sake, and because I think southern WI can reach the 3" mark by Tuesday morning; did not make any changes other than trim out the southeast corner. Generally we are playing it conservative for this event for several reasons including timing, temperatures, and duration. It's March.

Snow accumulation map created 3/5/2018 at 9:00AM

Lake enhancement will occur along lake Michigan from Door county south to the north side of Milwaukee. I'm not sure it will make a huge impact though. Even considered adding a 6-9" zone, just not impressed with it.

Locally higher amounts greater than 6" will be possible in northeast Wisconsin along HWY 29 roughly from Wausau/Stevens Point east to Green Bay.

SUN 10:00PM - Models generally lighter with snow amounts across northwest/western Wisconsin. The storm has trended slightly west since this morning. Will wait for morning runs just to be sure and adjust accordingly.

SUN 9:00 AM - An occluding low pressure system will bring widespread snow to Wisconsin Monday 3/5 and Tuesday (3/6). Several inches of snow accumulation are expected during this two-day event.

Snowfall accumulation map for Monday through Tuesday. Created at 11AM 3/4/2018.

Precipitation may begin as scattered rain or mix in the west Monday morning. A band of snow will develop across eastern Minnesota/Iowa and move east Monday night. There may not be much accumulation occurring with snow initially however as snow rates increase and accumulation should occur, especially after sunset. Snow will continue into Tuesday before ending with additional snow accumulation statewide (lesser amts north).

The best chance for snow is between 3 p.m Monday and 9 p.m Tuesday (ending earlier in the northwest). There may be localized mixed precipitation starting along the Mississippi as early as midnight Sunday night. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for northwest and western Wisconsin.

Impacts

  • Snow through Tuesday- 9-14" for a small area west of Barron - Menominee. This will be relatively small bullseye most likely located just north of Minneapolis. 6-9" for Rice Lake down HWY 53 to Eau Claire and I-94 southeast to La Crosse. 3-6" for everyone else. Snow could be briefly heavy Monday night.

  • Rain to Snow - As precipitation transitions to snow in western Wisconsin, some models show a short window for light freezing rain accumulation during the day Monday mostly west of the Mississippi River. Some models don't show freezing rain. I'm expecting a pretty clean transition from rain to snow Monday morning or early afternoon in the west.

  • Lake Enhancement - Seeing signals for lake enhancement Tuesday along the lake Michigan shoreline. Models not in agreement on location but the big picture seems favorable. I predict there will be enhancement south of Sheybogan. This will offset lower QPF from other processes. Without lake enhancement totals would be lower that 3-6".

  • Windy - Easterly wind gusts will increase Monday, possibly exceeding 30MPH somewhere across Wisconsin during that time. Winds weaken and turn northeasterly on Tuesday, then northerly as a colder air flows in behind the system Tuesday night.

Radar Simulation Loop

GIF loop radar simulation from late Sunday to Tuesday afternoon created on Sat Mar 3.

Notes

  • Most models try to push heavier snow amounts in western/northwest Wisconsin.I'm not totally convinced high on snow totals in western Wisconsin due to likelihood of low snow to liquid ratios, transition from rain, time of day, dry air ahead of the storm, and warmish ground temps. Timing has become more favorable with latest model runs but still plenty of reasons to play it conservative from Eau Claire to La Crosse to Boscobel. I preferred the NAM for general transition trends blended with GFS/EC total accums.

  • Noticed with the NAM that Dubuque was forecasted to have 4"/hr snow rates when taking default SLR method lol. This will not happen, 2"/hr maybe. But for only an hour or two and is very critical to snow accums. This is the source of the upskew in snow amounts shown by models in the far west/southwest. This is how busts happen. I will be avoiding that.

  • Expecting lighter snows on Tuesday as the system occludes, fills, then slides to the southeast. Light but widespread. Lighter relative to Monday.

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