OFFICIAL FORECAST - Winter Storm Targets Wisconsin This Weekend
10:10 AM FRIDAY - A strong low pressure system will spin up over Iowa this weekend bringing periods of snow, rain, and mix. The storm will begin as rain in southern Wisconsin Saturday morning, spreading north throughout the day. Several inches of snow, freezing rain, and strong wind gusts up to 50 MPH are briefly possible during as this long duration weather system slowly drifts by. I believe in the end this storm will have a moderate impact on Wisconsin.
Snow accumulation will spread out over the weekend and it may not come all at once. The heaviest snow is forecast just to the west across southeast Minnesota where 6-9" is predicted. 3-6" is expected across central Wisconsin and portions of the north, mixing with rain at times. Locally higher amounts are possible but exactly where that would occur remains uncertain. The usual snowy areas of Upper Michigan should expect several inches of lake enhancement. Lesser snow amounts next to lake Michigan.
In southern Wisconsin, widespread rain will move through during the day Saturday with a decrease in coverage down to scattered or isolated showers. I wouldn't be surprised to hear a rumble of thunder along the WI/IL border. A long period of mostly dry conditions or light mist is possible Saturday night into Sunday. Snow showers will close out the event Sunday night with only minor accumulations if anything.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory across portions of northern and central Wisconsin. See details below:
- TIMING - Long duration storm event. The storm will start as rain in the south Saturday morning. The event will end as snow exits Wisconsin Sunday night. In between there may be lulls.
- SNOW - 6-9" along and west of the Mississippi River in west-central Wisconsin. 3-6" from north of La Crosse into northeast Wisconsin with locally higher amounts possible. Mixed with rain at times. Some sleet also possible. This includes Marshfield, Wausau, and Green Bay (west side)
- FREEZING RAIN - There is a minor threat for freezing rain. Friday night and Saturday night may bring a glaze of freezing rain to west-central and central Wisconsin. This could cause traffic issues in the morning, however temperatures near or above freezing should help reduce overall impact.
- WIND GUSTS - A corridor of strong easterly wind gusts up to 50 MPH are briefly possible across southwest and central Wisconsin on Saturday. High points and exposed locations will see the greatest impact. Wind gusts will decrease for Sunday. Overall I think gusts of 30-40 MPH will be more common across state, but there will be a window for some pretty strong gusts as the low occludes.
Here is the NAM simulated radar loop for tonight through Sunday night. Note how the event still hasn't completed ended by the end of the loop at 6PM on Sunday. Time is in UTC(CST +6hr).
We discuss the technical details of the event on our Hazardous Weather Outlook page.
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