Wisconsin Weather

DEC 13, 2017 | 10" in Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin

Event Type
Impact
3 - Moderate
Date
Tue Dec 12 - Thu Dec 14, 2017

Event Summary

Alberta clipper in dynamic upper level flow. Moisture starved initiatlly but increasing in coverage throughout the day. From the start it was clear the main snow band was key to snow accumulation with a sharp cutoff in snow accumulation to the south of that. Initial model runs had the snow band position along an axis from Stevens Point to Sheboygan. This band was dependent on 700mb forcing and the timing had to be right as the clipper moved quickly. The night prior to Wednesday 12/13, a northward shift occurred in the main snow band. This hung the lower end of weather advisories out to dry. However snow accumulations over-performed the 3-6" forecast in northeast Wisconsin due to conservative expectations that were more in line the average alberta clipper. This was stronger than the average clipper. This is where I learned to bump up snow predictions in northern Wisconsin just because.

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Last Update: December 12 2017

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An inch or two of light snow is expected Monday morning and during the morning commute for some of us. This radar simulation is for 5AM. Light snow showers or drizzle will be possible during the afternoon with little to no accumulation. Colder Tuesday into Wednesday with a slight warming trend and more light snow chances later in the week.
T-2" observed this morning right on forecast. Another chance for 1-3" locally across southern Wisconsin today.
The afternoon round came together farther south than expected and the advisory busted. They issued too aggressively/early. Forecast models overall have performed great. Its the small scale features which have not been positioned correctly. Will take our lumps now and note this heading into the heart of winter. Perhaps starting with placing less confidence on short range models.
Having trouble with the blog engine on mobile tonight and can't fix until tomorrow, so sharing this here now. An early look at Wednesday morning reveals our next chance for snow. I think model simulations are bullish in terms of QPF. This could be compensated for by higher snow to liquid ratios? Potential for lake enhancement along lk Michigan. Want to see overnight runs before getting head over heels.
12Z models in agreement on low track across southwest Wisconsin thru Wednesday. This would bring the most snow across the central or northeast. NAM today showing QPF 0.4-0.8", NAMNEST 0.3-0.7", and GFS at 0.2-0.5". Snow ratios will be in excess of 11-1. I think the GFS is most realistic. The NAM is hinting at the snow bandy characteristics of the event, that some *spots* could be in excess of 7". Question is where??
Strange burst of snow found it's way into the neighborhood overcoming the dry air. Every run except the hopwrf I've looked at since the 18z has trended slightly north with the heaviest snows tomorrow. Closer to an axis that goes through Kaukauna or Wrightstown. Still waiting for precip to break out across Minnesota, though I wouldn't say it's behind schedule yet. Exciting times!
Do not feel good about 3-6" forecast in NE WI. Many places between 6-8", the potential for which was well advertised by models despite having the wrong location. The decision making process needs to be balanced between human and forecast model. Too much human for me on this one. 
Just finished with all the bug fixes and adjustments following the latest update and there were several. Planning to add a few new things on the next round but the dev schedule will be more relaxed this winter. The website is coming together nicely! Will have to start recruiting people once the community section gets going. This should be a fun and welcoming place for everyone interested in weather! Slowly but surely we will get there.
Flurries possible tonight into tomorrow. 1-2" expected for central Wisconsin late Fri PM into Sat AM. It was at this point on Monday where the Wednesday system went bananas. I don't think that will be an issue this time.