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Snow Coming for Wisconsin? Anyone's Guess Right Now!

Dec 09, 2010
An Alberta Clipper will produce some minor snow accumulations today across Wisconsin, but the big story will be for this weekend.

The past 4 days most of the meteorological computer models were painting a strong storm system to affect most of the Midwest and into the Ohio Valley region starting this weekend. The consensus was for the storm track to travel along a path near St. Louis to Indianapolis then turning more northeast towards Cleveland.

Unfortunately, the computer models have made a huge jump to the north last night with regards to the storm track that could affect Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan with the potential for heavy snow. Meteorologists have been scratching their heads with this storm system as it has shown little consistency regarding the track of the low across the Midwest and the wide range of outcomes. This is very important since the track determines where the heaviest snow may fall.

So when will we get a solid idea of where this storm will track? The main culprit is the energy from this eventual storm is still located out in the Pacific Ocean near British Columbia. The upper air network (weather balloons) have yet to sample this energy to be incorporated into the computer models. Meteorologists analyze these models to forecast the storm system's strength and path. In hindsight, it's somewhat hard to launch weather balloons from the ocean so we have to wait until the energy moves onshore. That is one reasons for the inconsistency of the future projection of the storm system as it heads into the Midwest.

Here are some comments from meteorologists at the following National Weather Services regarding this potential storm:

NWS - Milwaukee/Sullivan

THE MAIN FORECAST CONCERN CONTINUES TO BE THE STORM POTENTIAL FOR
THE WEEKEND. AS OF THE LATEST 00Z RUNS...WE/RE RAISING THE WHITE
FLAG. MODELS CONTINUE TO BE VERY INCONSISTENT IN TRACK AND TIMING
FOR THIS SYSTEM.


NWS - Quad Cities

SATURDAY REMAINS QUITE INTERESTING. ALL MODELS HAVE DONE SIGNIFICANT
SWINGS WITH THEIR RESPECTIVE SOLUTIONS. THESE SWINGS CAN BE MAINLY
ATTRIBUTED TO LATENT HEAT RELEASE. THUS THE NONLINEAR ASPECTS OF
THIS SYSTEM ARE BECOMING EVEN MORE OBVIOUS. STRONG WAA SOUTH OF THE
AREA LATE FRIDAY NIGHT/SATURDAY SHOULD RESULT IN SOME CONVECTION
FIRING. THE COMBINATION OF THIS EXPECTED CONVECTION AND THE SNOW
PACK IN THE IMMEDIATE AREA SHOULD RESULT IN THE SFC LOW PASSING
SOUTH OF THE AREA.


NWS - South Bend

FRUSTRATION GROWS CONCERNING UPCOMING WINTER STORM SYSTEM THIS
WEEKEND. LAST NIGHTS 00Z MODEL SUITE AGREEMENT WAS TOO GOOD TO BE
TRUE AS JUST 24 HOURS LATER WE HAVE A PLETHORA OF DIFFERENT
SOLUTIONS AND ONLY A FEW LOOK ANYTHING LIKE LAST NIGHT.


In the meantime, as the storm system moves over land tonight, the models will start to get a better handle on the track of the system and where the heaviest snows will occur. As it moves east of Wisconsin, extreme cold air from Canada will spill across the entire central and eastern United Stats bringing in very cold temperatures early next week.

Comments

Your Mother
Dec 9, 2010 - 1:53 pm
Here's my guess: Zero inches. freaking fortunetellers.