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Friday, December 19, 2014


No major changes. There is still plenty to be hopeful for, but also plenty of uncertainty in the forecast for next week. The bottom line is snows are still seen for the upper Midwest, it is just how much and when.


Other than a bit of light snow up into northern MN today, things will be quiet for today and most of tomorrow and then by later tomorrow night into Sunday, the leading edge of the next snow event will be developing some light snows across much of MN, northeast IA, western UP and the western UP. Most totals by midnight Sunday look to be in inch or less with that activity.

Those snows will then intensify and expand across the northern Midwest on Monday and Monday night. The models still struggle with the exact details, but there are growing indications that: 1)The main band of snow will extend further west to include most of MN and even the eastern Dakotas and: 2) The surface temps during the daytime in the UP and WI during the period of snow Monday will be at or even a few degrees above freezing. This will hold back the totals some. Mainly due to the wetness of the snow, but also due to the potential of a bit of rain to mix in. In any case, totals on Monday in the UP and N. WI look to be in the 1-4” range. Drop temps 4-5 degrees and those totals could be doubled.

The snows with this system will continue into Tue and even Wed in sections of the Midwest and are covered in the 5-10 day below.

Temps will be running below freezing in most of the Northwoods today and tomorrow and then readings in much of the Northwoods look to reach the freezing mark or even the mid 30’s for highs by Sunday into Monday.


The low will continue to bring snows to the northern Midwest Tuesday and at least snow showers, if not a bit of accumulation will sweep into much of the region by Wednesday.

On Tuesday itself, the same setup as Monday looks to happen, meaning the precip will be falling as primarily snow in the UP and northern 1/3rd to ˝ of WI, but it will be a wet snow, so will not pile up as heartily as if the snow were a drier snow. Accumulations in most of the UP and northern 1/3rd to ˝ of WI look to be in the 2-5” range, with some 5”+ amounts possible in the central and northwest UP as well as into north central and northeast WI.

Wednesday will see the heavier snows over for most areas, with several inches possible in the UP and northern lower MI, with an inch or so in the rest of the Midwest.

Things look to be fairly quiet for Thursday and then ideas become mixed for the Friday and the weekend. One idea is for a bit of light snow to fall across areas mainly north of I-80, with cold air to bring some fairly meaningful LES to the Keweenaw, shoreline areas of the eastern UP as well as far NW lower MI.

The other idea seems to be taking advantage of the “loaded-gun” setup in the atmosphere I eluded to yesterday.

That scenario has a strong area of low pressure developing in the central Plains and tracking into the northern Great Lakes for Friday and Saturday. This scenario would bring a band of 6-12”+ snows to much of SD, far northeast NE, far SE SD, most of MN (except for the far NW and far SE corners) as well as the western ˝ of the UP. Moderate to heavy rains would fall in the rest of the region with that system.

Behind that system, cold air would bring some moderate to heavy snows to the UP and NW lower MI snow belts into the following weekend.


Since this period is for the all-important period between Christmas and New Years, I will make some comments on it.

It looks like a NW flow will dominate the pattern through much of this period, keeping temps at to below average across the region, which puts the freeze line south of the Northwoods and perhaps as far south as I-80 for most of the period. A couple of clipper type system are also seen for the period, each bringing a general 2-5” of snow to much of the Northwoods, with some LES to occur fairly persistently as well.


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