Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Amount of Cold Next Week Depends on Weekend Snowfall

There will definitely be an intrusion of Arctic air next week, but just how far the mercury will drop during that time depends on where the heaviest snow falls over the weekend.

There is snow coming for the weekend.  This we know.  But where exactly the heaviest falls and who gets what is still up in the air.  Unfortunately, that's just the nature of forecasting winter weather.  Models will continue to shift and wiggle storm tracks in the days, and sometimes even hours, leading up to a snow event, with this storm system being no different.  What we do know is accumulating snow will occur this weekend.  But what we don't know is where that will fall.  Consistency
in forecast models is what we look for when trying to forecast events several days out.  If models are not consistent with each other, or even with themselves, our confidence in a storm system goes down.  And it should come as no surprise that with the storm this weekend there are several different outcomes.

If low pressure tracks closer to Northern Illinois Saturday and Saturday night, heavy snow would most likely occur from Minnesota into Wisconsin.  If low pressure tracks a little further south then the heaviest snow would shift south as well.  Having a fresh blanket of snow on the ground will only help enhance the cold that is projected to move south next week.  Highs Tuesday through Thursday might not make it out of the teens and we could feel our first sub-zero temperatures of the season.  If a deeper snow pack occurs to the north, the coldest temperatures will be felt up through Wisconsin and Minnesota with highs possibly not making it out of the single digits.  We would feel the cold, too, but temperatures might be able to modify a little.  Either way, it will definitely be colder next week!  As for the snow, keep the shovels handy.  After all, it is winter (well, Meteorological Winter).

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