OFFICIAL FORECAST - Winter Storm Begins Wednesday Night
By Justin Poublon
December 28, 2018 - 8:00 AM CST | 569 0
RIGHT NOW - light snow developing today
A major storm system strong will track across Wisconsin bringing heavy snow, rain, and light freezing rain tonight through Friday. Wisconsin Weather will be monitoring the storm closely so keep it here for the absolute latest information!
The storm will start late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning. The initial wave of precipitation develops and pushes northeast. Precipitation may start as snow, freezing rain, or sleet but change to rain for most by Thursday afternoon. North of HWY 29 in northeast Wisconsin precipitation will stay as snow longer before changing to rain resulting in higher snow accumulations. The changeovers can be difficult to describe so please check out our facebook live broadcast on Wednesday night!
For the rest of Wisconsin, widespread rain is expected with rainfall amounts up to 2.0". Latest models have put the highest rainfall totals across central Wisconsin. Snow showers will close out the event Friday night as temperatures decrease.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning across much of Minnesota into Douglass and Bayfield counties. A Winter Weather Advisory for the rest of northern Wisconsin for the combination of snow, rain, and freezing rain (possibly). See details below:
STORM TIMING & DETAILS
- TIMING - The storm will begin after 6PM tonight spreading northeast as snow changing to rain Thursday. There will be a lull in the action Thursday night as the system occludes. The event will end as light snow wrapping around on Friday.
- HEAVY SNOW - 8-12" in the far northern counties of Douglas, Bayfield, and Ashland. 5-8" north of HWY 70 for locations such as Hayward, Manitowish Waters, Ironwood, Land o Lakes, and western Upper Michigan. Snow may mix with rain at times. 3-5" north of HWY 29/Wausau, for locations such as Rhinelander and Iron Mountain in northeast Wisconsin changing over to rain Thursday night. Warm air will reduce snow totals in western Wisconsin for places such as Eau Claire, Black River Falls.
- The bulk of accumulation will occur on Thursday with only minor additional accumulations Friday. Some sleet or light freezing rain possible. 1-3" of snow across central Wisconsin. Some of this will come on Thursday then again as the event ends on Friday night.
- WIDESPREAD RAIN - 0.5" to 2.0" of rain across Wisconsin. In the north rain will mix with snow. Some of that could be wrapped into the snow as liquid equivalent.
- FREEZING RAIN - A light glaze of freezing rain is possible across the north. Models have differing opinions, some with and some without. Just to be safe let's plan ahead for this potential.
- WIND GUSTS - Winds are not expected to be particularly harsh with this event. Gusts of 20-35 MPH are possible on Thursday. Things may quiet down as the lull works through. The strongest gusts will be along Lake Superior in northern Wisconsin.
Here is the NAM simulated radar loop for noon Wednesday through Friday night. Time is in UTC(CST +6hr).
We will be going live by 4:30 PM tonight, Wednesday Dec 26 on our facebook page to discuss precipitation changeovers and more! Hope to see you there!
This is our final update for this event. For the latest updates visit us on our facebook page. We will post information throughout the event. Thank you!
For the latest radar, click here
For the latest warnings & storm reports, click here
For storm chaser video of the storm, click here
Sign up for alerts here
Please visit our facebook page, Wisconsin Weather!