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extended forcast is looking good for now! Updated 2-24

Posted by Ralph Johnson on February 15, 2012 at 9:20 PM

Copied off Johndee:

Friday, February 24, 2012


An area of low pressure brought snows to eastern SD, northern IA, far southern MN, southern WI, northern IL and into much of lower MI. Totals in most cases were in the 1-4" range, with some isolated heavier amounts in eastern SD, NW IA, southern WI, extreme northern IL.

The forecast has no major changes and the bottom line remains that the next 10 days look to be quite snowy across the northern 1/3rd to 1/2 of the Midwest and no thaws are seen for the Northwoods in that time frame as well.


The current system in the lower Great Lakes will continue to work east and snows will be winding down across SE WI and NE IL this morning, with an additional inch or so of accumulation. Snows will continue the better part of the day across much of lower MI, where an additional 3-6" will fall today. A bit of lake effect will spill into the UP today, with generally less than an inch of accumulation by sunset, and then 1-3" is possible in the western UP snow belts tonight.

Tomorrow looks to be fairly quiet, with a bit of LES bringing an inch or less to the UP snow belts. Snows with the next system will then start to spread into the Dakotas later Saturday night.

The details to the system for Sunday and into early Monday have not changed much from yesterday. It still looks to be a rather formidable storm, but not a record breaker, with totals to be in the 5-10" range across most of ND, the northern 1/3rd of MN, northern 1/5th of WI and most of the UP. Areas like central MN, the rest of the northern 1/3rd of WI, the extreme southern UP and far northern lower MI look to see a general 2-5" fall with this system.

Little to no liquid precip looks to fall to the south of the snow area with this event.

Temps for the next 4 days will run close to average and maybe even a bit below average, with all of the Northwoods to stay below freezing for highs and the freeze line pushed into the central Midwest.


Things will quiet down in most areas for later Monday into early Tuesday, with the exceptions of the LES belts of the UP and NWL, where a general 2-5" looks possible.

By later Tuesday and Wednesday, a second piece of upper energy will work out of the Plains and into the Midwest and the latest details with it call for it to be even stronger and bigger than the Sunday event. I will caution that it is still around 5 days out in the forecast, so one should not get too caught up in the exact details and while I was very tempted to use solid shading on the 5-10 day forecast map with this system, I am going to refrain and just use the area bounded by a line, which means my confidence in the details with it is still around 50-60% or less.

At any rate, the way things look right now, snows would break out across the Dakotas late Monday night into Tuesday and then spread into areas of the Midwest generally to the north of a line from around Sioux Falls SD to Escanaba, MI and then due east from there. The heaviest snows would thus occur in the southeast 1/2 of SD, the southeast 1/4 of ND, all but the far NW corner of MN, all of the UP and roughly the northern 1/3rd of WI. Snow totals as seen right now would be in the 10-15" range, with some locales in central and NE MN and most of the UP possibly seeing over 20" of snow fall.

I know, exciting stuff eh? Maybe we can coin this the "Leap-Year Storm"? Just remember, things can and probably will change some with the details with this system. However, I do think there is about a 65-75% chance of a major winter storm impacting areas of the Northwoods the middle of next week.

The storm will then be winding down later on Wednesday night and by Thursday, most of the Midwest will be quiet. The exceptions could be across the UP and NWL MI snow belts where additional LES could occur into Thursday.

Yet another system is seen for around Friday or Saturday of next week, but looks to be much weaker and the models are also all over the road on it's track right now, so best to just let things get figured out better before worrying too much about it- especially with so much to worry about midweek.

Temps next week look to run close to average, with the freeze line remaining on the southern edges of the Northwoods through midweek and then dropping south of that by the end of the week.


The models still indicate the pattern to remain in a position that is favorable for cold and snows across the Northwoods, perhaps even the northern 1/2 of the Midwest.




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