After snow fell much of the day on Tuesday from the Twin Cites up to the UP, Wednesday will bring windy and colder conditions to the Midwest. Lingering lake effect snow will be possible in the UP and portions of lower Michigan Wednesday into Thursday morning. A brief warmup is expected Friday before the next storm arrives late Friday into Saturday.
Short Term Forecast
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Wednesday - Friday:
Snowfall reports are really lagging behind Wednesday morning for some reason, but here is an initial report:
Widespread 5-8 inches was reported in the Twin Cities with a few locations reporting over 8 inches. Up near Ironwood, Michigan, there was a report of 9 inches with 4-8 in west-central Wisconsin. Up near Duluth, MN, 2-5 inches were reported.
Overall the forecast held up okay, though I was not high enough for the top-end potential for the Twin Cities area. I would not be surprised if we later find out some locations received 8-10+ inches as a band of moderate to heavy snow was persistent late in the afternoon on Tuesday in that area.
The main story on Wednesday will be very windy conditions and much colder with lingering lake effect snow showers in portions of the UP and northern lower Michigan.
Forecast winds for the early afternoon on Wednesday:
Here are the amounts expected from Wednesday morning to Thursday morning. The winner will be Searchmont up in Ontario with over 6" expected as a result of persistent west winds off of Lake Superior!
Wednesday night will bring the return of teens and single digits if not below zero for low temperatures, allowing for plenty of snow-making to occur.
After a cold start on Thursday, temperatures will rebound into the 20s and 30s for most locations for highs with dry conditions expected. Friday will be mild, with highs ranging from the 30s in northeast Minnesota to the 40s and low 50s for portions of Wisconsin and lower Michigan.
For those of you feeling down about the conditions in southern Wisconsin and lower Michigan, hang in there, better news is coming for next week!
Looking ahead to this weekend, the first chance of snow arrives late Friday into Saturday, at this time the most likely areas to receive fresh snow would be locations around Lake Superior. Both the ECMWF and GFS ensembles agree fairly well with strong signals for lake effect snow both for the UP and northern portions of lower Michigan.
As for now, it looks like a potential 2-6 inches with higher amounts possible for locations that are located in the lake effect snow belts.
Lake effect will continue off and on late this weekend and into early next week before the potential for yet another system paying a visit to the Midwest occurs around Tuesday, December 6. The models are less confident on where and how much might fall, though they do agree that given the colder temperatures, lake effect and enhanced snow off of both Lake Superior and Lake Michigan is likely.
The GFS ensemble has higher probabilities for snow in central and southern Wisconsin at this time - something to monitor as we get closer.
One thing I do feel fairly confident in is that next week will be much colder overall which will allow for a few things to happen: first, additional lake effect snow off and on from Saturday, December 3rd to at least Friday, December 9th, and second, more snow-making and expanded terrain. This is welcomed news after portions of Wisconsin and lower Michigan have taken it on the chin the past few days with lots of rain and temperatures in the 40s and 50s.
If you frequent the UP and northern lower Michigan resorts, I would be tentatively circling the second weekend of December (Saturday, 10th & Sunday, 11th) to pay a visit for expanded terrain to be open and improved conditions.