Well hopefully by now, you have heard of the potential for a major winter storm early next week. If you haven’t, you clearly have been removed from all forms of technology, and human interaction, as there hasn’t been anyone NOT talking about it. It seems it has become the chatter around the watering hole. So what is this fuss all about? There is the potential for a strong storm system to impact the upper Midwest from Tuesday into Wednesday. If you have travel plans on these days, you will want to keep a close eye on the weather and have a plan B ready.
The three main models that we are currently watching are the GEM (Canadian), GFS (American) and the ECMWF (European). All three long range models have been pretty consistent with the strength and track of this storm system. As you will notice comparing the image at the top of this article, which is the new 18z GFS and the image right above this paragraph, which is the 12z GEM, they are very similar. The track fluctuates northwest to southeast from run-to-run, but only a hundred miles or so. There have been no major flip-flops the past few days, so this leads to increase confidence, which explains for all of the chatter. However, the storm system is still out in the Pacific ocean, so that leaves room for error, which is why some are holding off on snowfall totals graphics.
As of timing, things could change as we go into the weekend, but as of now, it appears snow will begin to fall across the state very early Tuesday morning. Snow will continue to fall throughout the day on Tuesday, and the potential for heavy snowfall rates will also exist. The system will then begin to pull out of the state on Wednesday, but strong winds will continue to be an issue. The strong winds will also be an issue on Tuesday, which will produce blizzard like conditions. Forecasted wind gusts as of now are expected to be over 40mph, and will continue to increase as the low deepens as it tracks off to the northeast.
Snowfall totals do appear to be in the moderate to heavy category at this time. The heaviest snowfall accumulations should fall in the range of 6″ to 12″, with the potential for locally higher amounts. Once again, this is subject to change depending on the strength of the storm. We are still five days away, so all you can do right now, is to continue checking back for the latest updates.