Weather Radio Safety program
Updated: 08/04/2011 -
The 1st significant snow storm of the season is in the books and it did produce anywhere from 5" to as much as 16" of snow in North Central Wisconsin. Here's is a map of accumulations from the NWS Green Bay:
After some review, the official snowfall total in Wausau was revised to 10". No less, this was the biggest snowfall in Wausau in a number of years. For additional information on the storm check these links to the NWS Green Bay and NWS La Crosse.
Getting down to the technical aspects of this storm, checking the surface weather data from around the area on Tuesday and Wednesday, it was not officially a blizzard. In order to have been, visibilities would have had to been less than a quarter of a mile or winds sustained at 35 mph for 3 consecutive hours. Winds did get into the mid 20 mph range for a few hours, but in essence it was close but no cigar. Even in Madison where the snow piled up to nearly 18", the criteria was not met, but there were certainly some periodic white out conditions.
So how did my forecast pan out? Here is the recap of what I had forecast leading up to the start of the storm.
With all of that said, you're probably wondering how much snow is going to fall? Here's my thinking as of Tuesday Afternoon:
The latest weather data is now indicating higher amounts of moisture being pushed into North Central Wisconsin. With this said, it does look more likely that much of the region could pick up 6 or more inches of snow by the time the flakes wind down later Wednesday afternoon. Along with that, near whiteout conditions are expected on Wednesday across the area, making travel very hazardous if not dangerous.
The heaviest snow looks to fall in the southern third of the state, extending back from southwestern Wisconsin, northeast to the lake shore counties from south of Green Bay to around Sheboygan. The farther north in the state, the lower the snowfall amounts will be, except in the lake effect snow belts where the winds will produce additional accumulation Wednesday night into Thursday.
For the Northwoods: 5-8" including Eagle River, Phillips and Rhinelander.
In Central Wisconsin: 7-12" including Wausau, Merrill, Medford, Antigo and up even into southern Forest County.
From about Highway 10 in Wood and Portage Co. and Highway 45 in Shawano Co. on south and east: 8-14" including Neillsville, Wisconsin Rapids, Stevens Point, Shawano, Wild Rose and Big Flats.
The heaviest snowfall could be on range of 12-18" southbound into La Crosse, Madison, Fond du Lac, and northwest of Milwaukee. Iowa is also going to get pounded with as well with over a foot possible in parts of the state.
Overall, the storm lived up to expectations in total snowfall and for that matter dragging arctic air into the region for the end of the week.
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