Winter on the Horizon

November 8, 2010 0 Comments

As Brian and Kristen mentioned over the last couple of days, there is a potential for our first significant snowfall of the season come this Friday night and during the day on Saturday. Right now I am forecasting a 50% chance of rain on Friday changing to snow on Saturday. It is still too far away to add much more certainty to the forecast but as a rough first estimate – if the storm does hit Northcentral Wisconsin – there could be 2 to 4 inches. The snow might stick around as well, since it looks like colder temps will be developing over the weekend and next week. The picture is of the GFS model run from midnight last night (the latest available). It shows a moderate low pressure system with a couple inches of snow for the late afternoon on Saturday.

Perhaps it is fitting that our first threat of snow is coming at the end of Winter Weather Awarenessweek. To start out the week, I will pass along the most important and most effective Winter Weather Safety tip: DON’T DRIVE LIKE A MANIAC! Having a four wheel drive vehicle with all the newest fancy automatic controls and anti-lock brakes only ensures that you will be going faster and die in a more violent crash (often taking others with you) when it does happen. The last time I was on the road during an icing event, my wife and I drove from Wausau to Abbotsford and saw about 10 vehicles in the ditch. All but one were SUVs or Trucks. The SUV drivers thought they were safe, but ended up in the ditch. There is no substitute for driving slower. Plan ahead. When there is snow or ice falling from the sky, leave 10 minutes early for work and drive more carefully.

With the potential for snowfall, we might also finally have our winners in the first snowfall contest. If the storm does produce snow in our area, 1 inch in Wausau (the contest criteria) is a distinct possibility. If I had to forecast, I would say the higher chance of that inch of snow will be on the 13th (Saturday) and not the 12th (Friday). Nine people predicted the 12th and five people predicted the 13th. Good luck! The top 4 prizes include R-store gift cards and car wash coupons.

Now taking an even bigger forecast risk, for all of the hunter’s out there, the GFS computer model (the one reference above) is showing a brutal opening weekend for the gun hunt. Looking almost 2 weeks into the future can be fraught with errors, but I wanted to alert all the hunters that there could be light snow or flurries as well as gusty winds and well below normal temperatures for opening weekend. The CPC 8 t0 14 day outlook also shows a good chance of below normal temps late next week. How cold could it be? High temps could be in the 20s or even a bit lower.

Have a nice Monday! Meteorologist Justin Loew.

About the Author:

Leave a Reply