These final days are going to be a wild end to the month of January. Two storm systems are going to roar through the central portions of the United States. These are ahead of a large blast of Arctic air that will invade the lower 48 for the end of the week. The first system is an area of low pressure that will come up right through the Chippewa Valley late tonight into Tuesday. We’ll likely see a wintry mix and some freezing rain Monday night into early on Tuesday before changing over to just some showers during the day Tuesday. The bigger impact from this low pressure system will be for portions of the Dakotas and Northern Minnesota. There, a band of heavy snow will set up dumping as much as 6-8” of snow. You can see the estimated snowfall amounts from our SkyCast forecast model below.
Behind this system is another one that will develop over the next 24 hours in Oklahoma and ride up into the Chicagoland area by Wednesday. This low will strengthen quickly and draw up a lot of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.
On Tuesday we’ll be concerned about a large late January outbreak of severe weather. The Storm Prediction Center has issued a moderate risk for parts of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
The difference between warm air in front of this system and cold air behind this system will produce a lot of precipitation as this system barrels through the Midwest this week. Oklahoma approached near record highs with temperatures in the mid 70s. Behind this system much of the Midwest will see highs in the single digits and lows well below zero including here in Western Wisconsin.
Look how much rain is expected in parts of the Mississippi and Ohio River Valley over the next 5 days!
What we’ll have to watch for here in Wisconsin is the possibility for some heavy snow late Tuesday night into Wednesday. Cold air will begin working into Western Wisconsin later on Tuesday afternoon. Below is a forecast model run showing precipitation at 6AM. You can see the La Crosse area and even into southern and eastern portions of the Chippewa Valley would be seeing some snow. The heaviest snow falling in places like La Crosse, Black River Falls, Sparta, Tomah, and Necedah. A shift in the track of the low pressure will greatly change how much snow falls. So this will have to be watched closely in the next 24 hours.