Clouds continue to filter in ahead of late-week storm system

Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 7:21 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 15, 2023 at 11:00 AM CDT
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Clouds will continue to thicken up through the afternoon, but it will remain largely quiet, with the exception of a few chances at a brief shower. Low pressure will continue to encroach from the west, tightening our pressure gradient, leading to breezy winds out of the south which will usher in some milder temperatures as we are expected to top out in the mid 40s. Gusts could near the 25 to 30 mile per hour range. Our snowpack will have somewhat of an impact on our temperatures, as we’d expect to see a milder day in store in the absence of a snowpack.

High pressure exits as the next storm takes shape in the Plains
High pressure exits as the next storm takes shape in the Plains(weau)

A few scattered showers will then start to work into the area Wednesday night as the warm front slides eastward. Southerly breezes will prevent temperatures from dropping off much and we look to remain in the mid to upper 30s. By early Thursday a front will then push into Western Wisconsin while the main low pressure system comes together in the Central Plains. Rain showers are expected to develop by mid-late morning, leading into a wet afternoon. Temperatures will manage to rise back just above 40 for a short time, before the front passes and winds shift to the north. As this happens, colder air will start to take over and we then look for a transition from rain over to wet snow. How quickly this happens remains a bit up in the air, but we expect this transition to lead into the evening hours as temperatures drop down through the 30s. The low will strengthen as it tracks to the northeast, near or north of Chicago overnight. Snow will be widespread at that point, with most of our expected accumulations. The storm should be on the move, tracking into the Great Lakes by early Friday. If this pace verifies, then any accumulating snow would likely shut off by very early Friday, with just lingering snow showers during the day.

A winter storm watch has been issued for our far northwestern counties in anticipation of a...
A winter storm watch has been issued for our far northwestern counties in anticipation of a late-week storm system(WEAU)

In anticipation of potential impacts for Thursday evening and Friday morning, the National Weather Service has scheduled winter storm watches for our far northwestern counties in effect from Thursday afternoon through Friday morning. Winds will pick up from the northwest and turn a bit gusty as cold air continues to take over. Highs will only reach the mid-upper 20s. Total accumulations are still to be determined, with southern areas perhaps only seeing an inch or so, ranging to several inches north of Eau Claire. In the wake of this latest storm, it will remain unseasonably cold for a few days, with Saturday also remaining in the 20s. After a few lingering flurries, sunshine should make a comeback by Sunday with highs closer to freezing.