Heavy Lake Effect Snow

Mainly overnight and early this morning, greater Chicago picked up ~3" (2.5" at O'Hare Airport) of the white stuff (snow). As was anticipated late last night, the storm lost surface forcing and the snow came down in a very light, very wet nature. Temperatures today hovered around freezing, so much of the snow melted.

However, strong northeasterly winds are blowing over Lake Michigan. As you can see below, Lake Michigan water temps are hovering near 40 degrees:

This is the perfect recipe for a rare western shore lake effect snow event. A band of snow will progress southward from Milwaukee tonight, spreading over Chicago around midnight and dumping possible a half foot more of snow! Here's the short range model showing estimated snowfall amounts through the morning:

As you can see below, the surface winds blowing from the northeast will converge over Lake Michigan due to the extreme temperature contrast. This will allow the formation of a band which is already observable on radar near Milwaukee:

As a result, the National Weather Service has issued a Lake Effect Heavy Snow warning. Please be aware of heavy snow with low visibilities overnight and possibly into the morning commute!

Spring is coming...... I think..... :)

Mika ToscaComment