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Milwaukee, Southeast Wisconsin prepare for first 3" snowfall

By Brendan Johnson,


After Friday's scattered flurries, all eyes are on the next round of snowfall. A rather narrow band (North to South, that is) of snowfall impacts the Great Lakes from late Saturday morning into early Sunday.

WHAT'S CHANGED: Snowfall totals have been increased across Southeast Wisconsin. A 3-5" snowfall potential now spans from Milwaukee to the State Line.

WHY: The swath of snow has been wobbling around over the last few days — making the snowfall forecast a tricky one to nail down.

WHAT TO KNOW: This isn't a "Check Once" forecast. The track is still shifting and snowfall totals will be updated throughout the day.


In the last couple of days, Saturday's highest snowfall totals appeared to target the IL/WI State Line. Long-range models focused the heaviest snow (upwards of 4-6") in northern Illinois.

Fast-forward 48 hours & that track has shifted farther North — right into Wisconsin.

Now not so fast! While some computer models showcase the highest snowfall totals directly over Milwaukee, it's worth taking in a wider range of this data.

In addition to our high-resolution models (which take in the atmosphere as it currently is), we also look at longer-range *ensemble* models. These computer models encompass up to 30 or so "mini-models" as I like to call them. Each "mini-model" makes certain "tweaks" to the atmosphere and uses that information to generate the solution. All of the mini-models are combined to give a more smoothed-out & averaged solution.

That all said, the high-resolution models have locked in a more northern track — focusing more of the snowfall in the two tiers of southern Wisconsin counties. The ensemble models still focus on higher totals near the State Line. However, these models have also trended farther North from their earlier runs.

As a result, snowfall totals have increased across southern Wisconsin. 3-5" of snowfall is possible from Milwaukee County down to the IL/WI State Line. There is a chance that some locally higher totals (near 6") are possible.

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