Winter Arrives on Friday

December 18th, 2012 at 6:25 pm by under Weather

Winter storm warning for counties highlighted in pink

Even though I consider the 1st of December as the beginning of Winter, the winter solstice is on this Friday and right on cue, Old Man Winter arrives.  Even though we do not see heavy snow (over 6″)  here in Fort Wayne, or in the WANE viewing area, we will get slammed with frigid conditions and very strong winds.   I could likely spend all night blogging about the dynamics and forecast reasoning about this next winter blast, but I am just going to keep it simple and cover the important bullet points.

Heavy snow outlook

If you are traveling through Iowa, Michigan or Wisconsin on Thursday and Friday, you have to plan ahead.  The map above is the heavy snow forecast and there will likely be a swath of heavy snow that extends from Des Moines Iowa, through Madison Wisconsin, across Lake Michigan and through northern Michigan.  There will likely an area of 6 to 12 inches of snow, but some areas could see snowfall totals as high as 15 inches.   Add strong winds on top of this and you may have blizzard like conditions also.  So how much snow will we see?

Snow total forecast for Thursday night through Friday afternoon

Even though the storm system passes just to our north, we don’t get our snow directly out of the surface low, we get our snow from the Lake Effect on Thursday night, into Friday afternoon.  At this time, expect about 1″ or just a little more for Fort Wayne with higher amounts closer to Lake Michigan.  If you are traveling long the Toll Road Thursday night and Friday morning, look for low visibility and near white conditions.

Sustained wind forecast for Thursday night

The biggest impact from this winter blast will likely be the strong winds Thursday night and the crashing temperatures at the same time.   The strongest winds come Thursday night and for our area, the will be sustained from 30 to 40 mph and may gust higher than 45 mph.   Take temperatures in the 20s with wind speeds this high, wind chills will approach the single digits Friday morning.

After this winter storm, keep you eyes on the Wednesday and Thursday of next week: we will see another winter storm with potentially a lot more snow for the WANE viewing area.


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