A major winter storm is poised to affect Wisconsin late next week, according to the WISC-TV Weather Center. Although it is still a week away, there are strong indications that this will be a powerful storm that will carry the threat of high winds and heavy snow.

As of Thursday, the storm track would take it directly over the southeastern corner of Wisconsin, which would put the entire WISC viewing area in the path of some of the heaviest snow from this system. There is also a concern that a northerly movement of this storm could bring in a mix of rain and snow early before changing to all snow.

This type of system is what is known as a Panhandle Hook. This is a type of storm that develops in the Texas/Oklahoma panhandle area in the lee of the Rockies, gets picked up by the jet stream, and then gets pushed into the Great Lakes area. As these storms move north, they pull moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and the low pressure deepens, leading to high snowfall rates on the north and west sides of the storm and severe weather to the south and east. These are typically large storms that take around 24 hours to pass through and can easily leave a foot of snow or more in their wake.

The WISC-TV Weather Center will be monitoring this system as it approaches and updating the timing, position and intensity as necessary.