Strong winds may cause blowing snow, reduced visibility around Christmas

Projected storm could be during major travel period before, after holiday
Strong winds may cause blowing snow, reduced visibility around Christmas

In the days leading up to the Christmas holiday the weather will stay quiet for the rest of this week, with seasonal temperatures expected. But the potential for a winter storm during the final few days before Christmas that may affect a large part of the country is slowly increasing.

Right now, southern Wisconsin should be just outside of the main part of the storm, but any shift in the track could result in a more significant impact.

Low pressure is expected to develop from Monday into Tuesday of next week near Wisconsin. Initially, some light snow showers are expected with the possibility of minor accumulations of perhaps an inch or two through Tuesday.

At the same time, a stronger low pressure system is forecast to develop in the southern U.S. in the vicinity of Louisiana or perhaps a little farther to the northeast. As the jet stream buckles, the upper level winds will blow almost from south to north, taking the storm from the southern U.S. northward through eastern Tennessee into eastern Michigan. The Wisconsin low pressure system will move eastward and merge with the southern storm, resulting in very rapid intensification from late Tuesday into Christmas Eve Wednesday.

This could result in very strong winds through much of the Midwest from Christmas Eve into part of Christmas Day. Right now, the heaviest snow is more likely to fall to our east from Indiana northward into Michigan, where enhanced areas of heavy snow may be possible in the Great Lakes snow belt areas. Light snow with additional minor accumulation is expected in Wisconsin and Illinois, but very strong winds may cause problems with blowing snow and reduced visibility.

If the storm should track a little more to the west, more significant snow accumulations would be possible in the area.

While this storm is a full week away, if it occurs it will be during a major travel period before and during the Christmas holiday.