Rain Ahead, but Little Snow

It's been all the talk lately, will we have a white Christmas? The definition of which includes an inch of snow on the ground on Christmas Day. Right now, surfaces are bare. By late today it will be soggy, but will we see any snow?  This is the big weather question that forecasters here in the First Alert weather office have been trying to dissect.

On average, Milwaukee experiences a white Christmas about half of the time. In December, the city averages 10.6\" of snowfall. So far, we are well short of that with just a half inch on the month and 6.7\" on the season. That leaves us just over six inches behind so far on our Meteorological winter in terms of snowfall.  And as we look to what's ahead, mostly rain is what you'll encounter.

We are currently tracking two storms that will have an impact on the Great Lakes region over the coming days. The first system arrives today, and it will be a rain maker.  Rain showers will arrive just after noon, and will be rather steady right through the night. As temperatures stay just under 40° through the overnight, we will continue to tack on to rainfall totals. This first storm should have rain winding down by the late morning hours of Tuesday.  Here's what Precision forecast has for total rainfall on this first event:


As storm one moves out, an area of low pressure will be strengthening over Tennessee with a track that looks due to be due north. While that low travels to the north on Wednesday, plenty of rain and wind will wrap into it. This will lead to possible travel troubles through the southern Great Lakes and Michigan, east to the East Coast and into the New England area early Christmas Day. 

Precision Forecast is our 'in-house\" model and shows the edge of precipitation staying about 75 southeast of Milwaukee Wednesday afternoon. That's the time this storm gets closest to our area. Here's a look at that visual:


Our model jives with most other models at this point. But, there is still one outlier. The 06Z run of the GFS operational model shows the back edge of precipitation covering most of the area during the course of Wednesday evening. Check it out:


The surface temperatures looks to be at 35° at 6pm Wednesday, falling to 33° by midnight. This scenario COULD support rain transitioning back to snow. But again, this model is the outlier on the storm's track.  With any amount of disagreement, especially during a holiday with high travel, we will watch these storms right down to the minute. First Alert meteorologists will bring you any new information as fresh data comes out. Be sure to check back often right here, and on our social media pages and of course on CBS58.

Happy Holidays and safe travels to you all!

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