Forecast Text



December 15, 2017


  • Clipper systems and lake effect to let up over the weekend.
  • Some light snows in the north early next week.
  • Potential for fairly big storm later next week.


Things will be quieting down a bit as we head through the weekend and Monday. There are a pair of weak clipper systems that will drop through. One later tonight and early tomorrow. That one will bring an inch or two of new snow to NE MN, most of WI, the UP, lower MI and far northern sections of IN and OH.

The next clipper looks to come in by Monday and bring a general 1-2″ to the far northern sections of MN/WI/lower MI and much of the UP.

Lake snows even look to take a bit of a break this weekend, with some significant accumulations in the central UP and western lower MI belts today, otherwise LES looks to be nearly absent from the picture through the weekend and Monday.

Temps will be running average to below for the next day or two, with the freeze line to sit across the central/southern Midwest and highs in the Northwoods to be in the teens and low 20’s. By Sunday and Monday, temps will be briefly warming to around average, with the freeze line lifting into the northern Midwest.


The upper air pattern in this time still looks to become a bit more westerly. This looks to keep the precip falling as snow across the northern 1/2 of the Midwest, but also looks to allow for an area of low pressure to track in from the Plains by the second half of the week. This low does look to tap into at least some Gulf Moisture, which would allow for a fairly meaningful snow event to occur in the northern Midwest.

This low is still far enough out in the forecast that confidence in the exact details is low. However, the models are in reasonably good agreement on the idea of the low initially bringing some moderate (3-7″) snows to ND, northern MN and the UP by around Wednesday and then a secondary and main band of snow bringing the potential for 4-8″+ snows to eastern MN, northeast IA, the northwest 3/4ths of WI, most of the UP and northern 1/2 of lower MI Thursday and Friday.

Rains would fall for most of the storms duration to the south and east of the main snow area, with the precip finishing up as a couple of inches of snow in areas like S. WI, southern lower MI and northern sections of IL, IN and OH.

Cold air dumping in behind the low would set the stage for a period of moderate to heavy LES for later next Friday into the following weekend.

Temps look to run near average, perhaps even a bit above early in the week and then below by the end of the week.


The upper air pattern in this time frame sees an upper air trough to sit across the mid section of the country. This would keep the Midwest in a wintry pattern, supporting below average temps and some chances for light to moderate snows in much of MN, WI, the UP and lower MI, perhaps even a bit further south. Lake effect production would also likely be quite good with what is indicated to occur with the pattern in this time frame.

Click here for John Dee’s 2017-18 Seasonal Outlook