National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


Moderate to heavy snow moved into southern Wisconsin late Monday evening, pivoting over the area and lingering through much of the day on Tuesday. The highest snowfall totals from this event occurred across southwestern Wisconsin into portions of east-central Wisconsin, where a strong area of banded snow developed and persisted early Tuesday morning. Snowfall totals within this band of heavy snow ranged from 6 to 10 inches. Closer to Lake Michigan, higher snowfall totals also occurred due to lake enhancement as winds over Lake Michigan backed to north-northeast on Tuesday. Northwest of the heavier banded snowfall, areas near the Wisconsin Dells and Montello saw significantly less snowfall. Strong, gusty northeast winds also accompanied this snow and brought increased concerns for hazardous travel. Drifting snow was observed across much of southern Wisconsin, which made snowfall measurements very difficult.

This winter storm was a complex system and came with numerous forecasting challenges, including:

  • How precipitation would evolve across southern Wisconsin as the system weakened. How far north would it get?
  • Would there be enough fetch over Lake Michigan to boost totals along the lakeshore due to lake-enhanced snow?
  • How would the snow-to-liquid ratios (SLRs) perform?
  • With plenty of mid-level dry air over southern Wisconsin on Monday, how would this dry air influence snowfall totals? Where would the sharp cutoff in snowfall end up across southern Wisconsin?


Snowfall totals from 6pm on January 25th through 6pm on January 26th.

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