Brandon Weatherz: Snow and winds to impact travel

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Bands of lake effect snow have developed this morning leading to localized accumulation for parts of the South Shore. For this reason, Douglas County and Bayfield County have been upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning until 6 pm. We’ll continue to see localized accumulation in these areas.

The best period for travel is this morning and afternoon. Widespread snow arrives from the south this evening and overnight, leading to all winter weather headlines kicking in at 6 pm today and lasting until 6 pm tomorrow. This includes a Blizzard Warning for Bayfield and Ashland counties, the Winter Storm Warning for the rest of northwest Wisconsin, east central Minnesota, and South St. Louis County, and the Winter Weather Advisory for the North Shore of Lake County, North Aitkin, North Cass, and South Itasca Counties.

Accumulation in the Advisory area will impact travel, but remain under 6”. Amounts drop off moving north with the Iron Range on the edge of 3” potential and less than an inch for International Falls. The Warning area will include a widespread 6-10” with locally higher amounts possible, particularly in Wisconsin. The best chance for accumulation surpassing 12” will be locally in Bayfield County.

The final piece of this system will be a blustery wind gaining strength out of the east by this afternoon and maintaining strength through Thursday as it shifts out of the north. The strongest winds will be near Lake Superior where gusts of 50 mph are possible. Winds will reduce visibility bringing whiteout conditions, and possibly cause power outages. Waves on Lake Superior build to 10 to 16 feet, leading to impactful ice accumulation and potential for damage to lakeshore infrastructure. A Heavy Freezing Spray Warning is in effect over the lake until 6 pm Thursday. A Gale Warning kicks in at noon today and also lasts until Thursday evening. A Lakeshore Flood Watch is in effect for South St. Louis County and Carlton County from 6 pm today until 6 pm tomorrow.

Today: Windy and cloudy with a chance for snow in the afternoon. High 15. NE wind 15-25 mph. Chance of snow: 30%

Tonight: Heavy snow and windy. Low 2. NE wind 20-25 mph. Chance of snow: 90%. Snow accumulation of 3-5” expected.

Tomorrow: Snow and wind. High 7. N wind 15-25 mph. Chance of snow: 80%. Snow accumulation of 1-3” expected.

Tomorrow night: Partly cloudy and cold. Low -11. NNW wind 5-10 mph.

Friday: Mostly sunny and cold. High 10. W wind 2-8 mph.

Saturday: Partly sunny. High 20. WSW wind 5-15 mph.

Sunday: Mostly sunny. High 26. S wind 5-10 mph.

Monday: Mostly cloudy and breezy with a chance for snow. High 32. NNE wind 10-15 mph. Chance of snow: 50%