4 winter storm tracks that can bring heavy snow to Chicago

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Tuesday, November 24, 2020
4 winter storm tracks that bring heavy snow to Chicago
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From the Panhandle Low to the Alberta Clipper, here are the different winter storm systems that bring heavy snow to Chicago.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- There are several storm tracks that can bring us heavy snow in Chicago. Here are the different tracks of the storm systems and the impact they have on us.


-Potential for the highest snowfall outside of lake effect

-Heaviest amount axis is broad but intense bands within

-Often times produces sharp differences in snow totals from north to south

-Blizzard conditions are possible if the track is just right and the low pressure strengthens as it moves just to our south

-Lake enhancement possible


-Slow moving area of low pressure that holds its intensity or strengthens

-Needs Pacific moisture to produce high snow totals

-Snow totals can be significant although blizzard conditions are not likely

-Heaviest snow is oriented west-to-east and can cover a large area

-One of the more challenging storm tracks to forecast snow totals

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-Low pressure that develops in Alberta, Canada and then dives south into US

-Fast moving system (slower clippers can produce 6+" of snow, but most are faster moving)

-Snow is usually fluffy and light

-Winds can be strong with these systems creating poor visibility as the snow is easily blown around


-Strong low pressure to the east and strong high pressure to the west

-Winds coming in off the lake out of the northeast

-Cold air flowing over the lake creates lake effect snow bands

-Of all storm systems, lake effect often creates the most intense snow bands

-Creates narrow of band of intense snow with fast accumulating snowfall