4 winter storm tracks that can bring heavy snow to Chicago

WEATHER: Like It or Not!

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Tuesday, November 24, 2020
4 winter storm tracks that bring heavy snow to Chicago
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