4 winter storm tracks that can bring heavy snow to Chicago

WEATHER: Like It or Not!
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.

PANHANDLE LOW



-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

CENTRAL PLAINS LOW



-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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ALBERTA CLIPPER


-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

BANDED LAKE EFFECT SNOW


-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
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