Approaching weather system brings a chance of a white Christmas, but it's a very slight chance

·2 min read

It's not much of a chance, but there is a possibility we could wake up to a little snow on Christmas Day.

Over the last 30 years, Milwaukee has had about a 40% chance of having an inch or more of snow on the ground on Dec. 25th, according to the National Weather Service. Madison has had about a 70% chance while the area we roughly call the north woods has had a 75 to 90% chance of a Christmas snow covering.

This year, there is very little snow on the ground in the southern half of the state. But there is a system moving our way from the Pacific Northwest that will be arriving on Friday or Saturday and it will likely bring some precipitation, according to the Weather Service forecast. The likelihood that it arrives as snow remains low.

The system shows a 50% probability of snow in northern Wisconsin, with a slight chance of snow in southern Wisconsin.

"Now the problem will be temperatures and the timing in which it goes through, if it comes through overnight, depending on temperatures aloft, we could see some snow Christmas morning," said Aidan Kuroski, a meteorologist with the Weather Service in Sullivan.

The current tracking systems show it is "more than likely" going to stay up north, but there remains a possibility that the system moves further south. Forecasters will have a better idea in the coming days.

"Right now, I think we might just get clipped in the south and it would most likely give us a better chance for rain, but I can't rule it out. If it comes through overnight and temperatures are a lot cooler than that we could see some snow but it wouldn't be a lot," Kuroski said.

"It's still a pretty warm system, so (even) up north it could mostly be rain," said Kuroski.

But if you're heading north for the holiday you have a better chance of a white Christmas. Some of northern Wisconsin already has snow cover from an earlier storm. Rhinelander has 1-to-4 inches of snow on the ground Sunday while Wausau has around an inch on the ground.

For those of us in southern Wisconsin, the best bet for a snowy holiday is probably a ski hill. Little Switzerland in Slinger has been making their own snow and is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve, returning to regular hours on Dec. 26. Sunburst Ski in Kewaskum is also open on Christmas Eve from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., closed on Christmas Day and returning to normal hours on Dec. 26.

Contact Drake Bentley at (414) 391-5647 or DBentley1@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter at @DrakeBentleyMJS.

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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Will Wisconsin have a white Christmas? Probably not

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