Winter Storm/Blizzard of December 19-20, 2012

Snowfall Maps / Photos Snowfall Totals Peak Wind Gusts

A strong storm system moved out of the central Plains into Illinois and the Great Lakes on December 19th and 20th, increasing in strength as it progressed northeast.  This began spreading snow into the area on Wednesday evening (Dec.19th) with quick accumulations.  Snow became heavy and continued across much of the region through the day Thursday  (Thursday, Dec.20th) as winds also increased. Blizzard conditions began to develop through the day as winds and snowfall rates increased.  The snow gradually pushed off to the east later that night as the storm system exited the Great Lakes, but the winds remained strong - continuing to blow and drift the fallen snow. The highest wind gusts topped out just below 50 mph across northeast Iowa and near 45 mph in southwest Wisconsin.

Heaviest snow accumulations extended from parts of northeast Iowa into southwest Wisconsin where 8 to 14 inches were common.  Another snowfall band dropped 8 to 11 inches of very "dry, light weight" snow over parts of west central Wisconsin, near Osseo and the Interstate 94 corridor. 

radar loop of the snow event
36 hour radar loop of the snow event
The fresh snow, combined with peak wind gusts in the 40 to 55 mph range, led to significant drifting, zero visibilities at times, and dangerous travel conditions.  This was especially true in open or flat terrain. Sheriffs reported that many people heeded warnings and road traffic was minimal. However, those that did venture out found periodic highway closures, accidents, and jack-knifed trucks.  
  • High Rez Radar loop (approx 36 hours) of the snow event - this is a larger file and make take a few minutes to load
loop of the surface pressure
2 day loop of the storm track (the "L") and 
maximum wind area (colors).

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Snowfall Maps / Photos

snowfall map from december 20 2012 snowfall map from december 20 2012
Total snowfall for December 19-20, 2012 for the local area and region. Click on an image to enlarge.
Grafton Iowa Blizzard

 


Snowfall Totals

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LA CROSSE WI
1115 AM CST FRI DEC 21 2012

...DECEMBER 19-20 STORM TOTAL SNOWFALL...

LOCATION                  SNOWFALL

IOWA

...ALLAMAKEE COUNTY...
WAUKON                      9.0
DORCHESTER                  8.0
WATERVILLE 8S               8.0
LANSING 4SE                 7.8
WAUKON 8NW                  7.0

...CHICKASAW COUNTY...
NEW HAMPTON                 6.0
NORTH WASHINGTON            6.0

...CLAYTON COUNTY...
STRAWBERRY POINT           15.2
VOLGA                      13.1
ELKADER 6SSW               12.5
GUTTENBERG                 12.0
GUTTENBERG 1W              12.0
ST OLAF                    12.0
EDGEWOOD                   11.0
CLAYTON CENTER             10.0
MCGREGOR 4W                10.0
MONONA                      8.5

...FAYETTE COUNTY...
OELWEIN                    10.5
FAYETTE                    10.0
WEST UNION                  9.5
CLERMONT                    8.0

...FLOYD COUNTY...
CHARLES CITY                4.5
NORA SPRINGS                4.5
NASHUA 2SW                  3.5

...HOWARD COUNTY...
CRESCO 1NE                  4.3
ELMA                        4.1

...MITCHELL COUNTY...
RICEVILLE                   6.0
OSAGE                       5.2
ST ANSGAR                   5.2

...WINNESHIEK COUNTY...
OSSIAN                      6.5
CALMAR                      6.0
DECORAH                     5.0

MINNESOTA

...DODGE COUNTY...
MANTORVILLE                 7.5
DODGE CENTER                5.1
CLAREMONT 3SSE              4.3

...FILLMORE COUNTY...
SPRING VALLEY 3W            8.0
SPRING VALLEY 3E            6.8
PRESTON                     6.1
RUSHFORD                    6.1
HIGHLAND                    6.0
PETERSON 1S                 5.4
LANESBORO                   4.1

...HOUSTON COUNTY...
RENO 3SW                    5.4
LA CRESCENT 1N              5.0
SPRING GROVE 4N             4.4

...MOWER COUNTY...
GRAND MEADOW                8.0
BROWNSDALE                  7.0
AUSTIN KAAL TV              6.2
AUSTIN WWTP                 5.3

...OLMSTED COUNTY...
DOVER 3S                    7.0
ROCHESTER AIRPORT           7.0
ROCHESTER WEST SIDE         6.0
ROCHESTER SE SIDE           6.0
BYRON                       5.8
ROCHESTER KTTC TV           5.6

...WABASHA COUNTY...
THEILMAN 1SSW               7.6
LAKE CITY                   7.5
WABASHA                     7.4
KELLOGG 4S                  7.0
OAK CENTER                  7.0
WABASHA 7NW                 6.0
ELGIN 2SSW                  4.0

...WINONA COUNTY...
MINNESOTA CITY              9.7
WINONA 4SW                  9.0
MINNESOTA CITY LD5          8.0
WINONA DAM 5A               7.0
WINONA 3S                   6.8
ST CHARLES 5N               6.5
GOODVIEW                    6.0
ALTURA 5W                   6.0

WISCONSIN

..ADAMS COUNTY...
ADAMS                      11.0
FRIENDSHIP                  9.2
GRAND MARSH                 8.0
BIG FLATS                   7.0
ARKDALE 1N                  5.8

...BUFFALO COUNTY...
MONDOVI                    10.3
ALMA LD4                    8.6
FOUNTAIN CITY               8.0

...CLARK COUNTY...
ROCK DAM LAKE              11.0
NEILLSVILLE                11.0
WILLARD                    10.0
LOYAL 7ESE                  7.5
GRANTON                     7.0
OWEN 2N                     5.1

...CRAWFORD COUNTY...
PRAIRIE DU CHIEN           13.9
MT STERLING                12.0
STEUBEN 2SW                 9.0
FERRYVILLE 4ESE             7.4
STEUBEN 4SE                 7.1
LYNXVILLE                   7.0
SOLDIERS GROVE              6.3
MT ZION                     6.1

...GRANT COUNTY...
SINSINAWA                  14.5
PLATTEVILLE                14.0
UNION                      13.3
CUBA CITY                  12.0
MUSCODA                    11.5
MUSCODA 6S                 11.0
BAGLEY                     10.5
PLATTEVILLE 1SSW           10.1
BOSCOBEL                    9.5
LANCASTER                   8.3

...JACKSON COUNTY...
NORTHFIELD 2N              12.0
HATFIELD DAM               10.0
BLACK RIVER FALLS           9.2
MERRILLAN                   8.0

...JUNEAU COUNTY...
MAUSTON                     9.0
MAUSTON 7N                  7.5
NEW LISBON 2N               7.0

...LA CROSSE COUNTY...
LA CROSSE 3SE               8.0
TOWN OF HOLLAND             7.1
LA CROSSE NWS OFFICE        6.9
HOLMEN 2S                   6.2
LA CROSSE AIRPORT           5.8
FRENCH ISLAND               5.5

...MONROE COUNTY...
FOUR CORNERS                8.3
WARRENS 5WSW                8.1
TOMAH                       8.0
WILTON 4E                   7.0
TUNNEL CITY                 6.4
SPARTA                      5.7

...RICHLAND COUNTY...
RICHLAND CENTER            10.8
RICHLAND CENTER 1NW        10.0
LONE ROCK                  10.0
RICHLAND CENTER 4N          8.5

...TAYLOR COUNTY...
MEDFORD                     6.0
PERKINSTOWN 5E              4.3
LUBLIN                      4.0

...TREMPEALEAU COUNTY...
WHITEHALL 2W               15.0
OSSEO                      14.0
INDEPENDENCE 3NE           11.0
GALESVILLE 3ENE             6.6
ETTRICK                     6.3
GALESVILLE 2WSW             6.0
TREMPEALEAU                 5.5

...VERNON COUNTY...
LA FARGE                   10.3
WESTBY 3ENE                 9.7
ONTARIO 3E                  8.3
VIROQUA                     8.0
STODDARD 2NE                6.2
STODDARD 5NNE               6.0
VALLEY 1NW                  5.5
VIROQUA 2SE                 5.4

OBSERVATIONS ARE COLLECTED FROM A VARIETY OF SOURCES WITH VARYING
EQUIPMENT AND EXPOSURE. NOT ALL DATA LISTED IS CONSIDERED OFFICIAL.

 

Peak Wind Gusts

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LA CROSSE WI
948 PM CST THU DEC 20 2012

...HIGHEST WINDS 25 MPH OR GREATER IN THE PAST 24 HOURS...

...LOCATION...                             ...TIME...     ...WIND...
OELWEIN MUNICIPAL AIRPORT (FAYETTE IA)     215 PM DEC 20      49 MPH
MAYO HELIPAD (OLMSTED MN) (AWOS)           353 PM DEC 20      49 MPH
CHARLES CITY (FLOYD IA) (993 FT)(AWOS)     115 PM DEC 20      49 MPH
2 N IONIA (CHICKASAW IA) (IADOT)           155 PM DEC 20      48 MPH
2 ESE CANTON (FILLMORE MN) (MNDOT)         344 PM DEC 20      47 MPH
1 ENE DEXTER (MOWER MN) (MNDOT)            216 PM DEC 20      45 MPH
DECORAH MUNICIPAL AIPRORT                 1235 PM DEC 20      45 MPH
PLATTEVILLE MUNICIPAL AIRPORT             1155 AM DEC 20      44 MPH
ROCHESTER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT            159 PM DEC 20      43 MPH
2 E KASSON (DODGE MN) (1283 FT)(MNDOT)     134 PM DEC 20      43 MPH
1 SW MOUNT STERLING (CRAWFORD WI)         1135 AM DEC 20      43 MPH
4 E GRAND MEADOW (MOWER MN) (IEM)          749 PM DEC 20      43 MPH
4 E NORDNESS (WINNESHIEK IA) (IADOT)       243 PM DEC 20      42 MPH
2 SE EYOTA (OLMSTED MN) (MNDOT)            701 PM DEC 20      42 MPH
1 E RIDGEWAY (WINONA MN) (MNDOT)           726 PM DEC 20      42 MPH
VIROQUA MUNICIPAL AIRPORT (VERNON WI)      155 PM DEC 20      41 MPH
PRESTON FILLMORE COUNTY AIRPORT            210 PM DEC 20      41 MPH
LA CROSSE MUNICIPAL AIRPORT                444 PM DEC 20      40 MPH
AUSTIN MUNICIPAL AIRPORT (MOWER MN)       1155 AM DEC 20      40 MPH
NECEDAH 1W (JUNEAU WI) (920 FT)(GOES)      748 PM DEC 20      40 MPH
VOLK FIELD AIRPORT (JUNEAU WI) (ASOS)      648 PM DEC 20      39 MPH
PRAIRIE DU CHIEN  AIRPORT (CRAWFORD WI)   1215 PM DEC 20      39 MPH
BOSCOBEL AIRPORT (GRANT WI) (ASOS)         148 PM DEC 20      38 MPH
SPARTA/FORT MC COY AIRPORT (MONROE WI)     635 PM DEC 20      38 MPH
WINONA MUNICPAL AIRPORT (WINONA MN)        753 PM DEC 20      37 MPH
MEDFORD TAYLOR COUNTY AIRPORT              835 PM DEC 20      36 MPH
2 SSE KELLOGG (WABASHA MN) (MNDOT)         355 PM DEC 20      36 MPH
SAINT ANSGAR (MITCHELL IA) (APRSWXNET)     325 PM DEC 20      35 MPH
2 WSW GALESVILLE (TREMPEALEAU WI)          217 PM DEC 20      35 MPH
BLACK RIVER FALLS AREA AIRPORT             535 PM DEC 20      35 MPH
2 NE EAST DUBUQUE (GRANT WI) (WIDOT)       239 PM DEC 20      34 MPH
1 ENE BOSCOBEL (GRANT WI) (RAWS)           103 PM DEC 20      34 MPH
2 N TOMAH (MONROE WI) (990 FT)(WIDOT)      640 PM DEC 20      34 MPH
1 SW LA CROSSE (LA CROSSE WI)              347 PM DEC 20      33 MPH
1 NE BEAR VALLEY (WABASHA MN)              550 PM DEC 20      33 MPH
1 WNW PRAIRIE DU CHIEN (CRAWFORD WI)      1135 AM DEC 20      32 MPH
1 SSE STEWARTVILLE (OLMSTED MN)            405 PM DEC 20      31 MPH
4 SSW LANESBORO (FILLMORE MN) (IEM)        315 PM DEC 20      30 MPH
3 NE LUBLIN (TAYLOR WI) (1316 FT)(RAWS)    514 PM DEC 20      30 MPH
4 NW ROCHESTER (OLMSTED MN) (APRSWXNET)    400 PM DEC 20      30 MPH
1 NNW LA CROSSE (LA CROSSE WI)             755 PM DEC 20      29 MPH
1 WNW TENNYSON (GRANT WI) (AIRNOW)        1000 AM DEC 20      29 MPH
3 NE ROCHESTER (OLMSTED MN) (APRSWXNET)    216 PM DEC 20      29 MPH
MAUSTON (JUNEAU WI) (872 FT)(APRSWXNET)    902 PM DEC 20      28 MPH
MONONA (CLAYTON IA) (1182 FT)(AWS)        1135 AM DEC 20      28 MPH
1 ENE WABASHA (WABASHA MN) (APRSWXNET)     419 PM DEC 20      27 MPH
DODGE CENTER AIRPORT (DODGE MN) (AWOS)     713 AM DEC 20      26 MPH
1 E BLACK RIVER FALLS (JACKSON WI)         315 PM DEC 20      26 MPH
1 E LAKE CITY (WABASHA MN) (APRSWXNET)     554 PM DEC 20      26 MPH
1 ENE CRESCO (HOWARD IA) (1279 FT)(IEM)    929 AM DEC 20      26 MPH
STOCKTON (WINONA MN) (APRSWXNET)           539 PM DEC 20      26 MPH
4 SSE MOUND PRAIRIE (HOUSTON MN)          1216 PM DEC 20      25 MPH
3 NW DELLWOOD (JUNEAU WI) (APRSWXNET)      850 PM DEC 20      25 MPH


OBSERVATIONS ARE COLLECTED FROM A VARIETY OF SOURCES WITH VARYING
EQUIPMENT AND EXPOSURES. NOT ALL DATA LISTED IS CONSIDERED OFFICIAL. THE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE THANKS ITS PRIVATE AND PUBLIC PARTNERS FOR
PROVIDING US WITH THIS DATA.

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