Approaching high pressure and dry air finally ended the snow showers, flurries and clouds that had affected southern Wisconsin over the past several days. In fact, through January 7th, both Milwaukee and Madison had experienced only one day this month without at least a trace of snowfall.
Clear skies over southern Wisconsin as revealed by the below MODIS high resolution visible satellite image taken in the late morning on Saturday, January 8th revealed that most of southern Wisconsin had a light snow cover. Most locations had a trace to 1 inch snow cover as of Saturday morning. The deepest snow cover over southern Wisconsin was located to the north and west of Madison, where 3 to 5 inch snow depth remained.
The clear skies on Saturday revealed several points of interest across southern Wisconsin and the neighboring regions. Highlighted by point "A", snow showers had moved southeast across portions of northern Illinois and far eastern Iowa during the previous several days, and had left behind visible streaks of heavier snowfall. These streaks of snowfall were obscured in northeast Illinois where a more widespread light snow cover blanketed the region including most of Chicago.
The persistent cold temperatures that occurred during most of December, and early January, has resulted in ice development in the shallower near shore waters of Lake Michigan from Milwaukee south to Chicago as visible just east of "B". The most expansive and thickest area of ice appears to be from Wind Point in Racine county south to just east of Winthrop Harbor and Zion, just across the border into northern Illinois.
Temperatures are expected to be near or below normal and no significant wind events are expected in the near future, so the ice is expected to linger into mid January. The ice may in fact increase in coverage to the north engulfing more of the shallower waters east of Milwaukee to Port Washington.
Very unstable conditions over Lake Michigan on Friday and Saturday contributed to a band of southward moving persistent heavy snow showers ("C") that dumped more than 2 feet of snow in the South Bend area of northern Indiana.
Below is an expanded high resolution visible satellite view of Wisconsin and the surrounding regions taken Saturday morning. Notice the band of lake effect snow showers extended almost the entire length of Lake Michigan. Cold air flowing over the relatively warmer waters of Lake Superior was also causing lake effect snow showers over portions of Upper Michigan.
If you look closely over northern Wisconsin, the scar caused by the June 7, 2007 tornado was still visible over Langlade, Oconto, Shawano and Menomonee counties.