John Malan's Weather Article for 2/5/13

'Clippers' causing recent snowfall

CREATED Feb 5, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - There is more light snow in the forecast for eastern Wisconsin with another widespread round of fluffy, low water content snow from Milwaukee to Green Bay.

This snow is spawned by another in a series of four Alberta Clipper low pressure systems that have plagued southeast Wisconsin since last Thursday.

There are generally three types of low pressure systems that bring the bulk of our snowfall in winter.

The Alberta Clipper, Panhandle low and Colorado low are their names based upon their origin.

The Alberta Clipper originates around the vicinity of Alberta, Canada and is pulled quickly from the northwest to the southeast by a strong northwesterly jet stream.

Clippers can move from the southern plains of Canada, through the upper-Midwest and to the east coast in less than forty-eight hours.

Most “Clippers” develop from December through February, although some have been documented in late November.

The snow from this type of storm system is generally light, with low water content and a fluffy, powder-like texture.

Snowfalls range from a couple inches in the southern sections of the storm’s path to five or six inches in the northern sections.