SKYWARN 13: Heavy snow a stark contrast to March 11, 2012

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - What a difference a year makes. Last year, we were enjoying some record warm temperatures. This year, it was a heavy snowfall to continue what has been a snowy March in Western Wisconsin so far.

A year ago on March 11, our snow pack was totally gone in the Chippewa Valley. Much of the country had virtually no snow. The lack of snow, combined with the jet stream surging well to the north of Wisconsin, began what's been known as the March heat wave.

The temperature on March 11, 2012 was a record 66 degrees in Eau Claire. It only got warmer. Five days later, we began a three-day-taste of summer with highs in the 80s. After all was said and done, Eau Claire tied or broke 10 high temperature records. March 16, 2012 was also the earliest point in the year the city had hit 80 degrees.

Like many people, plants were confused. The warm weather began an early bloom across Western Wisconsin.

That record warm March set the stage for the drought of 2012. A good thing about this latest winter storm is that there is a lot of liquid water in the snow that just fell. It will be good for the drought.

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