Meteorological winter comes to end on February 29th this year. Yeah, it's a leap year this year! Interestingly enough these last 10 days of meteorological winter and the month of February will be pretty winter-like. It's going to be active with three separate storm systems that will bring Western Wisconsin some accumulating snow. The first two are relatively minor, but the last one has the potential of being a knockout when it comes to snowfall this year.
The first storm system passed by overnight. The storm system will work out of here the rest of the day. It left behind pretty small snowfall totals. It's reminiscent of pretty much every other snow event we've had this winter. The heaviest accumulations were in the west for counties like Polk, St. Croix, Pierce, Barron and Dunn counties. Snowfall totals here ranged from 2-4". Meanwhile around Eau Claire we picked up around an inch and a quarter. Just down I-94 Menomonie picked up close to 3". Below is a snowfall total graphic from the National Weather Service out of the Twin Cities.
Ok so what can we expect from rounds 2 and 3? Well the brunt of round 2 will come at us on Thursday. For places west of Western Wisconsin this could start as a mix, but for us it's looking like all snow. Some forecast models are more impressive with this system then others. Generally, it looks like we could pick up a quick 1-2" mainly during the first part of Thursday. We still have a day to watch it though.
The bigger deal is number three. This is the one to watch! The forecast models have been hinting at big storm system in the upper Midwest for the past week or so during the Sunday/Monday time frame. Barring any big changes in track, we look to stand to get highly impacted by this storm system Sunday into Monday. However, whether it starts as some rain or snow and exactly how much snow we see....those are both unclear at this time. Models are still doing their waffling, which is expected. It's still several days out. At this time though there is a very good potential that some of the viewing area could see over 6" of snow. I know! Scary right? This storm easily could be the biggest winter storm we've seen all this winter. There have been other storms though that have looked promising and has fallen short. So...we wait. Keep an eye on the forecast the rest of the week. We'll have a clearer picture of what's going to happen with this guy by the end of the work week.
Some of you may be excited for the prospect of a big snow. Others, may be saying "we're totally ok with how this winter has been going." I mean I do enjoy a good snow storm, but I must admit I have enjoyed the mild weather too. The fact of the matter is though we are well behind in precipitation. We have abnormally dry conditions across much of Western Wisconsin and drought conditions are uncomfortably close by across the border in Minnesota. So in whatever form, we need the precipitation. Most years we get at least a few big snows. One...we can handle that.