We're in a "snow drought" this winter

We actually do have a little bit of snow in the forecast to start the work week. However, it won't be enough to end our "snow drought" that has dominated most of the upper Midwest this winter. Here is a list of upper Midwest cities with how much snow has fallen so far this winter and on the right is how big the deficit is from normal. These numbers are all as of February 12th.

Eau Claire: 15.9" -16.6"
La Crosse: 18.2" -11.9"
Minneapolis: 14.9" -21.8"
Duluth: 17.4" -40.7"
Sioux Falls: 8.7" -18.8"
Milwaukee: 17.4" -15.0"
Green Bay: 19.3" -15.4"

Duluth sticks out like sore thumb. Over 40" below normal for snowfall this winter! Just last month was the 7th least snowiest January on record in Duluth. Here in Western Wisconsin we are running our own sizable deficit. We still have the second half of February and March to get through. It's going to take a big pattern change to get some big snowfalls in this part of the country and to make up the difference from these snowfall deficits. A split-flow in the jet stream has kept the storm track to our south and east. That's one of the main culprits behind this less than snowy winter. Forecast models have consistently been showing the possibility lately of a more active end to the month. We'll have to see if that really is the beginning of change in this not exactly exciting weather pattern.

Despite the lack of snow, we've been pretty fortunate when it comes to our drought status here. A good chunk of our viewing area is abnormally dry including Eau Claire. Below is the drought status across the Midwest. The picture over the state of Wisconsin hasn't changed really at all unlike Minnesota. For our friends to the west the drought has worsened over the past few months. Pretty much the entire state is at least under a moderate drought with southwest and south-central Minnesota under a severe drought.

I know many of you are enjoying this year without a winter we've been having, but we could at least use some precipitation. I wouldn't be heartbroken to not see any more frigid temperatures. We don't want to see dry conditions like this continue into spring and the planting season. On the flip side, at this point it's a pretty good bet that flooding will not be an issue this Spring. The La Crosse National Weather Service office will release it's first flood outlook for Spring this upcoming Thursday on the 16th. Will likely be a pretty short outlook.

Like I mentioned early we do have some snow in the forecast...not much though. We're going to be on the northern fringe of this weather maker. This low pressure system will bring a large swath of snow across the central United States. Check out all the winter weather advisories in purple across the nation.

Here in Western Wisconsin we'll see only a dusting around Eau Claire. Most likely nothing up in the north, but down south around La Crosse you folks could see up to an inch. Some areas south of
La Crosse could see 1-2" of snow. It may be small, but it's something. It shouldn't cause any travel problems though, and it will be out of here in time for Valentine's Day. Weather shouldn't cause any damper for any of those date nights Tuesday evening.

Finally, a pretty interesting tid-bit. I'm sure you've heard of the crazy winter folks in Europe and parts of Asia have been enduring. Well now...it's spread to north Africa! The city of Tripoli in Libya picked up 2-3" of snow this past Monday. It's likely the heaviest snow that city has seen since 1956. The craziness continues!


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