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Second round of winter weather arrives, heavily impacting travel

Active weather alerts through Tuesday night
Active weather alerts through Tuesday night(WEAU)
Published: Feb. 21, 2022 at 11:21 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 22, 2022 at 10:00 AM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Snow will persist throughout the day and into the early evening hours, especially off to the northeast. An elongated stretch of low pressure is working its way to the northeast and dragging plenty of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico with it, explaining the widespread snowfall that we will continue to see. Rates can be heavy at times, especially given areas in Iowa have seen some thundersnow and thundersleet with this system, indicating that there is a lot of moisture and energy behind it. Temperatures will remain mostly steady in the mid teens at the surface, but areas off to the southeast -- who may have slightly warmer surface temperatures -- will also see a bit of warm air nudging into a layer above the surface, creating a wintry mix and in some cases, freezing rain.

Widespread snow, mix, and rain impacting portions of the Midwest
Widespread snow, mix, and rain impacting portions of the Midwest(WEAU)

Along with the snow, a tight pressure gradient over Wisconsin will give way to breezy winds from the north-northeast with gusts as high as 35 mph. This will lead to areas of blowing and drifting snow, along with poor visibility and near-whiteout conditions at times. Periods of moderate to heavy snow will lead to roadways quickly becoming snow-covered and slick. Further south where mixed precipitation and freezing rain are likely, a light coating of ice will make for the same story. With hazardous travel expected as well as accumulating snow, Winter Storm Warnings effect for our northern counties (Rusk, Polk, Barron) until midnight tonight. All other counties highlighted below for both the Winter Storm Warnings and the Winter Weather Advisories expire at 6 PM tonight.

Winter weather advisories and winter storm warnings in effect for the viewing area
Winter weather advisories and winter storm warnings in effect for the viewing area(WEAU)

As for snow accumulations, we’re expecting the highest totals in our northern counties. 3-6″ is currently expected for Eau Claire with lesser amounts to the South, where a wintry mix is more likely. Snow totals are subject to change, depending on how much of this falls as a wintry mix, especially in the areas within the 1-3″ bands. The snow totals may ultimately come down to snow-to-liquid ratios. Areas to the north where the temperature profile is colder, and there will not be a pronounced warm nose above the surface, the ratios will likely be much higher, resulting in higher accumulations. We will continue to track this as it develops throughout the afternoon.

Snow totals taper off heading to the south, with some uncertainty with a wintry mix
Snow totals taper off heading to the south, with some uncertainty with a wintry mix(WEAU)

Once this system exits Tuesday night, we’ll be left with quiet weather on Wednesday and highs in the teens. More on your extended forecast can be found by heading over to weau.com/weather!

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