First Snowfall Possibilities

November 7, 2011 0 Comments

I hope everyone made it through the illogical and archaic clock change from this past weekend without much trouble. One thing that is common for people to associate with the clock change is the onset of Winter. November is officially a Fall month and it is not too often that we have major storms or cold during the month, however, when the sun starts setting before 5pm, everyone starts to think a little more about Winter.

It just so happens that this week IS Winter Weather Awareness Week in Wisconsin AND we could end up with our first significant snow of the season, so that old association with Winter and the clock change fits fairly well in 2011.

I will provide more Winter Weather safety facts and tips throughout the work week but for today I am just going to provide the one tip you should heed most closely, SLOW DOWN!! As is the case with flash flooding, most Winter Weather deaths in the modern day occur on the roadways. Hypothermia and heart attacks are concerns, but nothing is as dangerous as the roadways during the Winter. That is where almost ALL the trouble is and is where you should focus most of your attention during the Winter. On any day when precipitation is expected during the Winter be sure to leave early for work or school and drive slowly. Don’t be in a rush because you could end up dead. Cars are dangerous – especially in the Winter.

So when could we end up with snow this week? It looks like the first band of mixed precipitation will be moving through Northcentral Wisconsin late tonight or (more likely) on Tuesday morning. Right now, it looks like temps will be warm enough to prevent significant snowfall, however, there could be up to an inch accumulation in some spots. A higher chance for accumulating snow will be Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. It is during this time frame that a couple of inches of slushy snow could accumulate around central Wisconsin and 3 to 6 inches could fall in the far northwest part of the viewing area. By far northwest, I am talking about cities such as Ogema, Phillips, Park Falls, Mercer, Minocqua, and Manitowish Waters.

Snow amounts are still very preliminary and it will be tough to get accurate measurement when the time comes because temps will be above freezing and the ground is not frozen yet. So, it could snow 6 inches in the north but it might only look like 2 or 3 inches after a few hours because it will be melting from the top and the bottom.

Will there be an inch in Wausau? I think the odds are greater than 50% that we could end up with an inch. If so, we could have our winners for the First Snowfall Contest. If an inch falls on either Tuesday or Wednesday of this week, then we will probably hold the drawing for the top 4 prize winners on Friday of this week on Wake-Up Wisconsin. As far as our circle of Channel 9 personalities and media friends goes (people who are not eligible for the prizes), it looks like Tony Schumacher has a good shot of winning, since he picked November 8th and would be the closest.

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One important update I wanted to pass along about an energy issue that I blog about from time-to-time is cold fusion. As you know, I am fairly skeptical that this type of fusion reaction can occur or be commercialized, but I always keep my mind open and hopes up. Cold fusion is a theorized reaction where fusion occurs by electro-chemical means at lower temperatures than nuclear fusion is commonly known to occur. If it was a process that could be contained and used to produce electricity, it would revolutionize the world. The problems is that the many experiments that have purported to show cold fusion to be true, are very hard or impossible to reproduce on a consistent basis (otherwise we would already be swimming in a world of nearly free energy). The latest incarnation of the cold fusion mystery happened in Italy earlier this year. I blogged about it here. Now we finally have an update on the inventors and their tribulations. The main inventor, Andrea Rossi, has built a bigger cold fusion device but still will not let anyone see the inner workings. He does not want to let anyone see the inside because it is a trade secret and he doesn’t have patent protection. As far as anyone who has measured the energy input and output of the device, they all say that it produces a lot more than what is fed in. Early this year, Rossi said that even though he is being secretive, that the market will tell the ultimate truth. If he has produced cold fusion and his device can produce electricity cheaper than traditional sources, then he will be vindicated. So far, no market test. It will be wait and see.

Have a nice Monday! Meteorologist Justin Loew.

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