Weekend snow divides state

December 4, 2011 0 Comments
The 4-December Snow Cover Chart From the National Weather Service. The 4-December Snow Cover Chart From the National Weather Service.

This weekend’s winter storm was very interesting to watch and forecast.  The storm included a distinct line of mixed precip that essentially divided Wisconsin into two chunks. South and southeast of the line saw rain.  North and northwest of the line saw snow, and in some places quite a bit!

Also interesting with the storm is where the rain/snow line ended up staying.   For hours on end it sliced through parts of Marathon, Wood and Portage counties giving us rain, snow and sleet.  For most of the night in three separate counties that cover a relatively small geographic area, we had three different types of precipitation falling at once. 

Viewer photo of the 7" that fell in Boulder Junction, From Wendy Ross.Viewer photo of the 7" that fell in Boulder Junction, From Wendy Ross.

In the end, most of Marathon saw snow, Portage rain and Wood saw a little bit of all three.  What was also fascinating to watch is how steady the line held, with relatively little movement through the night. 

The position of the rain/snow line played a big role in where we saw the significant accumulations.  We had been forecasting to see the highest accumulations in Wausau and then in points north and northwest of the city.  It was a difficult storm to forecast accumulation for because the way things appeared, and how they eventually transpired was the boundary between the 1-3” region and 3-6”+ region cut right through Wausau and northwestern Wood County where quite a few people live!   

Once the storm had moved out, Wausau saw 2.7” of snow but nearly a half-inch of rain.  Meanwhile on the western edge of Marathon County and the eastern side of Clark County, Abbotsford picked up 5” and Owen received 5.6”.  North of Wausau we saw just less than 5” in Merrill and 6” in both Tomahawk and Medford. Winchester saw the most (as of the most recent reports) at 7”.

All in all, we lucked out that the accumulations came just about the way we had anticipated and the rain/snow line’s dance over Marathon, Wood and Portage Counties kept accumulations down for the storm total. 

But of course, this is just winter storm number two of the young season.  We’ve got a ways to go before we can start thinking about summer again! 

Can’t wait!  Thanks for sticking with us here at Storm Track 9 through the storm.

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