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2018-19 winter confirmed as snowiest on record

We’ve known for awhile, but last winter was the snowiest on record for Eau Claire. However, it didn’t become official until yesterday on July 1st, but the Stormtracker 18 Weather Team was busy tracking the storms and heavy rain threat, so these fun (or not-so-fun depending on your perspective) statistics had to wait a day.

For the purpose of climate statistics for snow and cold temperatures, the “Winter Year” is defined as starting on July 1 and ending on June 30. This is because Eau Claire (and most places in the Northern Hemisphere) Don’t have a historical threat for snow and very cold temperatures in July and August, so it makes sense to start the winter year in July as it ensures all snow and cold temperatures in any 12 month span are recorded in the same year. It’s because we think of winter as one time period, so it doesn’t make sense to group the data in a single calendar year.

The bulk of our snow came in February, which recorded more snow in those four weeks than Eau Claire averages in an entire winter, and shattered the old February record.

Back to the weather we’re experiencing now: It was another warm and humid day with the sun coming out in the afternoon, allowing temperatures to warm fast late in the day. Dew points were as high as the low 70s in spots, making it feel oppressive. While we didn’t have rain today and most of tomorrow looks dry, too, rain and thunderstorm chances return tomorrow evening and last through Friday.

This means the Fourth of July holiday will not be the best day. While it’s possible that the scattered showers and storms stay away during the right times that you and many others have plans, it’s also a good idea to have a “plan B” indoors in case of thunderstorms.

It does look to dry out for next weekend and become less humid, though that pattern doesn’t appear like it will last long with more humidity and storm chances returning next week.

Matt Schaefer

Matt Schaefer was promoted to Chief Meteorologist in July of 2019 and has been our evening meteorologist for News 18 since June of 2016. Prior to that, he was our Saturday meteorologist starting in September 2014.

Matt was born and raised in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He enjoys all the extremes that mother nature throws at the Badger State: from severe thunderstorms to blizzards to subzero temperatures.

Matt studied meteorology in the Midwest as well, earning his Bachelor’s of Science in Meteorology at Valparaiso University in Indiana. There, Matt was heavily involved in VUTV Weather, the Valpo student chapter of AMS/NWA, and VUSIT (Valparaiso University Storm Intercept Team). He’s logged more than 20,000 miles chasing and studying severe storms all across the country and witnessed nine tornadoes including six in one day!

Matt describes himself as a Wisconsin boy at heart and enjoys cheering for the Packers, Brewers, Badgers, and Admirals just to name a few. He loves simply being outdoors and enjoys the Wisconsin wilderness especially in fall, and whitetail deer season!

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