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Warm afternoon follows wintry start to Saturday

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Friday was Eau Claire's first snow of the season, though it was not a measurable snow as snow barely covered the grass for only brief moments before melting. It never measured up to the minimum of 1/10" required to be measurable. Still, we saw plenty of flakes that fell at light rates, even though it may have looked heavy. Heavy snow requires visibility to be reduced to at least 1/4 mile and moderate snow needs to be reduced to at least 1/2 mile.

Friday's visibility dropped to 2.5 miles in Eau Claire at worst as that snow moved through.

A blizzard has that heavy snow visibility combined with wind of at least 35 mph, and both of those conditions must last for at least 3 hours. Blizzards are actually rare in Wisconsin due to the hilly terrain that makes it difficult to get that wind component.

Leaves are falling fast after Friday's wind and snow showers. There could be another round of snow, mix, or rain Saturday morning, too. This will make raking difficult as leaves will be wet, though wind and some sun later in the day along with warmer temperatures may make it dry enough to get some work done.

While there's another very small chance for precip Sunday morning, this might be the better raking day though it'll be cooler than Saturday afternoon.

The precip Saturday morning arrives ahead of a warm front. It will start before sunrise in the form of rain/mix changing to snow. The line of precip will be moving east as this changeover happens, so the best chance for snow is north and east of Eau Claire, though if it changes soon enough Eau Claire might wake up to a measurable one or two tenths of an inch Saturday morning.

Totals on grassy areas north and east up to a half inch or even an isolated inch closer to north central Wisconsin. Several inches are possible near Lake Superior.

After that round morning round of wintry precip, Saturday afternoon will be the warmest of the next 7 with some spots possibly hitting 60 degrees just hours after receiving snow flakes. It'll feel like a completely different day in the afternoon.

That will be followed by a cold front Saturday night into Sunday morning that won't have a lot of moisture, but could spark a few flurries or rain drops.

Highs after that front through most of next week will be in the 40s with lows near or below freezing.

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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