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Record setting snow fell for Eau Claire

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Snow started falling around noon, and started to stick to roads between 2 and 3 PM. That quickly added up to 2.4" as of the 4pm climate report for Eau Claire, which is taken on a white colored snow board on top of grass. At that time, there was about 1" snow on the blacktop parking lot at the WQOW studio next to the official snow measuring snow board on WQOW property and monitored by Stormtracker 18 Meteorologists.

The snow continued to intensify through the early evening after that report, which already made for a daily record for October 20, above the old record of 2.0" set in 1982.

As of 8:20 PM, Eau Claire officially had a total of 6.9", breaking the October day record of 5.0" for any October day set on October 18, 1925. With one more tenth of an inch, it would be the earliest first 7" snow of the season, beating the previous record earliest first 7"+ snow day by 21 days: that was November 10, set in 1896. Yes, that's eighteen ninety-six! On that day, 8.0" was measured.

Temperatures may begin to warm late this evening before the snow ends, so after 8 PM there could be a changeover to a mix or rain before precipitation tapers off between 10 PM and 1 AM, which is when the Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories are set to expire.

Even so, temperatures will be near the freezing mark tomorrow morning, meaning black ice is possible especially on bridges and underpasses. Be careful on your morning commute in case of any icy patches. Black ice forms when snow melts then re-freezes, which is what could happen tonight towards tomorrow morning.

Afternoon temperatures should top out in the upper 30s, which is only about 5 degrees above Eau Claire's record coldest high for October 21 of 33 degrees set in 1913.

Temps will be a bit warmer Thursday as a low pressure system passes to our north, bringing highs up to the upper 40s though there will likely be rain and even a chance for thunder. Colder air returns for the weekend and into next week with the next chance for rain and/or snow arriving Sunday.

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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