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Eau Claire didn’t quite hit 40, but it was warmest of 2021

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Today was Eau Claire's warmest day of 2021 so far with a high of 39 degrees as of 4pm. Eau Claire hit 38 on January 13 and hasn't warmed to 35 degrees since February 3 when the high was 36. It's not abnormal to have 40 degree high temperatures as they are climatologically possible at any time of the year.

The average first 40 degree high for Eau Claire is January 25, and while we're almost a month past that, it's still over three weeks before the March 18 record latest first 40 high.

Rain and snow has shown up on radar this evening, and that could cause a few slippery spots as temperatures drop back closer to freezing, especially on bridges. Eau Claire has another chance to hit 40 tomorrow before yet another round of rain and/or snow.

It will be a mostly cloudy day with a southwest wind carrying warmer temperatures. Much like tonight, accumulation chances are mainly northeast of Eau Claire with the best chances for measurable snow both north of highway 64 and east of highway 53. Tonight will likely be 1/2" or less even to the northeast while tomorrow night could bring 1 to 2 inches to areas northeast of a line roughly through Thorp and Cumberland.

Temperatures will stay mild even after these systems pass. Highs on Wednesday will be in the mid to upper 30s and while a bit cooler Thursday, highs will be right about average for this time of year.

This means that more melting is expected. While our snow depth isn't particularly impressive at about 8 inches on the grass as of 4pm Monday, there remains a lot of snow packed onto the roads from before the big freeze that has begun to melt and needs somewhere to go. Make sure that paths to the storm drains are clear, or clear a path into ditches in rural areas to give an easy path for water to go.

With highs above freezing, this can prevent melted snow from freezing into black ice when temps drop back below freezing at night.

Warmer air returns Friday ands Saturday, though that again includes a chance for wintry mix and snow mainly Friday night into Saturday morning. Another slight chance for snow late Sunday will eventually let colder air back in, but it won't be as cold as the stretch we just got out of.

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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