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First of several snow/mix chances arrives tonight


Temperatures climbed once again into the 40s across most of Western Wisconsin. This was just Eau Claire's second 40+ high of 2021, with more on the way.

The warmer air was aided by some sunshine and a strong southerly wind that gusted into the 30s this afternoon. That wind subsides tonight, but a couple of systems are expected to move through this weekend.

The first moves through tonight, though this one is the weakest of the weekend. A few light snow or wintry mix showers are possible through tomorrow morning.

Not much will add up from the Friday night into early Saturday round, though there could be some slippery spots early in the morning before temps warm back above freezing. Expect partial clearing through the middle of your Saturday that will warm temperatures up into the mid 40s once again.

Saturday night's system looks to be the most likely to bring travel impacts to the Chippewa Valley. Some snow could start by late afternoon, but most likely chances are overnight through about midday Sunday. This system could bring several inches of snow, and the path the low pressure system could take still has some variability.

A northerly path will result in not much snow for the Chippewa Valley, though areas near and north of Highway 8 could get some heavy snow. The southerly path brings a fairly widespread 1 to 3 inches across Western Wisconsin with localized totals up to about 4 inches possible.

This is why the forecast map shows a trace to 3" southeast of Eau Claire and the potential for more up to the north to account for the uncertainty in the track the snow takes. Either option could begin with wintry mix which could also limit totals. Still, expect travel impacts from wintry mix and snow especially Sunday morning through at least late morning followed by gradual improvement as city and county crews plow and salt.

Another weak system could bring another trace of snow early Monday morning as colder temps set in for the first day and a half of March, but Tuesday afternoon takes a big jump back up to the 40s and mid to upper 40s are likely towards the end of next week. Highs near 50 cannot be ruled out.

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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