LA CROSSE, Wis - High Today: 35° / Low Tonight: 19º - Last updated Friday, February 24, 2017 at 10:50 AM...
What a wild night across the region with periods of rain, sleet, snow and thunder and lightning! The heaviest snow overnight fell north and west of La Crosse. As of about 9:00 this morning, the highest totals (6"-10"+ range) were in the Rochester, MN area... and up through Wabasha, Pepin, Eau Claire, northern Buffalo & northern Trempealeau counties.
Lighter amounts fell south and east and elevation is also coming into play with this storm. Only 1" or less accumulated in the city of La Crosse as the precip started as rain. About 3" fell above the city up near Grandad Bluff with the higher elevation.
Strong low pressure will track by to our southeast today and continue to bring periods of snow or a wintry mix to the region. 1" to 3" of snow could fall today, with the highest totals north & west of La Crosse... and also across higher terrain. The lower amounts will be in the valleys. N/NE winds 10-20 with gusts to 35 mph possible could cause some blowing and drifting snow, especially across the open areas and higher terrain of SE Minnesota & NE Iowa.
Periods of snow will continue tonight, especially through about midnight. The snow will then taper and shift east and out of the News 8 area by about sunrise Saturday. A trace to 2" of snow is possible in some areas tonight.
As expected, the highest snow totals with this storm will be north & west of La Crosse where 6" to 12" will be common with isolated higher totals. Closer to 2" to 6" will be common in central parts of the viewing area, including La Crosse... with the highest amounts on the ridge tops. The city of La Crosse will likely end up on the low end of these totals since it's in the valley at lower elevation. 1" to 4" are possible south & east.
The National Weather Service has areas west of the Miss. River under a BLIZZARD WARNING, although the heavy/wet consistency of the snow should prevent it from blowing around as much as if temps were colder. A WINTER STORM WARNING is in effect for northern parts of the viewing area where heavier snow totals are occurring. A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY is in effect for the La Crosse area and south & east where snow totals will be less. All of these headlines are in effect until 6AM Saturday.
Any light snow should shift east by about sunrise Saturday, then clouds will decrease and highs will be in the upper 30s. Still windy Saturday, especially in the morning.
Looking Ahead... Several weaker disturbances will zip across the region Sunday through next week with at least slight chances for precipitation. One could bring some light snow or flurries on Sunday with highs in the mid 30s.
Monday looks dry with highs around 40º, then another disturbance will bring a chance of rain & snow showers Tuesday as temps will be in the low 40s. Slight chance of light snow or flurries Wednesday with highs back in the mid 30s.
Couple more weak systems could bring some light snow chances around next Thursday and Saturday with highs remaining in the mid 30s.
Have a good day and Happy Friday! Keep an eye out for updates on this winter storm! -Bill Graul