Saturday, February 24, 2007

Blizzard of '07

February certainly has been a month of extreme weather. First we had to deal with one of the longest-lasting cold snaps in recent years, and now we are in the midst of the area's first true blizzard in over a decade. Six to twelve inches of snow fell last night, and round two has now begun. The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning earlier this evening as very strong winds (gusting to 40 miles per hour) are expected to create white-out conditions through at least tomorrow afternoon. It is snowing quite heavily in the valley right now. Visibility is quite low, but I'm sure it is much worse on the surrounding ridge tops. The sky has that distinctive orange-pink tinge it always has during heavy snow, and an occasional gust of wind really swirls the flakes around. There was some thundersnow reported around the region during last night's snow, which enhanced the snowfall rates. No thunder locally tonight yet, but I have read reports of cloud-to-ground lightning this evening in the Madison and Janesville areas (I am hoping this makes its way west to the Kickapoo Valley; last night was the first time I had ever heard thunder during a snowstorm, and I would like to experience more of this rare phenomenon!). I may post some pictures of the storm tomorrow, if I can figure out how to do it.

Side note: Another strong system looks to impact the area by Thursday. Could be more rain than snow, but I don't think many forecasters want to deal with this storm yet, as it has gotten very little mention in the area forecast discussions so far. One storm at a time...

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