Enjoy sunshine before 'wintry mix' arrives

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Gina Duwe
Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Relish Wednesday's sunlight and warmth because it will be gone Thursday.

Just when we thought maybe we had broken free from a winter of below-average temperatures, Mother Nature plans to send a wintry mix our way.

Forecasters are calling for a “considerable amount of wind,” but not much snow, Wednesday night into Thursday, when it will turn cold again, said Rudy Schaar, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sullivan.

The Janesville area will dip to highs in the 20s and lows in the single digits by the end of the week.

Only one other winter—1976—had more days with highs below freezing between Nov. 1 and Feb. 17, according to Gazette weather records. So far this winter, the mercury has stopped short of freezing 68 days, only one day fewer than the winter of 1976.

Looking at his long-range model, which should be taken with a grain of salt, Schaar said, he predicted fairly cold air over us for awhile.

“I don't really see any breaks other than the next couple days,” he said Tuesday.

“Keep in mind, too, that we're still in February,” he said.

Weather patterns shifted this winter so we basically “have an open door to the Arctic,” he said. “A lot of air from the Arctic has flowed in. Normally that air never reaches this far south.”

A lack of melting temps also means snow that fell in December still is on the ground, he said.

Normally, the coldest air ends up in Siberia, but this year, that air settled here and Siberia is relatively warmer, he said.

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