ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - We all know a Northwoods winter means lots of snow, but since we're so used to winter, we don't always prepare for it like we should. Preparing your car and home are essential.
"Make sure your furnace is in good working order, your fire place is in good working order. It's a good idea to have extra food, non-perishable food, whether you're traveling or even at home," say Jeff Last, Green Bay National Weather Service Meteorologist.
Even if a storm is predicted to just miss you, you should still be prepared. The weather changes constantly and so does the forecast.
"Forecasting winter storms is always a challenge here in the Midwest. A change in the low pressure track of just twenty-five or fifty miles can shift the heavy snow axis twenty-five or fifty miles to the north or south of where we thought it would go initially. So it's important, really important, that people stay up to date with the latest forecast," said Last.
And while big storms can cause meteorologists headaches, day-to-day winter weather can be just as challenging. One of the toughest aspects to a Northwoods forecast…
"…the effect of Lake Superior. That's a big moisture source and as those cold north winds move over the warmer waters of Lake Superior it picks up that extra moisture and can dump copious amounts of snowfall," says Jeff Last.
But it's important to know what the forecast means. The National Weather Service issues alerts to help out.
"A Winter Weather Advisory is issued when we expect anywhere from about three to five or so inches of snow and relatively light winds," stated Last.
We had a Winter Weather Advisory for parts of the Northwoods last Tuesday night. The storm gave three to five inches of snow to parts of Vilas and Iron Counties. More intense storms call for different alerts.
"We issue a winter storm warning for snowfall six inches or more in twelve hours, or eight inches in twenty-four, or a combination of any amount of snow with extremely high winds," said Last.
These storms can create blizzard like conditions, dropping visibilities less than a quarter mile.
"If we expect blizzard conditions to last 3 hours or more, we will actually issue a blizzard warning, which is the most severe type of winter storm," says Jeff Last
Most importantly, be prepared for conditions to change quickly.
TOMAHAWK - A dance group in Tomahawk gets a second opportunity to show thousands of people what small town dancers can do. The Tomahawk Dance Team will perform at the Liberty Bowl half time show in Memphis In two weeks. "We get to go out with a bang," said 17- year- old dancer Emma Gane. At the end of the year seniors Emma Gane and Morgan Dischen will walk away from the dance team that brought them together four years ago.
"It's emotional to think about how fast things have gone," said Dischen. However, first they'll step on stage in front of more than 60 thousand people. "It's taking girls from this small town and putting them on this national platform," said Tomahawk Dance Team Coach Marina Olson.
On December 30 the 11 girls on the Tomahawk Dance team will perform during the Liberty Bowl Halftime Show in Memphis Tennessee. "It's just going to be different from our everyday small town life," said first year dance team member Semra Marquardt.
The Olson Memorial Library in Eagle River held a grand RE-opening that shows patience and perseverance pays off. We talk to the Library Foundation president and vice-president as well as Governor Scott Walker who attended the event.
We'll show you a half-court basketball shot a Rhinelander eighth-grader made that won money for him and raised money the Rhinelander Area Scholarship Foundation.
And tonight on Friday Night Blitz we'll bring you scores from high school games all across North Central Wisconsin as well as highlights from the following basketball games:
Phelps vs. Laona Wabeno (Boys and Girls)
Rhinelander vs. Northland Pines (Boys and Girls)
Elcho vs. Crandon (Boys)
That will be tonight on Friday Night Blitz at the end of Newswatch 12 at 10.
We'll bring you all this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.
RHINELANDER - Eighth-grader Alexx Huff doesn't practice half-court shots much.
At the end of basketball practice, he's usually too tired to try and make 40-footers. But Huff had plenty of energy two weeks ago, when he stepped onto the court during halftime of a varsity basketball game in Rhinelander.
"I'm really nervous, I'm really shaky," Huff said, remembering the night. "There's a lot of people watching."
Huff was randomly selected to take part a shooting contest held during every game. The contest ends with a half-court shot.
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