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Winter Weather Awareness Week for WisconsinSubmitted: 11/07/2013
Story By Melissa Constanzer


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.



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 IN OTHER NEWS

SCHOFIELD - Update: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has extended his condolences to the families of the four people who were killed in a series of shootings in the area around Wausau.

In a statement Thursday, Walker also extended his sympathies to the Everest Metropolitan Police Department, which lost an officer in the attacks, and to the communities where the Wednesday shootings happened, Rothschild, Schofield and Weston.

The shootings took place at a bank, a law firm and an apartment building. Authorities have a suspect in custody but haven't released the names of the suspect or victims.

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ROTHSCHILD -
UPDATE: Everest Metro Police Chief Wally Sparks confirmed one of his officers died and three other people were killed after a shooting with a suspect near Wausau on Wednesday.

Police wouldn't share any of the victims' names or ages, but said the suspect is in custody and no one else is in danger.

The state Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation has been called in to assist local police.  Officers did not take any questions at a brief news conference Wednesday night.  A DCI spokesman said there would be another media briefing either Thursday morning or afternoon.





At least two people were hurt in what police think was a domestic situation in the Wausau area Wednesday afternoon.  That includes a police officer, but Wausau police haven't said yet which department that officer is from or who they are.

The Rothschild Police Department said in a press release that officers were called to the Marathon Savings Bank on E. Grand Avenue around 12:30 p.m.

Officers responding to the scene found two people who had apparently been shot.  The suspect left the scene before police got there.  That led to three total scenes, including a response to what appeared to be a standoff at an apartment complex on Aspen Street and Ross Avenue in Weston.

"This is a complex, ongoing investigation involving three crime scenes and multiple victims of shootings at those locations," Wausau Police Captain Todd Baeten said during an afternoon press conference.

Several police departments from Marathon County responded to the scene.  The Wisconsin Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation has been called in for assistance.

This story will be updated.



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PLOVER - Police hope to find a Plover woman who disappeared last week.

Krista M. Sypher, 44, was last seen March 13.  She lives on Hoffman Drive in the Village of Plover.  She did not take her car.

Sypher's cellphone has been off since she disappeared, and she has not contacted family or friends.

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