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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

CRANDON - The first annual Legionnaire Mud Challenge made its way to Crandon Saturday.

The International Off-Road Raceway welcomed nearly 200 participants ready to get down and dirty.

Men and women of all ages were brought together by the desire to work up a sweat.

"There's not a lot of opportunities like this in the northwoods, so it's always great to see one pop up," said Justin Lund.

He's an experienced obstacle course athlete and came in first in the men's 10k.

And for the women, Sheila Reynolds also took first place.
 
"It's fun and then you get other people running and you're encouraging them along in a way. It's just a great atmosphere," said Reynolds.

Athletes participating in the mud challenge had the option of running as an individual or on a team. When registering, they chose between the 5k or 10k.

Not only are these athletes getting all muddy as they're going through the race, they also have to climb over obstacles like these barrels of hay.

Some of the obstacles included a tire wall, slip n' slide, and muddy wet puddles to get through.

"I talked to a lot of the runners before we went and they said that the obstacles were tough and they really liked the course," said Beaver, one of four runners on a team.

Beaver and The Boys completed the course with only a few setbacks along the way.

"I lost my shoe in the middle of it and had to go back and find it," he said.

Athletes had to get up and over more than 15 obstacles throughout the race.

All the money raised will go to the Northwoods United Way and American Cancer Society.

The second annual Legionnaire Mud Challenge will take place next year.

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