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Workweek Outlook: Thank Colorado for the unicorn of winters

Usually, abundant early winter snow in the Sault is thanks to lake effect snow, but not so much this year

This winter is certainly turning into the unicorn of winters compared to what is statistically normal for the Sault. First, winter started much earlier than normal and turned much colder than normal. Usually, abundant early winter snow in the Sault is thanks to lake effect snow, but not so much this year.

Now usually if we have an early winter with cold weather than eastern Lake Superior freezes up and cuts off the lake effect snow. This leads to what is climatologically our driest month of the year - February. With more snow on the way this week we will already have our monthly totals only in only a couple weeks. 

The cause of these unusual trends is a persistent storm track through the Great Lakes since November. Colorado Lows continue to wind up in the American Mid-West and track through the Great Lakes, usually just south of the Sault.  What this means for us is that we are almost always on the cold side of these systems and in the area that receives the most snow. On top of that, we never see the warm sector of the storms, and there's been very little in the way of melting this winter.   Hence the abundant snow, persistent cold and the need to shovel every three or four days.

Monday will be the calm before the storm with mostly sunny skies and daytime highs climbing to near seasonal values of -5°C. A light east wind will make it feel a little cooler.

Heavy snow moves into the region yet again on Tuesday afternoon with 15cm of accumulation by midnight. Temperatures will climb to near -8°C with gusty east winds near 25km/h.

The snow ends early Wednesday morning with another 10cm overnight; bringing a storm total of near 25 cm. Daytime highs will be near -7°C as wind become northwest.

Thursday remains cloudy with the chance of light snow in the evening. Temperatures should climb to near -4°C.

After a few days of no snow, another system slides south of the region on Friday with a chance for another 4-6 cm. Daytime highs will reach -7C with a northerly wind. Colder than normal air moves into the region for the weekend.