The Massive U.S. Storm of February 1-2, 2011


Snowfall Graphics Radar and Satellite Movies Snowfall Totals Peak Wind Gusts

A strong storm system strengthened rapidly in Texas on Tuesday February 1 and moved northeast toward Indiana by Wednesday. Heavy snow of 12-18 inches (some amounts over 20 inches) and winds of 30-40 mph made for blizzard conditions from Oklahoma to Milwaukee and Michigan's Thumb area. South of the snow, over an inch of glaze ice was received across portions of Missouri through Pennsylvania. The snow and ice extended northeast all the way to parts of New England, although amounts were not as great as in the Midwest.

Northeast Iowa and southwest Wisconsin were on the northernmost edge of the storm and received about a foot of fresh snow and measured wind gusts to 49 mph. Even though Winter Storm Warnings were issued early Tuesday morning, many motorists (estimated over 100) became stranded Tuesday evening in whiteout conditions in far southwest Wisconsin. This storm came on the heals of a 3-7 inch snowfall January 31 to early February 1.

The La Crosse National Weather Service (NWS) had been tracking the storm for days leading up to it, but issued watches early on January 31st (Monday) followed by an upgrade to Winter Storm Warnings early on February 1st (Tuesday). Forecast snowfall totals on Feb.1st can be viewed by clicking here.  The image to the right (click to enlarge) shows the range of warnings and advisories by the NWS as of 9:46 a.m. February 1, 2011. u.s. hazard map february 1


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Snowfall and Storm Images (Click on image to enlarge)

February 2 2011 U.S. Snowfall Map Feb 2 2011 regional snowfall map Feb 2 2011 Snowfall
U.S. map of the 24 hour snowfall totals ending at 8 a.m. February 2, 2011. Regional map of 24 hour snowfall totals ending at 8 a.m. February 2, 2011. Local map of 24 hour snowfall totals ending at 8 a.m. February 2, 2011.
72 hour regional snowfall map ending Feb 2 satellite view from February 1 2011 snowfall image from Grant County Wisconsin
Regional map of 72 hour snowfall totals ending at 8 a.m. February 2, 2011. Satellite view from February 1, 2011 showing massive storm moving through central U.S. (Courtesy of NOAA) Image taken February 2nd around Patch Grove, WI (Grant Co.) via Grant County Sheriff.

Radar and Satellite Movies (Click on image to view movie)

February 2 2011 radar loop Feb 2 2011 satellite loop
Radar movie from about Noon Tuesday Feb 1 to 6 a.m. Wednesday Feb 2. White and green colors indicate snowfall rates greater than 1" per hour. Infrared satellite movie from about 6 a.m. Tuesday Feb 1 to 6 a.m. Wednesday Feb 2. Contoured lines are mean sea-level pressure. Hourly cloud-to-ground lightning strikes are seen as "+" or "-" symbols.

Snowfall Totals

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LA CROSSE WI
715 PM CST WED FEB 2 2011

...FEBRUARY 1-2 SNOWFALL TOTALS ACROSS THE AREA...

LOCATION                 SNOWFALL

IOWA

...ALLAMAKEE COUNTY...
WAUKON 8NW                 3.8
LANSING 4SE                3.0

...CHICKASAW COUNTY...
IONIA                      3.0

...CLAYTON COUNTY...
ST OLAF                   12.0
GUTTENBERG                 8.5
EDGEWOOD                   8.0
ELKADER 6SSW               7.5
CLAYTON CENTER             5.5
VOLGA                      4.8

...FAYETTE COUNTY...
OELWEIN                    7.0
FAYETTE                    3.5

...FLOYD COUNTY...
NASHUA                     2.0
CHARLES CITY COOP          0.5

...HOWARD COUNTY...
CRESCO                     1.5
ELMA                       1.3

...MITCHELL COUNTY...
OSAGE                      1.0

...WINNESHIEK COUNTY...
DECORAH                    5.5
FORT ATKINSON              4.6

MINNESOTA

...FILLMORE COUNTY...
PRESTON                      T

...HOUSTON COUNTY...
RENO 3SW                   1.6
CALEDONIA                  1.5
SPRING GROVE 4N            0.6

WISCONSIN

...ADAMS COUNTY...
FRIENDSHIP                 2.5

...CLARK COUNTY...
OWEN 2N                      T

...CRAWFORD COUNTY...
PRAIRIE DU CHIEN           7.2
MT STERLING                6.0
MT ZION 2NW                3.3
SOLDIERS GROVE             3.0
STEUBEN 4SE                3.0
LYNXVILLE DAM 9            3.0

...GRANT COUNTY...
SINSINAWA                 14.0
CUBA CITY                 12.0
CUBA CITY 2NW             12.0
PLATTEVILLE               11.6
CASSVILLE 8NE             10.0
CUBA CITY 6N               8.0
BLUE RIVER                 4.3

...JUNEAU COUNTY...
NECEDAH 2SE                1.1

...LA CROSSE COUNTY...
LA CROSSE 5SE              0.7
LA CROSSE AIRPORT          0.1
HOLMEN 2S                  0.1
LA CROSSE NWS              0.1
LA CROSSE 4NNW             0.1

...MONROE COUNTY...
TUNNEL CITY                0.5
WARRENS                    0.3
SPARTA                       T

...RICHLAND COUNTY...
GILLINGHAM                 6.0
ITHACA 2S                  5.0
RICHLAND CENTER 1NW        5.0

...VERNON COUNTY...
VIROQUA                    3.8
LA FARGE                   3.1
WESTBY 3ENE                3.1
ONTARIO 3E                 3.1
READSTOWN                  2.3
GENOA                      1.0


Peak Wind Gusts

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LA CROSSE WI
1048 AM CST WED FEB 2 2011

...HIGHEST WIND GUSTS REPORTED WITH THE FEB 1-2 2011 STORM...

STATION                   COUNTY              TIME    SPEED     GUST

PLATTEVILLE AWOS          GRANT             953 PM   29 MPH   49 MPH
CHARLES CITY AWOS         FLOYD            1135 PM   28 MPH   40 MPH
ROCHESTER ASOS            OLMSTED          1054 PM   24 MPH   39 MPH
OELWEIN AWOS              FAYETTE          1215 AM   29 MPH   38 MPH
2 ESE CANTON RWIS         FILLMORE          814 PM   26 MPH   37 MPH
2 SE EYOTA RWIS           OLMSTED          1141 PM   26 MPH   37 MPH
4 E NORDNESS RWIS         WINNESHIEK        345 PM   23 MPH   37 MPH
PRESTON AWOS              FILLMORE          919 PM   22 MPH   37 MPH
2 NNE TAMARACK RWIS       TREMPEALEAU       326 PM   18 MPH   36 MPH
VIROQUA AWOS              VERNON            435 PM   25 MPH   36 MPH
PRAIRIE DU CHIEN AWOS     CRAWFORD          335 PM   18 MPH   35 MPH
2 SSE KELLOGG RWIS        WABASHA           804 PM      MPH   35 MPH
BOSCOBEL ASOS             GRANT            1153 PM   20 MPH   35 MPH
2 NE EAST DUBUQUE RWIS    GRANT             203 PM   16 MPH   33 MPH
1 SW MOUNT STERLING RWIS  CRAWFORD          223 PM   17 MPH   33 MPH
LA CROSSE ASOS            LA CROSSE        1053 PM   18 MPH   33 MPH
1 W PLATTEVILLE CWOP      GRANT             210 PM   22 MPH   33 MPH
1 W LA CROSSE CWOP        LA CROSSE         337 PM   18 MPH   33 MPH
AUSTIN AWOS               MOWER             835 PM   21 MPH   32 MPH
DODGE CENTER AWOS         DODGE             354 PM   22 MPH   32 MPH
2 N IONIA RWIS            CHICKASAW        1045 PM   17 MPH   32 MPH
1 E MAUSTON RWIS          JUNEAU            320 PM   15 MPH   31 MPH
DECORAH AWOS              WINNESHIEK       1135 PM   16 MPH   31 MPH
1 WNW NECEDAH RAWS        JUNEAU            548 AM   16 MPH   30 MPH
1 ENE BOSCOBEL RAWS       GRANT             303 PM   18 MPH   30 MPH
3 NE LUBLIN RAWS          TAYLOR            614 PM   15 MPH   30 MPH
4 NNW RIDGEVILLE RWIS     MONROE            324 PM   14 MPH   30 MPH
VOLK FIELD AWOS           JUNEAU            112 AM   15 MPH   29 MPH
ST. ANSGAR CWOP           MITCHELL          855 PM   17 MPH   28 MPH
SPARTA AWOS               MONROE            437 PM   18 MPH   28 MPH
MAUSTON CWOP              JUNEAU            402 PM    7 MPH   26 MPH
KENDALL CWOP              MONROE            620 AM    8 MPH   26 MPH
MEDFORD AWOS              TAYLOR           1055 AM   16 MPH   26 MPH
4 WSW RINGE CWOP          OLMSTED           503 AM    9 MPH   26 MPH
1 NE BEAR VALLEY CWOP     WABASHA          1120 PM   23 MPH   25 MPH
1 WSW ONALASKA CWOP       LA CROSSE         239 AM    8 MPH   25 MPH
1 E BLK RVR FALLS RAWS    JACKSON           815 PM    7 MPH   24 MPH
2 N TOMAH RWIS            MONROE            522 PM    7 MPH   24 MPH
WINONA AWOS               WINONA            715 AM   16 MPH   23 MPH
3 SW BARRE MILLS CWOP     LA CROSSE         540 PM      MPH   22 MPH
3 N VIROQUA CWOP          VERNON           1219 AM    8 MPH   21 MPH


KEY TO OBSERVATION TYPES
AWS - SENSORS FROM AWS INCORPORATED. OFTEN LOCATED AT SCHOOLS.
APRS - AUTOMATIC PACKET REPORTING SYSTEM. HAM RADIO WEATHER STATION DATA.
CWOP - CITIZEN WEATHER OBSERVER PROGRAM. HOME WEATHER STATION DATA.
RWIS - ROAD WEATHER INFORMATION SYSTEMS. LOCATED ON MAJOR ROADS AND BRIDGES.
RAWS - FIRE WEATHER OBSERVATIONS. OFTEN LOCATED IN FORESTS.
ASOS/AWOS - AVIATION WEATHER OBSERVATIONS. LOCATED AT AIRPORTS.

OBSERVATIONS ARE COLLECTED FROM A VARIETY OF SOURCES WITH VARYING EQUIPMENT
AND EXPOSURE.  NOT ALL DATA LISTED IS CONSIDERED OFFICIAL.


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