Spring Likely Slow to Start - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Spring Likely Slow to Start

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - Right now it feels like we're in the midst of winter, although in reality, we're heading into spring.  In theory we should be getting warmer, and we will, but it might take a while.

"Imagine our atmosphere like a pot of water or even just a skillet on the stove," said Alex Kirchner, Daybreak Meteorologist. "When you put that skillet on the stove and you turn the heat on that skillet doesn't heat up instantly. It would be nice if it did, but it doesn't. You've got to slowly put energy into it and that'll slowly get things up in the temperature you want. Our atmosphere is much the same."

And right now, the pot of water we're trying to warm up is a solid cube of ice. This is why it takes several months of increasing daylight before spring really takes hold.

To make matters worse, the persistent cold pattern this winter will be slow to release its grip, driving more cold air down from Canada.

And the snow cover doesn't help either.

"That's why March starts out so cold is usually we have some snow on the ground," said Kirchner. "That reflects a lot of energy from the sun which means we have to put much more energy into the atmosphere to melt the snow."

Once the snow melts the sun will be much more effective at warming us up.

The National Weather Service says in a normal year the snow pack drops below one inch by March 19. Although this year there's a good chance it will be later.

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