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Winter may not have been that bad around here (at least so far) but that’s not the case out west where heavy snow has caused hardships for man and beast alike.

Take for example, the Idaho moose in the photo below. Like a lot of wildlife in the area, it probably meandered into the town of Hailey in pursuit of food, at least according to the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office. It ended up tumbling down a window well and crashing into the carpeted basement of a house…which in all honesty does look pretty cozy.

Sheriff’s deputies, police officers and Idaho Department of Fish and Game Senior Conservation Officer Alex Head were called to the scene at about 2:30 a.m. They tried to coax the animal up the stairs, but “the moose was having none of it, charging the officers several times,” Josh Royse, a Fish and Game regional conservation officer wrote on the department’s website.

The authorities ended up sedating the female moose, who, fittingly, slipped into a more mellow state near a Bob Marley wall tapestry.

“With all hands on deck, the sleeping giant was carried up the stairs and out the front door,” he wrote. “It woke up in the snow covered street, groggy and confused, but free.” Oh give me a home where the moose can roam!

Here in the Midwest the next few days the weather is going to be seasonally cold but uneventful. I’m not going to bore you with that.

What does pique my interest is what appears to be a significant winter storm next week (February 7-8th). The EURO first got on the trend 3 days ago. The GFS finally jumped on the band wagon yesterday.

While it’s far too early to get detailed both models are showing a very energetic storm that has the potential to be quite strong. However, Tuesday nights data has backed away from the extreme solutions of the afternoon runs, especially the EURO. As a result, there is quite a bit of doubt as to the eventual outcome.

Here’s the 500mb forecasts off the operational GFS followed by the EURO.

Now the surface reflections for the same period from both the GFS and EURO.

What the new data does suggest is a track that’s well north of my local area. Personally, with the amount of limited cold air I prefer the EURO’s more northerly track of the two models. That would put a significant snowstorm in play over much of Minnesota and Wisconsin. Since we are nearly a week out I won’t even show any snowfall forecasts because I think the energy and phasing outcomes are so much in doubt. All I can say is keep an eye on February 7th and 8th as the teleconnections suggest a strong trough and storm somewhere over the upper Midwest.

Meantime, February is off to a quiet start. The groundhog should see his shadow tomorrow meaning 6 more weeks of winter according to the lore. I doubt it in my neck of the woods! Roll weather…TS

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