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After a bit of a lull overnight, the powerful storm system that started hitting southern Wisconsin on Tuesday will intensify Wednesday morning, dumping several more inches of snow before exiting the area around mid-day, according to forecasters.
A winter storm warning remains in effect until noon, with additional accumulations of 2 to 5 inches pushing storm totals to 4 to 8 inches.
Officially, Madison saw 2.3 inches of snow on Tuesday, measured at the Dane County Regional Airport, with snow continuing after midnight.
Travel conditions were treacherous and schools were closed across the area. The latest travel conditions are available by calling 511 or going to the state’s 511 website.
Perhaps even worse, the coldest air of the season is predicted to move in by late this week, with wind chill values plunging to dangerous levels of 20 below to 30 below Thursday night and Friday night, and 15 below to 20 below zero Saturday night. Even during the day on Friday, wind chills aren’t forecast to rise past 10 below to 15 below.
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The surge of arctic air will follow a clipper type of low pressure system that could bring a period of snow squalls across the upper Midwest Wednesday night into Thursday morning, the Weather Service said.
In Madison on Wednesday, look for snow, mainly before noon, with 1 to 3 inches of additional accumulation, a high near 21 and north winds at 10 to 15 miles per hour turning out of the west in the afternoon.
After an overnight low around 6, with wind chill values of 5 below to zero, Thursday’s forecast features a 20 percent chance for snow before 9 a.m. and then scattered flurries through noon. Skies should gradually become mostly sunny, with a high near 18 and northwest winds at 10 to 15 mph increasing to 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon and gusting as high as 30 mph producing wind chill values of 10 below to zero.
The Weather Service said that along with the bitter cold, there is a 20 percent chance for snow early Sunday, an 80 percent chance Sunday night, a 60 percent chance Monday, and a 20 percent chance Monday night.
Skies over Madison should be partly sunny Friday, mostly sunny Saturday, partly sunny Sunday, mostly cloudy Monday, and partly sunny Tuesday, with highs near 2, 6, 13, 19 and 7, and lows Thursday night through Monday night around 9 below, 13 below, zero, 5 and 2.
Storm Track meteorologist Branden Borremans forecasts snow that could be heavy at times before ending around mid-day Wednesday, with storm totals of 6 to 9 inches for most of the area, 3 to 6 inches northwest of Madison.
Bitter cold will move in by late Thursday, with a possible few flurries later on Friday and again later on Saturday, snow Sunday night into Monday, and then even more bitter cold, Borremans said.
He said skies over Madison should be cloudy with a few breaks of sun in the afternoon on Wednesday, cloudy becoming partly sunny on Thursday, partly sunny Friday through Sunday, cloudy Monday, and partly sunny Tuesday and next Wednesday, with highs near 21, 17, 1, 5, 7, 15, 7 and 2 below, and overnight lows around 5, 12 below, 16 below, 3 below, 5, zero, 16 below and 18 below.
Tuesday’s high in Madison was 23 at 9:55 p.m., 3 degrees below the normal high and 30 degrees below the record high of 53 for Jan. 22, set in 1964.
Tuesday’s low in Madison was 14 at 4:29 a.m., 3 degrees above the normal low and 40 degrees above the record low of 26 below for Jan. 22, set in 1936.
Officially, 0.2 inches of precipitation was recorded at the Dane County Regional Airport on Tuesday, boosting Madison’s January and 2019 precipitation total (rain plus snow converted to liquid) to 1.74 inches, 0.86 inches above normal. The meteorological winter (December through February) total rose to 3.84 inches, 1.22 inches above normal.
Madison’s record precipitation for Jan. 22 is 1.7 inches, set in 1887.
Officially, 2.3 inches of snow was recorded at the Dane County Regional Airport on Tuesday, boosting Madison’s January and 2019 snow total to 7.2 inches, 1.9 inches below normal. For meteorological winter, Madison has received 13.1 inches, 9.5 inches below normal. For the snow season (since July 1), Madison has received 16.5 inches, 10.2 inches below normal.
Madison’s record snowfall for Jan. 22 is 3.5 inches, set in 1974.
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