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Southern Wisconsin will see some snow Monday night into Tuesday from a major storm system delivering several inches in central and northern Wisconsin, and up to 2 feet of snow to states to the west, according to forecasters.
The storm started by pounding Southern California on Wednesday night, began delivering snow across the Plains Friday night, expanded north into the Upper Midwest Friday and won’t wind down and move out of Wisconsin until Tuesday.
The storm crippled the Minneapolis area with freezing rain on Saturday morning, and brought plentiful rain to southern Wisconsin on Saturday into Sunday, including 0.59 inches at the Dane County Regional Airport on Saturday.
In portions of Wisconsin and northern Michigan where snow remains on the ground, this storm system could bring the threat for some stream and river flooding, AccuWeather said.
The assortment of winter weather watches, warnings, and advisories include a winter weather advisory for the counties of Adams, Juneau, Crawford, Grant and Richland that ends at 6 a.m. Tuesday.
The National Weather Service said possible snow totals for Wisconsin include 3 to 6 inches in La Crosse, 4 to 8 inches in Eau Claire, 8 inches in Rhinelander, 9 inches in Eagle River, 5 inches in Green Bay, 1 to 3 inches in Madison, and an inch in Racine.
The small amount of snow will conclude one of the least snowy Decembers ever in Madison, with just a half-inch having fallen through Saturday, 11.8 inches below normal.
In Madison on Sunday, look for patchy fog before 1 p.m., otherwise mostly cloudy skies, a high near 57 and south winds at 10 to 15 miles per hour, the Weather Service said.
Overnight, a quarter- to half-inch of rain will fall, with patchy fog after 11 p.m., a low around 33 and south winds at 5 to 10 mph turning out of the west after midnight.
The Weather Service said there’s a 50% chance for precipitation Monday in the form of rain and snow before 9 a.m., then snow; and 90% Monday night and Tuesday in the form of snow, with possible accumulation of 1 to 2 inches Monday night and less than a half-inch Tuesday.
Chances for precipitation return at 30% Thursday night in the form rain after 7 p.m., mixing with snow after midnight; 30% for rain and snow Friday; and 20% for rain and snow Saturday.
Skies over Madison should be cloudy Monday and Tuesday, sunny New Year’s Day, partly sunny Thursday, and mostly cloudy Friday and Saturday, with highs near 35, 32, 35, 42, 39 and 41, and lows Monday night through Friday night around 26, 21, 30, 32 and 29.
27 Storm Track meteorologist Guy Brown forecasts decreasing light rain Sunday, developing showers possibly mixing with snow overnight, light snow developing Monday and continuing Monday night with 1 to 3 inches of accumulation, flurries Tuesday morning, and then quiet weather into the weekend.
Brown said highs should range from 56 Sunday down to 32 Tuesday, back to 44 Thursday and in the mid-30s Friday and Saturday, while lows will range from 18 to 31.
This week’s predicted above normal temperatures come as the Polar Vortex remains strong enough to keep brutally cold arctic air well to the north in Alaska and Canada, AccuWeather said.
After a warm start to December, a recent cold blast in Alaska has actual temperatures plummeting to more than 60 below zero.
Some of the extremely cold air is forecast to spread south over part of western Canada during the first week of January, then move toward central and eastern Canada during the second week of the month as the polar vortex shifts farther to the east but remains strong, keeping it from dipping into the U.S.
"Some cold air will sag and advance from the North-Central states to the Northeast states during the second week of the month, but the most frigid air is expected to remain across Canada," said AccuWeather lead long-range meteorologist Paul Pastelok. "We expect above-average temperatures that linger from late December to the first week of January to return during the second half of January.”
Saturday’s high in Madison was 42 at 11:59 p.m., 15 degrees above the normal high and 20 degrees below the record high of 62 for Dec. 28, set in 1984.
Saturday’s low in Madison was 21 at 2:30 a.m., 8 degrees above the normal low and 42 degrees above the record low of 21 below for Dec. 28, set in 1924.
Officially, 0.59 inches of precipitation was recorded at the Dane County Regional Airport on Saturday, boosting Madison’s December and meteorological winter (December through February) precipitation total (rain plus snow converted to liquid) to 0.68 inches, 0.93 inches below normal. For the year, Madison has received 45.54 inches of precipitation, 11.19 inches above normal.
Madison’s record precipitation for Dec. 28 is 0.79 inches, set in 1987.
With no snow on Saturday, Madison’s December and meteorological winter total stayed at 0.5 inches, 11.8 inches below normal. For the snow season (since July 1), Madison’s total stayed at 16.2 inches, 0.2 inches below normal.
Madison’s record snowfall for Dec. 28 is 9.7 inches, set in 1987.
Photos: Remembering the record-setting blizzard in December 2012