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Trick-or-treating is looking to be a cruel, snowy trick for southern Wisconsin, with the week’s second round of accumulating snow expected to begin moving into the area starting Wednesday evening and continuing into Thursday, with several inches possible, according to forecasters.
The National Weather Service said 1 to 5 inches will be possible, with the heaviest amounts currently expected to fall across southeastern Wisconsin and some locations possibly seeing slightly higher amounts.
Snow amounts will decline to the north and west, but there is considerable uncertainty as to where the northwestern edge of the snow will set up, the Weather Service added.
Strong north to northeast winds are expected to develop over Lake Michigan starting Wednesday night and continuing into Thursday, with a lakeshore flood advisory in effect starting late Wednesday night for areas from Milwaukee to the south.
In Madison on Wednesday, there’s a 30% chance for rain, mainly after 5 p.m., with mostly cloudy skies, a high near 38 and north winds at 5 to 10 miles per hour.
The chances for precipitation are 80% overnight, in the form of rain and snow before 8 p.m., then snow; 70% Thursday in the form of snow, mainly before 4 p.m.; and 30% Thursday night, before 7 p.m.
Madison could see 1 to 2 inches of snow Wednesday night and again Thursday, for a storm total of 2 to 4 inches, the Weather Service said.
Look for a high Thursday near 33 under cloudy skies with north winds at 15 mph, gusting to 30 mph, sandwiched by lows around 28 and 23.
After the storm moves out, the next chances for rain and snow are 20% Sunday night and Monday, 30% Monday night, and 20% Tuesday.
Skies over Madison should be partly sunny Friday, mostly cloudy Saturday, partly sunny Sunday, and mostly cloudy Monday and Tuesday, with highs near 38, 36, 41, 45 and 41, and lows Friday night through Monday night around 29, 25, 33 and 33.
27 Storm Track meteorologist Max Tsaparis forecasts snow totals from the storm Wednesday and Thursday of an inch or less to the north and west of Madison, 1 to 3 inches in the Madison area, and 1 to 4 inches to the south and east of Madison.
The storm system dove south through the Rockies on Tuesday night, bringing more snow to areas like Denver and Colorado Springs that have already seen an above-average start to the snow season, and it will be growing as it heads our way.
"This is no joke, as a winterlike storm has the potential to put down a swath of heavy snow over a 750-mile long swath of the Heartland prior to the end of this week," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.
AccuWeather said snow totals in some locales could reach up to a foot.
Officially, 2 inches of snow was recorded at the Dane County Regional Airport on Tuesday, giving Madison an October, meteorological fall (September through November) and snow season (since July 1) total of 3 inches, 2.6 inches above normal.
Madison’s record snowfall for Oct. 29 is 2.2 inches in 1917.
Officially, the snowiest October day in Madison in the past 80 years was Oct. 26, 1997, when 3.8 inches fell, while the earliest snow of an inch or more was the 3 inches that fell on Oct. 10, 1990. Historically, only one in 10 Octobers has a day with more than 1 inch of snowfall.
Tuesday’s high in Madison was 41 at 2:37 p.m., 12 degrees below the normal high and 41 degrees below the record high of 82 for Oct. 29, set in 1937.
Tuesday’s low in Madison was 26 at 11:59 p.m., 9 degrees below the normal low and 13 degrees above the record low of 13 for Oct. 29, set in 1925.
Officially, 0.16 inches of precipitation was recorded at the Dane County Regional Airport on Tuesday, boosting Madison’s October total to 5.54 inches, 3.3 inches above normal. For meteorological fall (September through November), Madison now has received 12.34 inches of precipitation (rain plus snow converted to liquid), 6.97 inches above normal. For the year, Madison has received 41.93 inches of precipitation, 11.74 inches above normal.
Madison’s record precipitation for Oct. 29 is 1.36 inches in 1996.
And so it begins: Your dazzling 'first snow' photos from Instagram