WISCONSIN WEATHER ROUNDUP: Expect Tuesday's high to be below zero as well
Hundreds of schools, businesses, and government offices are closed today, after a cold Arctic air mass brought even colder air to Wisconsin. Marshfield had the state's coldest wind chill at seven o'clock -- 53-below, with an actual temperature of minus-25. Phillips in Price County remained the state's cold spot at seven with 30-below. Sturgeon Bay was the state's only weather station not in the minus-double-digits. It was nine-below in that Door County location. Meanwhile, almost 600 We Energies' electric customers were without power this morning south of Whitewater. About 140 other customers were left in the cold-and-dark throughout the state. Wisconsin Public Service restored all power to Rhinelander, where 38-hundred electric customers were out during the night. Many of today's closings were announced on Friday, when the deep freeze was forecast. The Salvation Army and First Baptist Church in La Crosse were among the places providing emergency shelter to those in need. At least some companies will have people working from their home computers today. Stephen Anderson of Madison says his software development firm will be virtual, at least for the day. Forecasters say it might be Wednesday before any place in Wisconsin gets above zero again.
Cheese-heads who were hoping to make history were disappointed on two fronts yesterday. First, their beloved Green Bay Packers lost to San Francisco 23-to-20, making their earliest playoff exit since 2009. Also, some fans were hoping to attend their generation's version of the Ice Bowl -- and that didn't happen, either. Not even the wind chill was as cold as the actual Ice Bowl temperature of 13-below in the 1967 Packer championship victory over Dallas. Yesterday's wind chill was 11-below at kickoff with an actual reading of five-above -- the seventh-coldest game since Lambeau Field opened in 1959. Still, it was cold enough for many fans to skip their customary parking lot tailgating -- or else take extreme measures like tailgating near propane heaters. Many entered the stadium early and sipped free hot chocolate and coffee that the Packers provided. The Green Bay Press-Gazette said about 35-thousand cups of cocoa were given away, and five-thousand cups of coffee. A 49'er fan who lives about an hour north of San Francisco said he left a 68-degree day behind on Saturday to watch his team win in person. W-T-M-J Radio in Milwaukee spoke with a doctor from Guam who paid three-thousand dollars to make the trip north to watch the Packers. Like thousands of others, he's going back home disappointed today. The players said it was not cold enough to be a real factor in the game.
Over 15-hundred electric customers in Wisconsin were without power just before five o'clock this morning, as wind-chills kept plunging toward 50-below. In Rhinelander, 38-hundred Wisconsin Public Service customers had their electricity cut off during the night. By five a-m, that number was down to around 14-hundred-50. It was 26-below in Rhinelander at that hour with wind-chills down to 49-below -- the coldest in the state. We Energies said almost 30 customers in the Green Bay area had outages due to an equipment problem. X-cel Energy had almost 60 customers out in the Hudson and New Richmond areas. Wisconsin Power-and-Light reported around 20 outages. Actual five a-m temperatures ranged from 28-below at Phillips to six-below in Sturgeon Bay. Forecasters predict light snow and blowing snow statewide today, with highs up to three-below along Lake Michigan, to minus-9-to-13 inland. No place in Wisconsin expects above-zero readings until at least Wednesday.
Wisconsin is shivering through its coldest weather in almost 18 years. Temperatures were generally in the minus-teens-and-20's at four o'clock this morning. Sturgeon Bay in Door County was the warmest at six-below. Hayward was the coldest at 27-below. Wind-chills were in the minus-30's-and-40's statewide. Several places in the north had the coldest wind-chill factors at 48-below -- including Superior, Ladysmith, New Richmond, and Osceola. Much of the U-S is freezing. Weather officials blame it on a "polar vortex" -- a whirlpool of dense, frigid air, that can be downright dangerous to be in. That didn't stop 77-thousand-plus football fans from jamming Lambeau Field yesterday for the Green Bay Packers' playoff loss to San Francisco. It was five-above at kickoff, the seventh-coldest in Lambeau history -- and this morning, it was 10-below in Green Bay. In Illinois, more than a foot of new snow made driving treacherous. Folks in southeast Wisconsin had to battle the bitter cold to move up to 13-inches which fell in that region late last week. Officials in Milwaukee and other cities urged folks to stay inside and avoid the cold altogether. Schools are closed throughout Wisconsin. Forecasters say it won't get above zero anywhere in the state until at least Wednesday.