More snow than first indicated could fall in pre-Christmas blizzardRegional Weather
-- Almost six inches of snow fell by 1:15 this morning in Platteville – and forecasters jacked up their predicted snow totals as a paralyzing winter storm began to take hold in the Upper Midwest
Almost six inches of snow fell by 1:15 this morning in Platteville – and forecasters jacked up their predicted snow totals as a paralyzing winter storm began to take hold in Upper Midwest.
The National Weather Service now says 12-to-18 inches are possible in a corridor that runs from Platteville northeast to Sheboygan County. Madison and Fond du Lac are in that corridor. So is Richland Center, which got almost five inches in six hours by 2:15. Middleton had thunder-and-lighting to go with their four-plus inches of snow by 1 a.m.
Strong winds hit southern Wisconsin overnight, and they were expected to reach other parts of the state this morning. Kenosha had the biggest gusts by 3 a.m. at 36-miles-an-hour. Gusts up to 45 were predicted statewide. Officials said the westbound lanes of Madison’s Beltline Expressway were closed overnight due to a crash. Wisconsin’s Capital City won’t have its normal traffic today because most state government offices will be closed, and the UW campuses at Madison and Platteville postponed final exams. Both schools will only be open for essential operations. UW-Platteville officials said it was the first time in two decades that final exams were delayed due to snow. The governor ordered state office buildings in 22 counties to close, but the State Capitol will remain open.
Numerous K-to-12 schools throughout Wisconsin said last night they would shut down for the day. Airports in Madison and Milwaukee urged fliers to check with their airlines – and some carriers waived change-fees for three days. Ice preceded the storm in the Milwaukee area. Wauwatosa had up to an inch of sleet by 1:30 this morning.
Southwest Wisconsin already has a blizzard warning in effect until midnight. And about the southern half of the state will have blizzard warnings start at various times during the day. It means that drivers can expect white-out or near white-out conditions due to the mix of heavy snow and strong winds. Governor Scott Walker called a state-of-emergency yesterday, before the snow began. It allows the National Guard, State Patrol, and Wisconsin Emergency Management to help local authorities where needed.
As of early this morning, forecasters were predicting 12-to-18 of snow in a corridor from Platteville to Madison to Fond du Lac to Sheboygan. And other snow predictions were ratcheted up from what forecasters were saying yesterday. Green Bay and the Fox Valley can now expect 10-to-15 inches – 8-to-13 in central Wisconsin south of Wausau – 5-to-10 inches around Black River Falls and Neillsville – 5-to-9 inches in the Eau Claire area, and in far north central Wisconsin – 3-to-6 inches around Menomonie and River Falls – 4-to-6 in metro Milwaukee – 3-to-7 at Ashland, Sawyer, and Price counties.
It's as much about the wind as it is about snowfall now in southeastern Minnesota. Blizzard warnings remain in effect from Martin and Faribault counties eastward through Albert Lea and Rochester, over to the Mississippi River. The National Weather Service says snow will continue to fall through the morning with accumulations up to 10-inches along the I-90 and I-35 corridors. Into afternoon, winds up to 45-miles-an-hour will likely cause blinding white-out conditions for drivers. Winter storm warnings and advisories continue as far out as the Twin Cities and Worthington.
Some parts of the far north might not get snow until daybreak. It’s all supposed to clear out by late tonight and early tomorrow. And then clear but colder weather is projected for the weekend, with highs generally in the 20’s and lows in the single-digits and teens.