Late winter storm could wreak havoc in Wisconsin this weekend

March 7, 2019

A later winter storm coming in this weekend could bring heavy rain and a chance for flooding to southern Wisconsin and heavy snow and near-blizzard conditions to northern Wisconsin.

The National Weather Service issued a special weather statement about the storm on Thursday, but it was open ended on what we can expect in the Madison area, because of the uncertainty of the storm’s track.

“If the low goes farther south, the precipitation may end up as more of a wintry mix or more snow across the area, Saturday and Sunday,” the statement reads.

There is certainty that south-central Wisconsin and the entire state will see some form of precipitation this weekend.

Before then, it should be quiet in Madison.

Thursday looks good with partly sunny skies and a high of 25, with a chance for snow late at night but no accumulation is forecast.

Friday should be warmer at 34 under mostly cloudy skies.

The storm comes in Saturday, with the capital city expected to get snow before noon, then rain and snow for the afternoon and all rain after 5 p.m.

The high should reach 36, and winds could be gusting up to 35 mph. Less than a half-inch of snow is forecast.

Things won’t change at night, with rain before midnight, then rain and snow for three hours, and snow after 3 a.m. Sunday. Winds gusting up to 30 mph are expected, but snow should again total less than a half-inch.

The Weather Service had been forecasting about an inch of rain on Saturday and Saturday night, but there’s no mention of accumulating rain in the most recent forecast.

Conditions could be treacherous in northern and central Wisconsin, with up to 9 inches of snow.

“All travel interests will want to monitor this developing weather situation for Saturday, especially if heading north into central and northern Wisconsin, as well as Minnesota, where more snowfall and hazardous weather conditions are expected,” the Weather Service said.

Up to 13 inches of snow is forecast in central Minnesota.

Conditions in south-central Wisconsin start improving Sunday, with rain and snow before 11 a.m., then a slight chance of rain for two hours, with the high topping out at 35.

Sun and highs in the 30s are forecast Monday and Tuesday, then we could see some snow Tuesday night and a rain/snow mix on Wednesday, with the high reaching 42.

Wednesday’s high of 24 was 14 degrees below normal and 45 degrees below the record high of 69 for March 6, set in 2000.

The low of 2 was 19 degrees below normal and 16 degrees above the record low of 14 below for the date, set in 1960.

A trace of precipitation (rain plus snow converted to liquid) fell at the airport, keeping the March and meteorological spring (March through May) totals at 0.06 inches, 0.31 inches below normal.

The record precipitation total on March 6 was 1.86 inches in 1973.

Since Jan. 1, Madison has received 5.56 inches of precipitation, 2.51 inches above normal.

A trace of snow kept the March and spring totals at 1.6 inches, 0.1 inches below normal.

The record snowfall on March 6 was 5.8 inches in 1924.

For the snow season starting July 1, Madison has received 53.1 inches of snow, 10.3 inches above normal.

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