Sleet and snow cover area roads, sidewalks
Old man winter keeps jabbing away at Wisconsin as the calendar moves toward mid-February.
From Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning, he offered up a salvo of sleet and snow -- with a water equivalent of 0.25 inches. Scraping their driveways, however, Watertown residents saw about one-half-inch of actual accumulation. Intermittent precipitation then fell across the Jefferson and Dodge county areas.
National Weather Service meteorologist Aiden Auroski told the Daily Times that today should present similar weather, with more intermittent precipitation, likely in the form of freezing rain.
Winter Weather Advisories remain in place for southeastern Wisconsin through tonight, and Auroski said pedestrians and people traveling greater distances by motor vehicle should be wary of ice buildup on surfaces.
On Friday, Auroski said, temperatures are expected to fall a bit, but there should be no precipitation.
“It will be chilly Friday and Saturday, with temperatures dipping into the negative single digits,” Auroski said, adding, “The weekend is not concerning in terms of weather events.”
To begin next week, there could be snow from Sunday night into Monday morning, with the southern part of the state most affected. Auroski said it was too early to be able to tell what any totals for that event might be.
Dodge County Patrol Superintendent Joe Lechner said a full complement of Dodge County trucks and plowing equipment were out Tuesday night through Wednesday morning and would likely be at it again for the next round of wintry weather, which is expected to hit Dodge and Jefferson counties early today.
“We’ll reset and get back to it and do any cleanup before it becomes colder on Friday,” he said. “It looks as if the weather pattern keeps changing and shifting on us, but it appears we will get another mix of ice and snow.”
He said the double digit temperatures Dodge and Jefferson county residents are experiencing helps the salt melt any snow and ice on the roads.
“When it becomes as cold as it was last week the salt doesn’t do anything,” he said. “When it becomes colder we end up using sand in some areas.”
Watertown Park, Recreation and Forestry Supervisor Jeff Doyle said Wednesday the city’s street department crews were out from 6-8:30 Tuesday night.
“We were getting all three cycles of weather with snow, sleet and rain,” he said. “We had a light mist hit the city about 2 or 3 in the morning Wednesday and then at 4 in the morning I decided to call the crew in to plow and remove the slush from the streets and put some fresh salt down for motorists.
Doyle said he’ll continue to monitor the weather and see what develops but the city may get hit with the same type of weather pattern again tonight with it lasting into Friday morning.
As in Dodge County, Jefferson County Highway Department Superintendent Sean Heaslip said his department had a full crew on all night and into Wednesday on the county’s Class I roadways, including Interstate 94, as well as state highways 26, 16 and 12. Class II roadways, which include state highways 19, 89 and the county roads, were dealt with, as well, although not on a 24-hour coverage basis.
“We’ve got everyone out now,” Heaslip said Wednesday morning, “and everyone will be out there until we can get things cleaned up.”