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Blowing snow overnight extends winter storm warning to 3 a.m. Wednesday

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Strong winds gusting up to 35 mph Tuesday night prompted the National Weather Service to extend its winter storm warning from midnight to 3 a.m. Wednesday.

Blowing and drifting snow and reduced visibility should be common in south-central Wisconsin throughout the night.

"Some roads in open, rural areas will become drifted shut," the warning said.

Snow and More Snow

Cole Schaffer clears snow off his car as he prepares to leave for work during a winter storm outside his home on the East Side in Madison, Wis., Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. AMBER ARNOLD, STATE JOURNAL

We could still get an inch or two of snow in Madison and the rest of the region, with temperatures falling down to the teens Tuesday night, resulting in a wind chill of zero to 10.

"Travel could be very difficult tonight, and the hazardous conditions could impact the morning commute on Wednesday," the warning said.

Early afternoon snowfall totals across the region ranged from 7.5 inches on the UW-Madison campus to over 10 inches near Beaver Dam.

A snow emergency was declared for Madison Tuesday night and Wednesday night, meaning parked vehicles throughout the city, including the snow emergency zone Downtown and on the Isthmus and Near West Side, need to park on the odd house-numbered side of the street Tuesday night and the even house-numbered side of the street Wednesday night.

Snow and More Snow

Madison Crews clearing snow on the Capitol Square. An overnight snowfall in the Madison area dumped six plus inches of snow Monday Feb. 12, 2019. STEVE APPS, STATE JOURNAL

The Madison snow emergency could be extended beyond Thursday morning, depending on how easy or hard it is for plows and snow removal crews to get the big snowfall off the streets.

The Streets Division said everyone, especially in the snow emergency zone, should abide by the rules, but rule breakers stand the chance of a ticket and a tow.

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Snow and More Snow

Crews clearing the steps of the State Capitol Monday morning. An overnight snowfall in the Madison area dumped six plus inches of snow Monday Feb. 12, 2019. STEVE APPS, STATE JOURNAL

Almost all school districts were closed on Tuesday because of the storm, but there's no word yet on school closings for Wednesday. Some call off school the day before but many wait until early in the morning to pull the plug on classes.

We should be out of the wintry woods for the most part starting Wednesday, with just a couple of chances for snow later in the week.

The day-to-day outlook in Madison:

Snow and More Snow

A pedestrian crosses State Street Monday morning. An overnight snowfall in the Madison area dumped six plus inches of snow Monday Feb. 12, 2019. STEVE APPS, STATE JOURNAL

  • Tuesday night: Snow, mainly before 1 a.m, low around 16. Winds gusting up to 35 mph, making for blowing snow and difficult visibility.
  • Wednesday: Partly sunny, high near 26.
  • Wednesday night: Mostly cloudy, low around 18.
  • Thursday: A 20 percent chance of snow before 2 p.m., then a slight chance of rain and snow between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., then a slight chance of snow after 5 p.m., high near 35.
  • Thursday night: A 20 percent chance of snow, low around 10. Winds gusting up to 30 mph.
  • Friday: Mostly sunny, high near 19.
  • Friday night: Partly cloudy, low around 4.
  • Saturday: Mostly sunny, high near 21.
  • Saturday night: Mostly cloudy, low around 10.
  • Sunday: A 40 percent chance of snow, high near 25.
  • Sunday night: A 30 percent chance of snow, low around 8.
  • Monday: Partly sunny, high near 22. 

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Bill Novak is a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.