NWS 2-13-19

The biggest snowstorm of the season to hit Wisconsin on Tuesday resulted in a record snowfall in Madison and over a foot of snow in parts of the south-central region.

The National Weather Service said 8.3 inches of snow fell at the Dane County Regional Airport, smashing the old mark of 4.9 inches set on Feb. 12, 1923.

The all-time snowfall record in Madison is 17.3 inches that fell on Dec. 3, 1990.

The heavy snowfall was whipped into drifts Tuesday night, causing problems for drivers, but winds are expected to die down Wednesday morning.

The Weather Service still warned drivers to keep aware of drifting snow and slippery highways.

"Gusty west to northwest winds may still lead to some localized blowing and drifting snow," the Weather Service said. "This would be most noticeable on north-south roadways, in open areas."

About 60 public school districts and private schools were opening later than normal Wednesday morning, with only a handful of districts closed for the day.

All Madison area schools, including Madison public schools, are open.

The state highway travel map showed all areas of the state with snow-covered, ice-covered or slippery stretches of roads.

The heaviest snowfall in the area was near Portage with over 13 inches of snow reported to the Weather Service.

A snow emergency is in effect in Madison and many other communities in the region.

The Madison snow emergency remains in effect until at least 7 a.m. Thursday, which means vehicles in all areas of the city need to be parked on the even house-numbered side of the street Wednesday night.

Vehicles parked in the snow emergency zone that are in violation of the parking ordinance will be ticketed and towed Downtown. The city has the list of targeted streets online at its winter web page.

Plows were out in force overnight, and could still be working Wednesday, so drivers need to give plenty of room to truck drivers.

27 Storm Track meteorologist Branden Borremans said we could see a few flurries Wednesday before it turns mostly sunny with a high of 26.

Highs could reach the upper 30s on Thursday, with a slight chance of rain and snow showers in the afternoon and early evening.

Friday looks nice with mostly sunny skies and a high of 18, and Saturday should also be mostly sunny with a high of 22.

There's a chance for snow on Sunday with a high of 23, but no accumulation is noted in the forecast.

For President's Day on Monday, expect mostly cloudy skies and a high of 23.

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Tuesday should be mostly cloudy and 23, and next Wednesday should be partly sunny and 25.

Tuesday's high of 29 was 1 degree below normal and 34 degrees below the record high of 63 for Feb. 12, set in 1882.

The low of 22 was 8 degrees above normal and 45 degrees above the record low of 23 below for the date, set in 1899.

A half-inch of precipitation (rain plus snow converted to liquid) was recorded at the airport, bringing the February total up to 1.44 inches, 0.89 inches above normal.

The record precipitation total for Feb. 12 was 0.71 inches in 1938.

For the meteorological winter of December through February, Madison has received 6.10 inches of precipitation, 2.58 inches above normal.

Since Jan. 1, Madison has received 4.00 inches of precipitation, 2.22 inches above normal.

The record snowfall brought the February total up to 11.5 inches, 6.7 inches above normal.

For winter, Madison has received 37.1 inches of snow, 5.9 inches above normal, and 40.5 inches for the snow season, 5.2 inches above normal.

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