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A winter weather advisory for Wednesday for parts of southern Wisconsin is just a warm-up for a big storm that will impact the state Friday into Saturday, according to forecasters.
The area is predicted to see light ice and snow Wednesday morning, but several inches of snow are expected for the weekend storm.
The winter weather advisory runs until noon Wednesday for the counties of Dane, Iowa, Rock, Sauk, Columbia, Juneau, Adams, Richland, Crawford, Jefferson and Grant with a light glaze of less than a tenth of an inch of ice and less than an inch of snow expected, the National Weather Service said.
The Weather Service said Madison should see less than half an inch of snow Friday, 2 to 4 inches Friday night, and more Saturday with rain mixing in early.
Weather Service models range from less than an inch to 7 inches for Madison, with an average of 4 for the storm, while the probability for 4 inches or more is highest north and west of Madison and lowest in southeast Wisconsin.
Elsewhere across the state, the Weather Service said La Crosse could see 1 to 3 inches Friday and 3 to 7 inches more Friday night, Eau Claire 1 to 3 inches Friday night and 4 to 8 inches more Friday night, Green Bay snow with no totals provided, and Racine 1 to 3 inches Friday night and then mixed precipitation.
27 Storm Track meteorologist Max Tsaparis didn’t offer any expected totals for the weekend storm.
The powerful storm system will first impact the West coast Wednesday and Thursday, bringing snowfall to the Northwest and rain and mountain snow to California, AccuWeather said.
It will begin to take shape Thursday night across the southern and central Plains, with moisture from the Gulf of Mexico fueling a wintry mixture of precipitation from the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles into Kansas and Missouri, before the Friday morning commute.
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As the storm tracks northeastward into Friday, an icy mixture will spread across the Midwest with snow to the north across a wide swath of the northern Plains and Midwest during the daytime hours.
Most of the snow will wrap up by Saturday night across the Midwest, leaving a swath of 6 to 12 inches, with portions of Minnesota, Wisconsin and northern Michigan getting over a foot, AccuWeather said.
After the weekend storm, temperatures will tumble with some of the coldest air of winter moving in.
The Weather Service said highs Wednesday through Tuesday should be near 32, 16, 33, falling to 26, 14, 17 and 20, and lows Wednesday night through Monday night around 8, 6, 28, 4, 4 and 2.
27 Storm Track’s Tsaparis forecasts highs Wednesday through Tuesday near 33, 15, 28, 30, 14, 14 and 18, and overnight lows around 7, 4, 25, 4, zero, 2 and 10.
Tuesday’s high in Madison was 36 at 3:01 p.m., 10 degrees above the normal high and 12 degrees below the record high of 48 for Jan. 14, set in 1928 and 1952.
Tuesday’s low in Madison was 28 at 11:59 p.m., 17 degrees above the normal low and 54 degrees above the record low of 26 below for Jan. 14, set in 1963.
Officially, a trace of precipitation was recorded at the Dane County Regional Airport on Tuesday, leaving Madison’s January and 2020 total at 0.7 inches, 0.13 inches above normal. The meteorological winter (December through February) precipitation total (rain plus snow converted to liquid) stayed at 2.22 inches, 0.09 inches below normal.
Madison’s record precipitation for Jan. 14 is 0.52 inches, set in 1930 and 1940.
Officially, a trace of snow was recorded at the Dane County Regional Airport on Tuesday, keeping Madison’s January and 2020 snow total at 6.4 inches, 0.6 inches above normal. For meteorological winter, Madison has received 9.3 inches, 10 inches below normal. For the snow season (since July 1), Madison has received 25 inches, 1.6 inches above normal.
Madison’s record snowfall for Jan. 14 is 9.4 inches, set in 1940.
Madison’s official snow depth is 3 inches.