NWS 4-19-18

If April showers bring May flowers, what do April snowstorms bring?

The biggest snowstorm of the snow season dumped a record 7.2 inches of snow on Madison Wednesday, but that very likely will be the last snow we see in this very unusual spring.

The heaviest snow fell in a narrow band from Wisconsin Dells to West Bend, with the Dells getting almost 8 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service.

The snow, combined with rain and sleet, made for harrowing driving conditions during the Wednesday evening commute, with crashes and slide offs reported throughout south-central Wisconsin.

The state highway travel map shows slippery stretches throughout southern Wisconsin Thursday morning, but roads were in fairly good shape for the commute.

About 30 school districts and private schools were opening later than usual Thursday morning, and the Wisconsin Dells School District cancelled classes for the day.

Besides setting a record for April 18 snowfall in Madison, another record was set when the thermometer only got up to 33 degrees, making it the coldest high temperature on April 18 in the capital city, the Weather Service said.

A total of 13.5 inches of snow has fallen this April at the Dane County Regional Airport, the official weather site in Madison. That's the second highest snowfall on record for the month, the record being 17.4 inches in 1973.

With the snow finally moving on, we should see a pretty good stretch of weather, with no snow in the extended forecast.

27 Storm Track meteorologist Guy Brown said sunshine and warmer temperatures are forecast through Monday, with highs of 43 on Thursday, 51 on Friday, 57 on Saturday, 58 on Sunday and 62 on Monday.

The Weather Service said there's a slight chance of rain showers Tuesday and Wednesday, with highs of 62 and 55, respectively.

Brown said it could be colder next Thursday at 48, under mostly to partly sunny skies.

Wednesday's high of 33 was a record coldest high, 26 degrees below normal and 54 degrees below the record high of 87 for April 18, set in 1977.

The low was 27, 10 degrees below normal and 9 degrees above the record low of 18 for the date, set in 1983.

The mixed precipitation totaled 0.77 inches at the airport, bringing the April precipitation (rain and melted snow) total up to 2.12 inches, 0.10 inches above normal.

The record precipitation total on April 18 was 2.15 inches in 1880.

For the meteorological spring (March through May), Madison has received 2.86 inches of precipitation, 1.36 inches below normal.

Since Jan. 1, Madison has received 7.04 inches of precipitation, 0.14 inches above normal.

The record 7.2 inches of snow smashed the old record of 3.4 inches for April 18, set in 1912.

Madison has received 13.5 inches of snow this month, 11.5 inches above normal; 16.9 inches for spring, 7.9 inches above normal; and 44.4 inches for the snow season (July to June), 5.7 inches below normal.

Capital W: Plug in to Wisconsin politics

Subscribe to our Politics email!

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.