A historic spring snowstorm hitting the upper Midwest is second only in strength to the "bomb cyclone" that hit the same area a month ago, according to weather experts.
AccuWeather said the new storm is expected to eventually affect 200 million US residents with everything from blizzards to dust storms to floods and thunderstorms.
The storm just started early Wednesday afternoon in south-central Wisconsin, with large snowflakes coming down in Madison and the surrounding region.
Before moving into our area, the storm already hit Denver with a blizzard, caused flooding in Idaho and produced winds whipping up wildfires in dry regions of the West.
The snow will be joined by rain and sleet as the day heads into night, then rain could be punctuated by thunderstorms on Thursday.
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The second major storm system in a month is not good news for Nebraska, Iowa and other states hardest hit with flooding from the March 13 storms.
Wisconsin's annual statewide tornado drill has been delayed until Friday due to the potential threat of severe thunderstorms, hail, or tornadoes in southern Wisconsin on Thursday.
The storm moves out before the weekend, but we could see mixed precipitation again on Sunday.
The day-to-day outlook for Madison:
- Wednesday afternoon: A 90% chance of rain and snow, high near 40. Winds gusting up to 30 mph. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than a half-inch.
- Wednesday night: An 80% chance of rain and snow, possibly mixed with sleet before 11 p.m., then rain mixed with sleet to midnight, then rain after midnight, low around 32. Winds gusting up to 35 mph. New snow and sleet accumulation of less than a half-inch.
- Thursday: A 90% chance of rain, with thunderstorms also possible after 1 p.m., high near 48. Winds gusting up to 35 mph. Up to a half-inch of rain is possible.
- Thursday night: An 80% chance of rain and possibly a thunderstorm before 7 p.m., then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm to 1 a.m., then a slight chance for showers after 1 a.m., low around 37. Winds gusting up to 30 mph. Up to a half-inch of rain is possible.
- Friday: A 20% chance of showers, high near 45. Winds gusting up to 35 mph.
- Friday night: Mostly cloudy, low around 31. Winds gusting up to 30 mph.
- Saturday: Partly sunny, high near 45.
- Saturday night: Mostly cloudy, low around 32.
- Sunday: A 50% chance of rain and snow before 9 a.m., then a chance of rain, high near 43.
- Sunday night: A 20% chance of rain, mixing with snow after 11 p.m., then gradually ending, low around 30.
- Monday: Mostly sunny, high near 51.
- Monday night: A 20% chance of rain, low around 37.
- Tuesday: A 20% chance of rain, high near 58.