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Winter storm hits Madison area

Pedestrians walks down Park Street on the UW-Madison campus after a late January snowstorm dumped 5-7 inches of snow in Madison. 

A huge early spring storm expected to drop over a foot of snow in far northwest Wisconsin could cause big problems other than snow, with more flooding in the forecast.

The National Weather Service has issued winter storm warnings and flood warnings throughout the state, with the storm expected to produce a messy mix of rain, snow, sleet and freezing rain in south-central Wisconsin.

There's also a chance for thunderstorms Thursday afternoon and evening, with an isolated severe thunderstorm possible as well, producing large hail and winds gusting up to 60 mph.

The far southern tiers of counties in Wisconsin will be spared the big snows forecast for northern and central parts of the state, but travel conditions to counties north of Madison to the east could be bad Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

A winter weather advisory has been issued for nine counties north of Dane County, including Columbia, Dodge and Sauk Counties, with 1 to 3 inches of slushy wet snow expected, and winds gusting up to 35 mph could make for treacherous travel.

NWS 4-10-19

For anyone venturing to the far north, keep abreast of changing and challenging weather conditions.

In the far northwest, Douglas, Burnett and Washburn Counties could see up to 16 inches of snow and winds gusting up to 50 mph from early Thursday to early Friday.

A flood watch is in effect on Lake Superior for Douglas County, with crashing waves containing large chunks of ice possibly causing damage to the shoreline.

Road conditions on the state's major highways can be found at https://511wi.gov/map#:Alerts

For the Madison area, a mix of rain and snow will spread across the region from mid-morning Wednesday to mid-afternoon.

"Slushy accumulations of several inches are possible on grassy and colder elevated surfaces," the Weather Service said.

This slush will morph into a more wintry mix Wednesday night to the west and north, while we can expect mostly rain in the overnight hours here.

Rain is expected to continue Thursday and Thursday night before dying out on Friday.

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Rain is not good for area streams, already filled to the brim and overflowing in some areas.

Flood warnings remain in effect on the Rock River in Rock County, the Fox River in Green Lake County and all along the Mississippi River.

Ground has thawed but is saturated, so rain has very little option but to flow to waterlogged streams, exacerbating the flooding.

While this storm moves out of the Upper Midwest by Friday, there are chances for rain and snow in Madison again on Sunday.

Highs in Madison should be far below normal, with 38 on Wednesday, 48 on Thursday, 45 on Friday and Saturday, 43 on Sunday and 51 on Monday.

Normal highs should be in the mid- to upper 50s, which won't be seen in Madison until Tuesday when the high is expected to reach 58.

The first Dane County Farmer's Market of the season is coming Saturday to Capitol Square, and the weather should be cool but sunny.

Clouds will dominate the skies all week except for Saturday and Monday.

Tuesday's high of 66 in Madison was 11 degrees above normal and 9 degrees below the record high of 75 for April 9, set in 1955.

The low of 35 was 2 degrees above normal and 25 degrees above the record low of 10 for the date, set in 2003.

No precipitation (rain plus melted snow) fell at the airport, keeping the April total at 0.17 inches, 0.79 inches below normal.

The record precipitation total on April 9 was 1.80 inches in 2015.

For the meteorological spring of March through May, Madison has received 1.09 inches of precipitation, 2.07 inches below normal.

Since Jan. 1, Madison has received 6.59 inches of precipitation, 0.75 inches above normal.

Snowfall totals stayed at a trace for April, 1.2 inches below normal; 2.8 inches for spring, 5.4 inches below normal; and 54.3 inches for the snow season, 5.0 inches above normal.

The record snowfall on April 9 was 12.9 inches in 1973.

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