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Powerful system to bring blizzard to northern Plains, storms and then cold to southern Wisconsin

Powerful system to bring blizzard to northern Plains, storms and then cold to southern Wisconsin


Another gorgeous day on Wednesday will provide no hint of what is to come for south-central Wisconsin.

A powerful system will bring blizzard conditions to the northern Plains, and rain and possible thunderstorms Thursday afternoon through Friday to our area, followed by much colder weather, according to forecasters.

With minor to moderate flooding continuing on rivers across southern Wisconsin through the end of the week, the amount of rain the area gets will be watched closely.

AccuWeather said the powerful system comes from a clash of warm air ahead of the system to the east with cold, Canadian air behind the system.

"As a result, the storm will strengthen and become quite potent as it moves into the Midwest," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Isaac Longley.

Precipitation will arrive in parts of Missouri, Iowa and Minnesota on Thursday, stretching from Ontario, Canada, to northeastern Texas on Friday, with possible severe weather from northern Missouri and northern Kansas to far northern Texas.

The first snow of the season in the Dakotas and Minnesota will be accompanied by winds of 40 miles per hour, creating the potential blizzard conditions.

In Madison on Wednesday, look for sunny skies, a high near 70 and south winds at 5 to 10 mph, the National Weather Service said.

After an overnight low around 51, Thursday’s forecast features a 30 percent chance for showers after 2 p.m., mostly cloudy skies, a high near 68 and southeast winds at 5 to 15 mph.

The chance for showers and storms is 80 percent overnight Thursday into Friday, with possible rain totals of a tenth to a quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in any storms that develop; 80 percent Friday, with possible rain totals of a half to three-quarters of an inch; and 60 percent Friday night, with possible rain totals of less than a tenth of an inch, the Weather Service said.

Skies over Madison should be mostly cloudy Friday, partly sunny Saturday and Sunday, mostly sunny Monday, and partly sunny Tuesday, with highs falling to near 51 by 5 p.m. Friday, then near 45, 46, 50 and 51 Saturday through Tuesday, while lows Thursday night through Monday night are expected near 56, 35, 37, 37 and 38.

27 Storm Track meteorologist Max Tsaparis also forecasts a beautiful Wednesday, showers and falling temperatures as the system moves through Thursday into Friday, then much colder weather for the weekend.

Tuesday’s high in Madison was 69 at 2:42 p.m., 7 degrees above the normal high and 14 degrees below the record high of 83 for Oct. 8, set in 1949 and 1997.

Tuesday’s low in Madison was 40 at 6:22 a.m., 1 degree below the normal low and 18 degrees above the record low of 22 for Oct. 8, set in 1987.

No precipitation was recorded at the Dane County Regional Airport on Tuesday, leaving Madison’s October precipitation total (rain plus snow converted to liquid) at 3.91 inches, 3.28 inches above normal. The meteorological fall (September through November) precipitation total stayed at 10.71 inches, 6.95 inches above normal. The 2019 total stayed at 40.3 inches, 11.72 inches above normal.

Madison’s record precipitation for Oct. 8 is 2.05 inches in 1881.

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