Ice storm coming, could make for hazardous evening commute

February 5, 2019

An ice and snow storm heading toward south-central Wisconsin Tuesday afternoon could make for very treacherous driving during the evening commute and possibly into Wednesday morning.

The National Weather Service has a winter weather advisory in effect from 3 p.m. Tuesday to 6 a.m. Wednesday for the storm moving in from the west.

Madison could see up to a tenth of an inch of ice and an inch of snow, while areas to the southeast could see higher amounts.

City salt trucks are ready to be dispatched once the storm begins, with 32 trucks deployed to the salt routes, which include the main thoroughfares, bus routes and streets around schools and hospitals.

“Since temperatures are above 20, salt will be spread by the trucks, and four additional trucks will be deployed to spread sand in residential areas that need the material for travel but don’t meet the criteria to be a salt route,” the Streets Division said in a winter weather update Tuesday afternoon.

The 36 trucks also have plows, so they will stay on the streets until the storm is over.

“All roadway users should expect slippery driving conditions, especially when the storm is active, and slick roads may linger into the Wednesday morning commute,” the update said.

Crews might have to come back out onto city streets Wednesday night into Thursday, as another storm of the same ilk comes to town.

The day-to-day outlook:

Tuesday night: A 100 percent chance of light snow possibly mixed with sleet through around midnight, then light freezing rain through the night, low in the low 20s. Snow and sleet accumulation of up to 1 inch, less than a quarter-inch of ice expected.Wednesday: A 20 percent chance of light freezing rain in the afternoon, high in the lower 30s.Wednesday night: A 90 percent chance of light freezing rain, ice accumulation around a quarter-inch, low in the upper 20s.Thursday: A 90 percent chance of light freezing rain, possibly mixed with rain in the morning, then light freezing rain, possibly mixed with rain and snow, in the afternoon. Snow accumulation up to 1 inch, ice accumulation up to a quarter-inch. High in the low 30s.Thursday night: A 30 percent chance of light snow, possibly mixed with freezing rain until about midnight, low around 5.Friday: Partly sunny, high near 10.Friday night: Mostly clear, low around 7 below.Saturday: Sunny, high near 18.Saturday night: Partly cloudy, low around 8.Sunday: A 40 percent chance of light snow, high in the mid-20s.Sunday night: A 30 percent chance of light snow up to midnight, low around 11.Monday: Mostly cloudy, high in the upper 20s.

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