Falling temperatures, rain/snow mix Friday; dry weekend on tap

December 29, 2018

The remnants of a massive winter storm is making for a big change in weather in south-central Wisconsin.

Temperatures are expected to fall all day Friday, with winds switching around from the southwest to the northwest, and precipitation is also switching, from light rain early to light snow by the afternoon.

The National Weather Service said the snow, which will probably total less than an inch, could make for some slippery spots on area roads Friday afternoon and evening.

Temperatures stayed in the mid-40s all night, but dropped by 10 degrees from 4 a.m. (46) to 5 a.m. (36), and could go down to 32 by 5 p.m.

Winter weather advisories have been issued until noon for southwest and western counties, with colder air already in place resulting in freezing drizzle and subsequent slippery roads.

Snow showers should end Friday night in Madison, setting the stage for a dry but chilly weekend.

27 Storm Track meteorologist Guy Brown said Saturday should be cloudy with a high of 28, and Sunday should be sunny with a high of 35.

New Year’s Eve on Monday starts out with a chance of snow, then rain, then snow heading into the evening, but just light accumulations are expected.

For those celebrating the coming of 2019, bundle up if outside, with the low dropping to 17 heading into New Year’s Day on Tuesday.

Tuesday’s high is only expected to reach 21 with clouds and a little snow, then we could see highs in the upper teens on Wednesday, under sunny skies.

Thursday should be partly sunny with a high of 31, and mostly sunny skies and 34 are forecast by Brown for next Friday.

Thursday’s high in Madison tied the all-time record, hitting 50 at 10 p.m., a high for Dec. 27 already seen in 1936, 1946 and 2003. The high was 23 degrees above normal.

The low of 37 was 24 degrees above normal, and 63 degrees above the record low of 26 below for the date, set in 1886.

Steady light rain added up to 0.73 inches of precipitation (rain plus snow converted to liquid) at the airport, bringing the December and meteorological winter (December through February) totals up to 1.57 inches, the normal amount through Dec. 27.

The record precipitation total on Dec. 27 was 2.54 inches in 1904, with the precipitation coming down as the record 7.0 inches of snow for the date.

Since Jan. 1, Madison has received 50.11 inches of precipitation, 15.80 inches above normal.

Snowfall totals stayed at 1.2 inches for the month and winter, 10.6 inches below normal.

Since the start of snow season July 1, Madison has received 4.6 inches of snow, 11.3 inches below normal.

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