Major snowstorm heading for southern Wisconsin. See how much may fall and when

January 19, 2019

The biggest snowstorm of winter is heading toward southern Wisconsin, so get ready for shoveling, snow blowing and tricky driving.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the southern tier of counties in Wisconsin, with up to 8 inches of snow possible before the snow ends Saturday morning.

The next tier of counties, including Madison’s Dane County, are under a winter weather advisory, with up to 6 inches of snow coming our way.

Travelers to Milwaukee could see up to 9 inches of snow, thanks to some lake effect snow added to the storm.

Areas south of Wisconsin are expected to get the brunt of the snowstorm.

Chicago could see up to 14 inches of snow before the storm ends there Saturday night, and with winds gusting up to 35 mph, travel could be very difficult in the Windy City.

People heading north should see less snow, with around 1 to 3 inches falling north Madison, according to 27 Storm Track meteorologist Guy Brown.

However, with temperatures dropping on Saturday, even small amounts of snow on pavement could result in slippery driving conditions.

Some communities to the south, such as Beloit, have already declared snow emergencies for Friday night, but no snow emergency has been declared in Madison as of Friday morning.

The state highway travel map is showing no major areas of bad conditions Friday morning, but the map should change later as the snow starts moving into the state from the west.

The high temperature is expected to reach 24 on Friday in Madison, but highs will drop on Saturday as arctic air moves in behind the snowstorm.

Highs are only expected to reach 19 on Saturday and 14 on Sunday, with overnight lows down to the low single digits both nights, and wind chills in the below zero range.

Sunday should be a sunny day, but clouds move in again on Monday, with chances for light snow later in the day. The high should top out at 20.

Snow could continue Tuesday with a high of 31, then sun comes back on Wednesday with a high of 21.

Another batch of snow is in the forecast on Thursday and next Friday, with highs in the low 20s.

Thursday’s high of 31 was 5 degrees above normal and 23 degrees below the record high of 54 for Jan. 17, set in 1894.

The low of 22 was 11 degrees above normal and 48 degrees above the record low of 26 below for the date, set in 1982.

A trace of precipitation (rain plus snow converted to liquid) fell at the airport, keeping the January and 2019 total at 1.13 inches, 0.44 inches above normal.

The record precipitation total on Jan. 17 was 0.50 inches in 1877.

For the meteorological winter of December through February, Madison has received 3.23 inches of precipitation, 0.80 inches above normal.

A trace of snow fell at the airport, keeping the January total at 0.4 inches, 6.7 inches below normal.

The record snowfall on Jan. 17 was 5.0 inches in 1953.

Madison has received 6.3 inches of snow for the winter, 14.3 inches below normal, and 9.7 inches for the snow season, 15.0 inches below normal.

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