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Ice Storm II could make travel impossible, heavy impact on Thursday commutes

February 7, 2019

The second ice storm to hit Wisconsin in as many days is likely to be much worse than the first, with officials saying travel could be next to impossible.

The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory in effect from 6 p.m. Wednesday to 6 p.m. Thursday, with the advisory staying in effect in far southeastern Wisconsin until 9 p.m. Thursday.

The only saving grace about this treacherous storm is it most likely won’t have an impact on the Wednesday evening commute.

Freezing rain, sleet and snow are expected to start falling in Madison and all of southern Wisconsin Wednesday night, continuing into Thursday and Thursday night.

“Power outages and tree damage are possible due to the ice, and travel could be nearly impossible,” the weather advisory said.

The highest ice and snow accumulations are expected along and north of a line from Monroe to Madison to Fond du Lac, with some areas getting up to 2 inches of snow and a third of an inch of ice.

The Madison Streets Division is getting ready for the storm just as it did for Tuesday night’s storm.

“Once the storm begins, 32 trucks will be deployed to the salt routes,” said Streets Superintendent Charlie Romines.

The salt routes include the main thoroughfares, bus routes, and streets close to hospitals and schools.

“Since temperatures are above 20 degrees salt will be spread on these main streets, and four additional plow trucks will be deployed to spread sand in residential areas that need material (salt or sand) for travel but don’t meet the criteria to be a salt route,” Romines said.

The 36 trucks will stay on the job during the duration of the storm.

What’s coming after Ice Storm II? How about frigid temperatures.

The day-to-day outlook for Madison:

Wednesday night: An 80 percent chance of freezing rain and sleet, possibly mixed with snow, before midnight, then freezing rain, possibly mixed with sleet, between midnight and 5 a.m., then freezing rain after 5 a.m., low around 28. New ice accumulation of around 0.1 of an inch, with little or no snow accumulation.Thursday: A 100 percent chance for rain or freezing rain before 2 p.m., then rain and snow between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., then snow and freezing rain after 4 p.m., high near 34. New ice accumulation of less than 0.1 of an inch, new snow accumulation of less than a half-inch.Thursday night: A 50 percent chance of snow and freezing rain before 8 p.m., then a slight chance of snow between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m., low around 3. Wind chill values between 10 below and zero.Friday: Partly sunny, high near 8.Friday night: Mostly clear, low around 6 below.Saturday: Sunny, high near 18.Saturday night: Partly cloudy, low around 10.Sunday: A 60 percent chance of snow, mainly between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m., high near 24.Sunday night: A 40 percent chance of snow before 7 p.m., low around 11.Monday: Partly sunny, high near 26.Monday night: A 30 percent chance of snow, low around 16.Tuesday: A 50 percent chance of snow, high near 25.

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