Slide-offs, crashes mar Wednesday morning commute. How long will it last?

February 27, 2019

Wisconsin residents have had plenty of time to learn winter driving skills this year, but it doesn’t seem to take hold with some.

Plenty of slide-offs and crashes were happening Wednesday morning in the Madison area and throughout Wisconsin, as a late winter storm put snow and freezing rain on pavement.

The state highway travel map showed just about every part of Wisconsin dealing with ice- or snow-covered roads or slippery stretches of highway, with officials advising motorists to use caution.

In Madison, Streets Division crews were dispatched Tuesday afternoon to plow the main thoroughfares, and were at it again Wednesday morning, with salt possibly coming once the morning commute is over, since temperatures are expected to rise above 20 by then.

“Be slow, be patient and be alert,” said Bryan Johnson, spokesman for the Streets Division.

A winter weather advisory from the National Weather Service remains in effect until 9 a.m. Wednesday, with periods of snow, sleet or freezing rain causing travel difficulties throughout southern Wisconsin, especially toward Milwaukee, Kenosha and Portage.

The mixed precipitation should come to an end by noon in the Madison area, with a high of 21.

Temperatures are expected to drop to zero Wednesday night, with wind chills in the 5 below to 10 below range.

No snow is in the forecast on Thursday with the high reaching 22, but we could see accumulating snow once again Friday into Friday night.

The Weather Service said snow could start early Friday afternoon with the high reaching 29, then continue into the night with a total accumulation of about an inch.

There could be a little bit of snow lingering into Saturday morning with a high of 24, before temperatures plummet.

Sunday and Monday could be frigid with highs in the single digits, then the low teens are forecast on Tuesday, with sunshine all three days.

Low starting Saturday night are expected to drop below zero, with a low of 3 below that night, 10 below Sunday night and 5 below Monday night.

Tuesday’s high of 11 was 24 degrees below normal and 50 degrees below the record high of 61 for Feb. 26, set in 2000.

The low of 6 was 13 degrees below normal and 15 degrees above the record low of 9 below for the date, set in 1994.

The airport recorded .06 of an inch of precipitation (rain plus snow converted to liquid), bringing the February total up to 2.92 inches, 1.59 inches above normal.

The record precipitation total on Feb. 26 was 1.16 inches in 1881.

For the meteorological winter of December through February, Madison has received 7.58 inches of precipitation, 3.28 inches above normal.

Since Jan.1, Madison has received 5.48 inches of precipitation, 2.92 inches above normal.

The airport recorded .9 inches of snow, bringing the February total up to 22.4 inches, 12.4 inches above normal.

The record snowfall on Feb. 26 was 11.5 inches in 1912.

Madison has received 48.0 inches of snow this winter, 11.6 inches above normal, and 51.4 inches this snow season, 10.9 inches above normal.