Wicked storm system bringing heavy rain to Madison, snow far north

December 28, 2018

A massive winter storm system coming in from the Plains will bring rain to south-central Wisconsin all day on Thursday, with snow in far northern Wisconsin.

The National Weather Service said there’s a small chance for a thunderstorm in the afternoon or evening in our region, and area streams and rivers could rise thanks to rain that could total close to an inch before coming to an end late Thursday night.

The heaviest snow up north should fall in the far northwest corner of the state, with Superior possibly in line for up to a foot of snow, the Weather Service said.

Roads in northern Wisconsin are snow covered, and some highways in the Hudson area are ice covered, according to the state highway travel map.

The rain in Madison will be accompanied by strong winds, gusting up to 35 mph, said 27 Storm Track meteorologist Branden Borremans. The rain will also keep temperatures on the mild side, with a high of 47 forecast for Thursday.

On Friday, light rain showers in the morning will be mixed with snow later on, then becoming all snow in the afternoon, as temperatures drop and the wind switches around from the southwest to northwest.

Friday’s high should top out at 37, then drop down to 31 by late afternoon. Snow accumulation should range between a half-inch to an inch.

The weekend looks nice, with sun and 28 on Saturday and sun and 35 on Sunday.

The New Year’s Eve forecast on Monday calls for a 40 percent chance for rain mixed with snow during the day and a 40 percent chance for snow at night, but no accumulation has been predicted at this time.

New Year’s Day on Tuesday could be very cold, with the Weather Service saying temperatures could drop to around 15 by 5 p.m.

Borremans said the overnight low into Wednesday could drop to 5, with the high only reaching 19 under mostly sunny skies.

We can expect partly sunny, breezy and milder conditions next Thursday with a high of 32.

Wednesday’s high of 39 was 12 degrees above normal and 11 degrees below the record high of 50 for Dec. 26, set in 1936.

The low of 25 was 12 degrees above normal and 47 degrees above the record low of 22 below for the date, set in 1962.

Light rain that started falling Wednesday night only added up to .02 of an inch of precipitation (rain plus snow converted to liquid) at the airport before midnight, bringing the December and meteorological winter (December through February) totals up to 0.84 inches, 0.69 inches below normal.

The record precipitation total on Dec. 26 was 1.07 inches in 1888.

Since Jan. 1, Madison has received 49.38 inches of precipitation, 15.11 inches above normal.

Snowfall totals stayed at 1.2 inches for the month and winter, 10.2 inches below normal.

The record snowfall on Dec. 26 was 7.4 inches in 1941.

Since the start of snow season on July 1, Madison has received 4.6 inches of snow, 10.9 inches below normal.

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