Bitter cold and strong winds following ice storm, roads could stay slick overnight

February 8, 2019

As if the icy roads weren’t enough to contend with, how about below zero temperatures and gusty winds?

That’s what’s coming Thursday night, following an ice storm that pummeled southern Wisconsin all day, causing numerous slide-offs and crashes.

The deteriorating road conditions prompted the Dane County Board to cancel its meeting at the City-County Building Thursday night.

The National Weather Service said any snow or freezing rain left in the storm should end in Madison by 7 p.m., opening the door to frigid cold.

Madison streets crews will be out in force to try to get city streets in better shape following the ice storm, with 32 salt trucks on the salt routes and 22 sand trucks working residential areas to provide better traction, starting at 3 p.m.

After rush hour, the salt trucks will transition to sand if the main roads are in good shape, helping to put sand down in neighborhoods before the frigid air moves in at night.

The 3 p.m. shift will be replaced by 10 drivers at midnight, continuing to put sand down in neighborhoods, and if conditions warrant, more drivers will be put on the streets.

“Using the roadways for the remainder of Thursday and Friday will be very challenging,” the Streets Division said in an afternoon update. “Many streets in Madison will be ice-covered and very slippery, especially residential areas.”

The Mayor’s Office wanted to remind residents that free sand is available at a variety of city sites, which could come in very handy since salt loses much of its power when temperatures drop below 20. The locations are online at http://www.cityofmadison.com/residents/winter/SnowIce/sand.cfm

The low temperature could drop down to 2 below, and with winds of 15 to 20 mph, gusting to 40 mph, wind chill values could be in the 5 below to 15 below range.

Sunshine and very cold temperatures are on tap Friday and Saturday, but more snow is likely through mid-week.

The day-to-day outlook in Madison:

Thursday night: A 30 percent chance of snow and freezing rain before 7 p.m., gradually becoming partly cloudy, low around 2 below.Friday: Sunny, high near 7. Winds gusting up to 30 mph, wind chill values of 15 below to 25 below.Friday night: Mostly clear, low around 7 below. Wind chill values of 15 below to 20 below.Saturday: Sunny, high near 17.Saturday night: Mostly cloudy, low around 10.Sunday: A 60 percent chance of snow, likely after 7 a.m., high near 24.Sunday night: A 60 percent chance of snow, likely before 7 p.m., low around 13.Monday: Partly sunny, high near 27.Monday night: A 70 percent chance of snow, likely after 1 a.m., low around 20.Tuesday: A 70 percent chance of snow, high near 31.Tuesday night: A 60 percent chance of snow, low around 15.Wednesday: A 30 percent chance of snow, high near 23.

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