New Year’s Day Accumulating Snowfall
First Alert Day Issued
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -A First Alert Day remains in place through Saturday. After a slow start to the winter season, things have gotten active during the holidays. Freezing rain to end the year gives way to a winter storm for the Great Lakes region as we welcome in 2022. This includes southern Wisconsin, although the impacts will vary greatly depending on your location. As it is a busy holiday weekend, now is the time to prepare for rapidly changing road conditions and travel delays.
Overall calm, but cloudy skies, can be expected through Saturday morning. We will watch some flurries and snow showers develop by midday across southwestern Wisconsin moving to the northeast. For most, it will be this afternoon before we talk much in the way of snow. From there, snow will become steady through the afternoon and evening hours for Madison and points south and east. Snow will continue into Saturday night before tapering off from northwest to southeast early Sunday morning.
For areas north and west of Madison, this will be a non event. Snow will have a hard time developing due to cold dry air in place. Any chance of flurries and snow showers will likely hold of until later in the evening. It is possible areas north of Wisconsin Dells see nothing more than a few flurries.
Being on the northern fringe of this system, there will be a tight gradient in snow accumulation. For areas north and west of Madison, this storm is expected to bring very little in the way of accumulation with totals remaining under an inch. The far northern part of the area will miss out completely with nothing more than flurries. At this point, Madison is looking at 1-3 inches of accumulations. The heavier totals are expected to be south and east of Madison where 3-5 inches remain a possibility along the stateline. For the far southeast part of the area, and Wisconsin, heavier totals in the 5-8 inch range could develop. Locally heavier totals along the lake shore are possible with lake enhancement.
It is important to note that a small deviation of 30-50 miles in the storm track could have a dramatic impact on totals. While this isn’t significant in the storm system as a whole, for us on the edge of the action it can be. A small shift could move those heavier totals northward or take most of the snow south. We will be watching the bands of snow develop early Saturday to out southwest for a better idea on just exactly where the snow gradient sets up.
Minor travel concerns are possible northwest of Madison while more significant problems are likely to the south and east. For areas along the stateline, conditions will rapidly deteriorate Saturday afternoon and evening with travel possibly becoming discouraged. If you are heading into northern Illinois, you may want to reconsider your plans as that area will take the brunt of the storm. This will likely have major impacts at the Chicago airports too.
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