Snow & Blowing Snow Wednesday
First Alert Day Wednesday
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -A First Alert Day has been issued Wednesday for snow and blowing snow. The active start to the year is continuing on as we move through the first full week of January. A Winter Weather Advisory has also been posted for all of southern Wisconsin. While we are expecting some minor snow accumulations, that in itself won’t be the driver in travel problems. Gusty winds will create considerable blowing and drifting of snow and reduced visibility.
Flurries and snow showers will develop Wednesday night into Thursday morning. That snow will become more likely by early Thursday and, although light, be fairly steady through the late morning and afternoon hours. Snow will become a bit more scattered during the evening and taper to flurries by Wednesday night. Gusty winds will also pick up late Wednesday night and really blow throughout the day. While tapering off Wednesday night, gusty conditions will remain even into Thursday morning. This will be as arctic air settles in and drops wind chill values well below zero.
Snow totals will be light around southern Wisconsin. Madison can expect around an inch of snow. Lighter totals of an inch or less are anticipated south towards the stateline. Heavier snow showers to the north could produce totals in the 2-3 inch rage. This snow will be a very light and fluffy snow as temperatures are expected to drop through the teens during the morning and afternoon hours. So while snow totals won’t be overly impressive, it will be easily transported by wind.
Winds of 20-30 mph will develop Wednesday night into Thursday morning. These will increase to 30-35 mph early Wednesday with gusts to 45 mph through the afternoon. Winds will decrease slightly by Wednesday night into the 15-20 mph range. This in combination with the fluffy snow falling and fluffy snow already on the ground will lead to areas of blowing and drifting snow. During the stronger winds, reduced visibility and near whiteout conditions will be possible.
Snow and blowing snow will lead to snow covered roadways. This will be especially true in more open areas and north-south oriented roadways. Strong gusty winds could not only cover roadways in snow, but lead to deep drifts in spots. As quickly as plows clear a road, winds could recover them in a matter of minutes. Another concern will be as colder temperatures settle in, salt will become less effective. If you are traveling on Wednesday, plan for issues on the roadways and possible delays.
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