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Biggest blast of winter weather starts Sunday night, continues all week
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Biggest blast of winter weather starts Sunday night, continues all week

From the Deep freeze: Read our coverage of the early 2019 polar vortex in southern Wisconsin series
Winter Weather Deep Freeze (copy)

Steam rises from Lake Michigan on Friday morning, Jan. 25, 2019, in Milwaukee. An arctic wave has wrapped parts of the Midwest in numbing cold, sending temperatures plunging and prompting officials to close dozens of schools Friday, but forecasters say the worst may be yet to come. (AP Photo/Carrie Antlfinger)

The bad news is we could get up to 10 inches of snow to start the work week, followed by mind-numbing cold, possibly down to the 60 below zero level with the wind thrown in. The good news? Spring is only eight weeks away.

Forecasters this upcoming week are looking at the worst of a series of storms and cold snaps developed in the Arctic vortex, a huge mass of cold air normally sitting over the Arctic that has shifted down to North America.

Two such rounds hit Madison in the past week, only next week it'll be worse than what we've seen so far.

Accuweather is giving Madison a good chance for 4 to 8 inches of snow Sunday into Monday, with an outside chance for snow depths to be in the 8 to 12 inch range.

The heavy snow will be followed by below zero temperatures, including the high temperature readings, especially on Tuesday and Wednesday, when the highs are only expected to reach 6 below.

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Lows could drop to 20 below, and with gusty winds, and we could see wind chills in the 40 below to 60 below range or worse, according to the latest forecasting models.

The coldest wind chill ever recorded in Madison was 54.3 below on Jan. 20, 1985.

The coldest actual temperature in Madison was 37 below on Jan. 30, 1951. Just our luck: Wednesday is Jan. 30.

We also could see a string of below zero highs in the capital city, which hasn't happened since 1996.

If we make it through this week of brutal weather, there's hope on the way, with highs closer to normal by next weekend.

The day-to-day outlook:

  • Friday night: Mostly clear, low around 12 below. Wind chills between 20 and 25 below.
  • Saturday: A chance of flurries after 4 p.m., partly sunny, high near 7. Wind chills between 15 and 25 below.
  • Saturday night: A chance of flurries before 7 p.m., low around 2 below. Wind chills between 10 and 15 below.
  • Sunday: A 20 percent chance of snow after 1 p.m., partly sunny and cold, high near 8.
  • Sunday night: A 90 percent chance of snow, mainly after 1 a.m., snow heavy at times, low around 1 below. Up to 4 inches of snow is possible.
  • Monday: A 90 percent chance of snow, snow heavy at times, patchy, blowing snow between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., high near 15. Winds gusting up to 25 mph. (Forecast not given yet for total snow accumulation).
  • Monday night: An 80 percent chance of snow, mainly before 7 p.m., low around 3 below.
  • Tuesday: Partly sunny, temperature falling to around 6 below by 3 p.m.
  • Tuesday night: Mostly cloudy, low around 18 below.
  • Wednesday: Partly sunny, high near 6 below.
  • Wednesday night: Partly cloudy, low around 20 below.
  • Thursday: A 20 percent chance of snow, mostly sunny, high near 0.

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