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A prolonged period of active weather will bring several inches of snow to Wisconsin through Saturday, according to forecasters.
The cause is a slow-moving, multi-faceted storm system that will bring a combination of rain, wintry mix and snow across areas from Kansas to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, AccuWeather said.
Snow accumulations across the Midwest through Wednesday will not amount to too much, but a separate wave of upper-level energy is forecast to slide out of the Plains and into the storm system on Thursday, bringing the threat for a steadier snow in the Midwest.
The storm system is expected to continue to slowly spin its way towards the Ohio Valley Friday, bringing the focal point for some of the steadiest and heaviest snowfall to around the Mississippi River in Missouri, Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin.
The storm system finally will move far enough east to end the snow in Wisconsin after by Sunday.
Light snow is expected to move into southern Wisconsin Wednesday afternoon and evening, with minor accumulations expected, the National Weather Service said.
Light snow will continue Thursday morning and the slushy accumulations could result in a slippery commute Thursday morning, while periods of light snow are expected to continue through Saturday morning.
If the Weather Service’s possible maximum totals for periods through Saturday are added together, Madison could see around 4 inches of snow, La Crosse around 5 inches, Eau Claire around 7 inches, Green Bay around 2 ½ inches, and Racine around 3 inches.
In Madison on Wednesday, there’s a 30% chance for snow, mainly after 4 p.m., with cloudy skies, a high near 32 and south winds around 15 mph.
Overnight, there’s a 90% chance for snow, mainly after 8 p.m. and possibly totaling around an inch, as the low falls to around 27.
Chances for snow are 80% Thursday and Thursday night, with possible accumulation of less than an inch for both periods, a high near 34 and low round 30, the Weather Service said.
On Friday and Friday night, there’s a 70% chance for snow before 10 a.m., then rain and snow, changing back to all snow after 10 p.m., with possible accumulation of less than a half-inch for both periods, a high near 36 and low around 31.
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Saturday’s forecast features just a 20% chance for snow before noon, and quiet weather follows through Tuesday, the Weather Service said.
Skies over Madison should be cloudy Saturday, and mostly cloudy Sunday through Tuesday, with highs near 35, 36, 38 and 41, and lows Saturday night through Monday night around 27, 26 and 30.
27 Storm Track meteorologist Max Tsaparis forecasts 2 to 4 inches falling on the Madison area by Saturday, with highs Wednesday through Tuesday near 32, 33, 33, 33, 36, 35 and 38, and overnight lows around 27, 30, 29, 24, 25, 25 and 27.
Tuesday’s high in Madison was 23 at 4 p.m., 3 degrees below the normal high and 29 degrees below the record high of 52 for Jan. 21, set in 1964.
Tuesday’s low in Madison was 1 at 5:11 a.m., 10 degrees below the normal low and 30 degrees above the record low of 29 below for Jan. 21, set in 1888.
No precipitation was recorded at the Dane County Regional Airport on Tuesday, leaving Madison’s January and 2020 total at 1.16 inches, 0.32 inches above normal. The meteorological winter (December through February) precipitation total (rain plus snow converted to liquid) stayed at 2.68 inches, 0.1 inches above normal.
Madison’s record precipitation for Jan. 21 is 0.57 inches, set in 1895.
With no snow on Tuesday, Madison’s January and 2020 snow total stayed at 12.5 inches, 3.8 inches above normal. For meteorological winter, Madison has received 15.4 inches, 6.8 inches below normal. For the snow season (since July 1), Madison has received 31.1 inches, 4.8 inches above normal.
Madison’s record snowfall for Jan. 21 is 7.2 inches, set in 2008.
Madison’s official snow depth is 5 inches.
Photos: Remembering Madison's Groundhog Day blizzard of 2011