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NWS 3-14-19

The rapid snow melt in southern Wisconsin is continuing to cause flooding problems that are closing many roads across the area, authorities reported.

A flood watch remains in effect through Friday morning in parts of south-central, east-central and southeast Wisconsin, while flood warnings continue in southwest Wisconsin and counties south of Madison, as the high temperature is forecast to reach 60 Thursday and showers and thunderstorms are expected to add more water to swollen rivers and streams.

The National Weather Service said flooding could continue into the weekend on some rivers.

Highways and roads closed so far Thursday morning:

  • Highway 78 in Dane County is closed from Highway A to Lee Valley Road
  • Highway 69 in Dane County is closed from Highway PB to Highway 151 and from Sunset Lane to Schaller Road
  • The Main Street bridge in Darlington in Lafayette County is closed because of the flooded Pecatonica River
  • Highway 191 in Iowa County is closed between Highway W and Highway K
  • Lueders Road from Lincoln to Parkside in Prairie du Sac in Sauk County should be avoided because of high water
  • Grand Avenue from 12th Street to 15th Street in Prairie du Sac should be avoid because of high water

Other highways might have to be closed as the day goes on, and you can check the state highway travel map for the latest updates on road closings.

Five school districts in southwest Wisconsin also are opening late or are closed, mostly because of dense fog.

The showers, thunderstorms and strong winds coming to Wisconsin Thursday are part of the "bomb cyclone" storm system hitting the central U.S., with blizzards in the Plains and heavy rain to the east.

The storm system is moving north into Canada later on Thursday, with southern Wisconsin seeing colder and drier air as a cold front on the backside of the storm moves through.

Winds could gust up to 40 mph in the Madison area on Thursday, but less than a tenth of an inch of rain is expected, with higher amounts possible in any  thunderstorms that may develop.

The cold front could change precipitation to a mix of rain and snow showers overnight into Friday morning, but little or no snow accumulation is forecast.

The rain and snow mix should gradually end on Friday, with the high only hitting 37.

A long stretch of sunny weather is forecast from Saturday to Wednesday, with highs in the upper 30s and low to mid-40s each day.

Wednesday's high of 51 just before midnight was 9 degrees above normal and 20 degrees below the record high of 71 for March 13, set in 1990 and tied in 1995.

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The low of 37 was 13 degrees above normal and 43 degrees above the record low of 6 below for the date, set in 1975.

Light rain added up to 0.29 inches at the airport, bringing the March and meteorological spring (March through May) precipitation total up to 0.81 inches, 0.02 inches above normal.

The record precipitation (rain plus snow converted to liquid) on March 13 was 1.58 inches in 1990.

Since Jan. 1, Madison has received 6.31 inches of precipitation, 2.84 inches above normal.

Snowfall totals stayed at 2.8 inches for the month and spring, 0.8 inches below normal, and 54.3 inches for the snow season (July 1 to June 30), 9.6 inches above normal.

The record snowfall on March 13 was 6.0 inches in 1917.

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