Blizzard creates dangerous conditions across Wisconsin - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Weather Alert

Blizzard creates dangerous conditions across Wisconsin


MADISON (WKOW) -- Wisconsin is buried in snow from the blizzard that passed through. Madison received more than 14 inches of snow, while 19.5 inches fell in Middleton.

Here's the  8 p.m. update from Wisconsin Emergency Management:

The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) at 8:00 pm held an SEOC briefing to provide a statewide situational awareness update on the winter storm that is occurring. Statewide we are seeing a variety of conditions. Holy Hill near Milwaukee reported 11" at 1900 CST. Middleton reported 19" at 1600 CST and more snow has fallen since. Winds are from the NW gusting to 30-40 MPH from Eau Claire to Milwaukee. Reducing visibilities, blowing snow, 2-6 mile visibility in areas where snowfall has ended. Visibility is being reported at .5 - 1.5 miles in areas where snow is still falling, primarily Madison to Wausau and areas east to Lake Michigan.

Utility companies are reporting 30-35,000 customers without power statewide and they are having difficulties reaching certain areas to make the necessary repairs.

WisDOT - The majority of road crews were pulled off most highways at 8 pm with the exception of the interstates. Full crews will be back out in early morning.

WING - Ten winter support force packages are still on standby. Staffing has been reduced on six of the units. The reduction will not affect the capability that can deploy. Ten armories are available to be used as shelters in response to power outages.

Many state airports statewide are experiencing delays or canceled flights.

DNR - Additional wardens remain on standby until midnight.

WSP - Southeast Region - Heavy snow is falling in almost the entire region. Only Kenosha Co is reporting good winter driving conditions. Washington County remains the most active area in terms of incidents. Highway 41 and 45 are in reasonably good shape but the on and off ramps are slippery. All counties reporting snow covered and slippery roadways along the major corridors. Increased winds have caused a substantial drifting problem. Overall traffic volumes are declining and incidents have been comparatively minor. Northeast - US 41 NB at Sales Rd north of Fond du Lac is open. Traffic is light, so both semis will be removed tonight. Northeast Region roads are snow covered/slippery, except I-43 in Sheboygan and Manitowoc counties, which has slippery stretches. Southwest Region - No blockage or restrictions on the system at this time. Northwest Region - We are experiencing drifting and glazing in Jackson County on I-94. Two semi-trucks had crashed at milepost 105 eastbound with complete lane blockage, which has been cleared. There were no injuries. North Central Region- Marathon County Sheriff called reporting the small plane may have went down. No plane could be located nor any reports of missing aircraft. We are experiencing most of our vehicle run-offs in the Wausau area on USH 51.

Wisconsin Emergency Management is providing continuous information on the storm through its website and Twitter/Facebook dispatches along with the public information officer has provided information to 50 media outlets.


MADISON (WKOW) -- Here's the 6 p.m. update from Wisconsin Emergency Management:

The State Emergency Operations Center at 3 pm held a conference call with the National Weather Service (NWS) at Sullivan, WI. There is a blizzard warning for most of the southern half of the state extending up through Door County. The southeastern corner of the state and most of the northern half of the state are under a winter storm warning or winter weather advisory. From 7 am through the end of the storm another 6-8 inches is expected in most of southern Wisconsin with the exception of the counties along the lake which will get 3-4 inches total. Currently the rain-to-snow transition is a line from approximately Port Washington to Lake Geneva that is expected to move east and reach Milwaukee around 5 pm. Wind is expected to increase this evening culminating in gusts over 30 mph in the western part of the state and over 40 mph along the lake. Winds over 60 mph may occur in the Door County peninsula. Wind chill temperatures will be in the singles and teens throughout the state tonight and tomorrow. For more information check the NWS website.

Wisconsin State Patrol reports that there was a semi jackknifed on I-39/I-90 westbound (northbound) at mile marker 152 (just north of the Highway 51 interchange near Stoughton) in Dane County. Traffic is moving in the left lane. Units are at the scene. There have also been numerous reports from across the state of semis jackknifed. This indicates that roads are slippery and the high winds create an increased risk.

Power is out to 17,673 customers scattered throughout southern Wisconsin. More outages are being reported in southeastern Wisconsin as the snow line advances in that direction. All companies are working to restore power. The following is a breakdown by company:

  • Madison Gas & Electric: 2,060 in the Madison area
  • Alliant Energy: 9,835
  • We Energies: 2,834
  • Wisconsin Public Service: 2,944

Air operations reported that the FAA is not expecting any airport closures, but several airlines will be delaying and cancelling flights. O'Hare is not sending flights to Wisconsin because the planes have not arrived from Wisconsin to reload.

Public information has been in contact with over 40 media outlets: radio, newspaper, and television including CNN. Updates have also been disseminated via social media with good feedback.

The State Emergency Operations Center is activated to Level 3. This activation includes Wisconsin Emergency Management, the Department of Natural Resources, the Wisconsin State Patrol, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, and the Wisconsin National Guard. The incident is actively being worked in a continuous 24-hour cycle.


MADISON (WKOW) -- Meteorologists say the Blizzard Warning for our area has been extended to midnight on Friday.

The Blizzard Warning will go into effect at noon Thursday. It was originally set to expire at 6:00 p.m., but that has now been extended to early Friday morning.

A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect for all of the Madison viewing around through noon on Thursday.

27 Storm Track Meteorologists say the snow will begin to fall around midnight Thursday and continue to fall through the middle of the day Thursday, ending by late Thursday evening.

The Madison area could get up to 16" of new snow by tomorrow afternoon with a wide area of 12-16" storm totals, with most of southern Wisconsin getting more than 6" by the time the snow ends.


MADISON (WKOW) -- A major winter storm that could bring more than a foot of snow to some areas is expected to hit Wisconsin Wednesday evening and continue through Thursday.

Many counties in southern Wisconsin are under a Winter Storm Warning from 6 p.m. Wednesday through noon on Thursday. Many of those same counties will also be under a Blizzard Watch Thursday afternoon into the evening. Click here to check on the Alerts in your county.

27 Storm Track Chief Meteorologist Bob Lindmeier says the snow will begin Wednesday evening and the heaviest snow is expected from early Thursday morning to about noon Thursday. The forecast calls for more than a foot of snow for much of southern Wisconsin and as much as 15 inches could fall in some areas. The snow will likely wind down around 6 p.m. Thursday evening.

Winds are expected at 10 to 20 mph Wednesday night. They're expected to pick up to 20 to 30 mph on Thursday with gusts of 35 to 45 mph. That could lead to blizzard conditions with significant blowing and drifting snow and the potential for near zero visibility Thursday afternoon and evening.

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