An Alert Day remains in place Monday as a fast moving system moving from the Plains to the Great Lakes will spread a mix of freezing rain and rain through the area this morning, then transitioning to moderate snow this evening, potentially leading to slick travel for the final night of 2018.
Even though this wintry weather is not far away, there is still a fair amount of uncertainty with this system. A difference of a few degrees can totally change a forecast like this. The biggest question marks continue to be temperatures in the afternoon and evening and whether or not freezing rain/drizzle will mix in with the snow this evening. Because of this, there’s still a widespread mix of guidance with some models suggesting up to 5 inches of snow in the Madison area, and others suggesting low end amounts of 1-2 inches.
The current thinking is somewhere in between, but that the snow could come down pretty heavily for an hour or two once it starts.
The reality is the farther north you live, the more confidence there is that you’ll see all snow into the afternoon and evening, which is why snow totals there will be higher. But in the south, any snow could come down at a pretty good clip before winding down, which will lead to a fast ice up of roadways as it’s tough to pretreat the roads with rain coming down before a transition to snow.
– 9AM-NOON: With temperatures warming up enough to support rain by mid-morning, expect conditions to mainly be wet and windy.
– NOON-3PM Rain should persist through the afternoon for most of us, but spots north and west of Dane County could still be experiencing snow/freezing rain after noon.
– 3PM-7PM: As temperatures fall towards sunset and cold air arrives from the northwest, during the early evening, we should experience a transition to moderate snow, with possibly some areas of heavier snow. This is when a fast icing up of roads will be likely, and travel conditions will be at their worst.
– 7PM-MIDNIGHT: Precipitation will taper to light snow and flurries. Freezing rain could mix in with the snow during the evening hours and could even linger past the midnight hour across portions of southern Wisconsin.
– Flurries and freezing drizzle will wrap up early New Year’s Day.
– Slick spots will be possible in the morning, with wet roads in the early afternoon.
– By late afternoon and evening, slick spots will develop again with snow and ice covered roads possible at times.
– Anyone traveling to New Year’s Eve festivities will want to plan for extra time in the evening hours.
– Areas south and east of Madison should pick up about an inch of snow.
– Madison and spots to the immediate north and west are in line for 1-3 inches of snow.
– Heavier amounts of 3-6″ are possible from the Wisconsin Dells northward into central Wisconsin.
Stay tuned to WISC-TV on air, on social media, and here on Channel3000.com for the latest weather information. Meteorologist Chris Reece will be actively tweeting the latest updates regarding this system.