Storm still on track for southeast Wisconsin
WALWORTH COUNTY A major winter storm is still on track to affect southern Wisconsin and the western Great Lakes region, beginning tonight and continuing into Thursday night. Low pressure will organize in the southern plains today and then track northeast into northern Illinois Thursday morning. Heavy snow and severe blowing snow will result in near zero visibility and whiteout conditions at times, and extremely hazardous travel conditions across southern Wisconsin. The heavy snow and blowing will likely cause road closures in rural areas. The heavy wet snow and strong winds will also cause scattered power outages.
Strong winds and heavy precipitation can be expected with this winter storm. A mixture of rain and snow is expected farther east across parts of south central Wisconsin, and all rain is likely in the far southeast including Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha.
As the low tracks across northern Illinois later Thursday, colder air will wrap into the storms circulation and will change the rain over southeast Wisconsin over to snow in the afternoon. Moderate to heavy accumulations of snow are then expected over southeast Wisconsin Thursday afternoon and evening.
A Winter Storm Warning has been issued for all of southern Wisconsin, except for Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha counties, and is in effect tonight through Thursday morning. A Blizzard Warning goes into effect over south central and parts of southeast Wisconsin Thursday afternoon and evening. A Blizzard is defined as sustained or frequent gusts to 35 mph combined with 1/4 mile visibility due to falling and/or blowing snow.
The heaviest snow over south central Wisconsin is expected from 3 am early Thursday morning to 3 pm Thursday afternoon. The heaviest snow over east central into southeast Wisconsin is expected between 6 am Thursday morning and 6 pm Thursday evening. However, the precipitation will begin as rain in parts of southeast Wisconsin, especially from the Milwaukee metro area south to Racine, Kenosha and Delavan. A rain and snow mixture is likely from Sheboygan south to West Bend, Waukesha, Jefferson and Whitewater. Colder air wrapping into the storms circulation will change the rain and rain/snow mix to all snow in the late morning or afternoon on Thursday.
The strongest winds causing blizzard or near blizzard conditions are expected Thursday afternoon and evening as illustrated below. Gusts of 35 to 45 mph will cause severely reduced visibility in falling and/or blowing snow.
Everyone across southern Wisconsin will be impacted by this major winter storm. Begin preparing for this storm now! Fill your vehicles fuel tank, and adjust your plans for Thursday and Thursday evening.