Live: 8 to 16 inches of snow expected in northern Wisconsin; 73 flights canceled at Milwaukee Mitchell
Tips on how to reduce how much salt you use to de-ice your sidewalk in winter
Using salt to de-ice roads and sidewalks can have a negative impact on Wisconsin's rivers and lakes. You can help reduce salt usage by following these tips.
Lou Saldivar, Wochit
The first wave of a major winter storm is expected to reach Wisconsin Tuesday evening and linger through Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. Almost the entire state, except for a few counties near the Illinois border, is expected to see heavy snow and high winds, with some areas potentially getting over a foot.
Follow along with our live coverage of the storm.
The National Weather Service has issued winter storm warnings across Wisconsin for Wednesday afternoon and evening into Thursday. For many counties, this includes wind gusts of around 40 miles per hour and heavy snow, which will make travel "very difficult to impossible" and create "near blizzard" and "whiteout" conditions, especially in rural areas.
Warnings are already in effect until noon Thursday for Taylor, Clark, Trempealeau and Jackson Counties, which could see as much as a foot of snow by the end of Thursday.
Further north, near the cities of Rhinelander, Antigo, Wausaukee, Merrill and Peshtigo, the winter storm warning lasts from 6 p.m. Wednesday to 6 p.m. Thursday. These areas are forecast to receive 9 to 12 inches of snow. Bayfield and Ashland Counties are under a blizzard warning during that same time and could see as much as 16 inches.
In northeast Wisconsin, the winter storm warning begins at 3 p.m. Wednesday and lasts until 6 p.m. Thursday. Counties affected include Menominee, Door, Marathon, Shawano, Wood, Portage, Waupaca, Outagamie, Brown, Kewaunee and southern Oconto County. These counties are forecast to receive between 8 to 11 inches of snow.
Further south, in Marquette, Green Lake, Fond du Lac and Sheboygan Counties, the warnings are already in effect until noon Thursday and include 6 to 10 inches of snow with the possibility of a "light glaze" of ice.
− Rebecca Loroff
Mitchell International Airport has had 52 flight cancellations by various airlines before 7:30 A.M. today. It had just two cancelations on Tuesday.
Despite the cancellations, airport officials said they have deployed multiple teams that will help keep runways and planes in working condition.
Harold Mester, director of public affairs at Mitchell, said that while cancellations are likely due to weather, they may not be because of the conditions in Milwaukee.
“Cancellations could be due to weather in other cities and oftentimes airlines don’t want planes stranded in certain cities if the weather gets worse,” said Mester.
Airport officials said the airport plans to stay open all day today, with the exception of periods when they have to work on parts of the runway to meet FAA requirements.
− Beck Salgado
While Appleton, Green Bay and Milwaukee public school districts remained open for Wednesday, several major school districts across the state canceled classes:BurlingtonMenomonee FallsWaukeshaGermantownMuskegoFond du LacOshkoshMadisonWausau (closed through Thursday)Stevens Point (closed through Thursday)Wisconsin Rapids (closed through Thursday)Waukesha and Washington county campuses of University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
South Milwaukee will have early release Wednesday.
The following school districts have moved to virtual learning:Elmbrook
− Rebecca Loroff and Beck Salgado
A wintry mix is expected to start mid-morning in southern Wisconsin with freezing rain turning to sleet as you go west toward Madison. North of the Milwaukee area is still expecting snow, and a lot of it.
Once the freezing rain and sleet moves in, the worry turns to road conditions, trees and power outages. Winter Storm and Ice Storm Warnings went into effect for southern Wisconsin about an hour ago.
Forecasters now expect between 0.25" and 0.50" of ice for the southernmost parts of Wisconsin. There will then be the potential for 2-plus inches of sleet around the I-94 corridor from Milwaukee to Madison.
National Weather Service Meteorologist, Andy Boxell, expressed worries about potential road hazards that could arise on the I-94 corridor that is expected to see 1-2 inches multiple sleet this afternoon.
“I don't want people to be misled when they see just a couple of inches of sleet,” said Boxell, “that's very, very different than a couple of inches of snow and I would certainly expect some pretty significant travel impacts because of that.”
− Beck Salgado
Northern Wisconsin received a few inches of snow Tuesday night in the first wave of a storm expected to affect most of the state for the next two days.
Spotters observed snowfall in the following communities:Appleton: 3 inchesPlover: 3.6 inchesSchofield: 2 inchesEau Claire area: 1.9 inchesLa Crosse area: 2.5 inchesAshwaubenon: 2.7 inchesRhinelander: 2.5 inches
Further south, communities like Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, Milwaukee and Madison got no more than a dusting.
As of Wednesday morning, most major roads north of Milwaukee and Madison had slippery stretches or were covered with ice and snow, according to 511wi.gov.
Most of the state is under a Winter Storm Warning from Wednesday morning to Thursday morning, except for counties along the Wisconsin-Illinois border. Those counties, which include Racine, Kenosha and Walworth Counties, are under an ice storm warning.
- Rebecca Loroff