South central Wisconsin should be able to enjoy a couple of quiet days before the next storm brings a mixed bag of precipitation to the area, according to forecasters.
While far southeast Wisconsin got nearly a foot of snow, 4.5 inches was recorded at the Dane County Regional Airport on Thursday, boosting Madison’s February total to 10.9 inches, 8 inches above normal. For meteorological winter (December through February), Madison’s snow total of 43.2 inches is 13.9 inches above normal. For the snow season (since July 1), Madison has received 43.3 inches, 9.9 inches above normal.
As stormy as it has been in the area recently, it could be much worse: the Northeast is bracing for a possibly historic storm that is forecast to dump 1 to 2 feet of snow from the New York City metro area to Maine, with localized heavier amounts possible, the Associated Press reported. In addition, winds are expected to gust to 60 to 75 miles per hour, creating significant impacts to transportation and power. Coastal flooding also is possible from Boston northward.
The next storm for the Madison area is expected to start early Sunday morning and wind down on Monday, bringing mostly rain to go with gusty winds, although it should start with sleet, possibly add in freezing rain before switching to rain, and finish with snow.
Little or no ice accumulation or snow accumulation is expected, but less than a half-inch of sleet is possible on Sunday morning, the National Weather Service said.
On Friday, skies are forecast to gradually clear with a high near 26 and north winds at 5 to 10 mph.
The low Friday night should tumble to around 2 under partly cloudy skies, with northeast breezes of around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.
Saturday should be mostly sunny with a high near 33 and south winds at 5 to 10 mph.
As the storm moves in overnight, there’s a chance of sleet after 3 a.m. Sunday with skies turning mostly cloudy and the low falling to around 24 and south winds around 10 mph.
There is a 100 percent chance of precipitation during the day on Sunday, with sleet likely before 9 a.m., then freezing rain and sleet likely and possibly mixed with rain between 9 a.m. and noon, then rain after noon, the Weather Service said.
The high Sunday should rise to near 40 with southeast winds blowing at 10 to 15 mph and gusting to 30 mph.
There’s a 60 percent chance of precipitation on Sunday night, with rain before midnight and then snow, a 30 percent chance of snow Monday and a 20 percent chance of snow Monday night, the Weather Service said.
Winds should continue to blow out of the south and then southwest around 15 mph, gusting to 30 mph, on Sunday night; then out of the west at 15 to 20 mph, gusting to 30 mph, on Monday, and out of the west at 10 to 15 mph, gusting to 25 mph, on Monday night.
Skies are finally expected to clear with partly sunny to sunny skies and quiet conditions Tuesday through Thursday, the Weather Service said.
Highs Monday through Thursday should be near 33, 27, 31 and 35, and lows Sunday night through Wednesday night are expected around 29, 21, 14 and 18.
27 Storm Track meteorologist Brian Olson forecasts rain on Sunday and morning snow showers on Monday with strong winds accompanying the precipitation, but just a few flurries next Friday in otherwise quiet weather.
Olson expects highs Friday through next Friday near 27, 34, 40, 32, 29, 32, 35 and 29, and overnight lows around 8, 27, 28, 19, 16, 20, 23 and 19.
Thursday’s high of 34 in Madison came at 1:48 p.m. and was 5 degrees above normal and 16 degrees below the record high for Feb. 7 of 50 set in 1987.
The low of 22 in Madison on Thursday came at 11:59 p.m. and was 9 degrees above normal and 43 degrees above the record low for Feb. 7 of 21 below set in 1875.
Officially, 0.55 inches of precipitation was recorded at the Dane County Regional Airport on Thursday, boosting Madison’s February total to 0.91 inches, 0.61 inches above normal. For 2013, Madison’s precipitation total (rain plus snow converted to liquid) of 3.78 inches is 2.25 inches above normal. For meteorological winter (December through February), Madison’s precipitation total of 6.38 inches is 2.25 inches above normal.