NWS 1-2-18
National Weather Service

The deep freeze Madison and most of the country has been in won't break until this upcoming weekend, forecasters say.

About two dozen school districts in south-central and southwest Wisconsin delayed the start of classes on Tuesday, with the Johnson Creek middle/high school cancelling classes due to a power outage.

The list of school delays can be found at http://www.wkow.com/category/176140/closingscancellations

A wind chill advisory is in effect until noon Tuesday, but there could be more wind chill advisories later in the week, the National Weather Service said.

The below-zero wind chills and single-digit highs are expected to stick around through Saturday, before temperatures return to near-normal values by Sunday.

Wind chill advisories are declared when the values go down to 20 below or worse. That benchmark could be hit on Wednesday night into Thursday morning and again Thursday night into Friday morning.

There's also a chance for light snow Tuesday night, with maybe a half-inch of snow in Madison.

The sun will be one of the only bright spots in the forecast, with sun on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

27 Storm Track meteorologist Branden Borremans said highs should reach 11 on Tuesday and Wednesday, 7 on Thursday and 6 on Friday, with overnight lows of 5 Tuesday night, 5 below Wednesday night and 6 below Thursday night.

The frigid weather should break late Saturday night.

The Weather Service said Saturday's high of 13 will be the start of a warmup, with the temperature expected to reach 19 by 4 a.m. Sunday.

Sunday's high could hit 29, Borremans said, then continue in the mid-20s on Monday, before more frigid air returns next Tuesday.

Monday's high in Madison was 2, 25 degrees below normal and 52 degrees below the record high of 54 for Jan. 1, set in 1897.

The low on Mondway was 13 below, 25 degrees below normal and 3 degrees above the record low of 16 below for the date, set in 1887.

No precipitation (rain and melted snow) fell at the airport on New Year's Day.

The record precipitation total on Jan. 1 was 1.80 inches in 1892 and the record snowfall total was 8.3 inches in 1942.

For the meteorological winter of December through February, Madison has received 0.73 inches of precipitation, 1.05 inches below normal.

Madison has received 3.7 inches of snow since Dec. 1, 10.2 inches below normal.

For the snow season of July through June, Madison has received 4.0 inches of snow, 14.0 inches below normal.


Bill Novak is a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.