After a beautiful early March weekend, winter weather will return packing a powerful punch featuring several inches of snow across Wisconsin on Monday into Tuesday, according to forecasters.
Wintry weather is expected to move into southwestern Wisconsin around daybreak on Monday, the Madison area around 10 a.m., and southeastern Wisconsin around mid-afternoon, the National Weather Service said.
As the snow moves slowly east, it may become mixed with rain for a time.
The main push of precipitation is expected during the afternoon and evening, with the mix of rain and snow likely changing to all snow with several inches of slushy accumulation possible.
The snow will diminish to periods of light snow Monday night into Tuesday, with some drizzle or freezing drizzle possible Monday night.
The Weather Service said southern Wisconsin could see 3 to 6 inches of snow, however there is uncertainty regarding the strength of the system and the possibility of mixed precipitation, which means snow totals could be lowers.
There is a winter storm watch for counties west and north of Madison that include Crawford, Richland, Juneau and Adams, with some areas of the state seeing 8 inches or more.
In Madison on Sunday, look for mostly sunny skies, a high near 46 and southeast winds at 10 to 15 miles per hour.
The overnight low should fall to around 29, with southeast winds picking up to 15 mph and gusting as high as 30 mph.
There’s a 90 percent chance for precipitation Monday and Monday night, 60 percent Tuesday, and 30 percent Tuesday night, with rain and snow becoming all snow after 4 p.m. Monday, and some rain possibly mixing back in Tuesday afternoon.
The Weather Service said Madison could see snow accumulation of less than an inch Monday, 1 to 2 inches overnight Monday into Tuesday, and around an inch Tuesday, for a total of about 4 inches.
Highs should be near 38 Monday and 36 Tuesday, with lows around 29 overnight Monday into Tuesday and 19 overnight Tuesday into Wednesday. East winds could gust as high as 35 mph Monday, 30 mph Monday night, then turn out of the north decline to 10 to 15 mph Tuesday and Tuesday night.
The Weather Service predicts quiet weather after the storm passes, with just a 20 percent chance for rain and snow Friday, a 20 percent chance for snow Friday night, and a 30 percent chance for rain and snow Saturday.
Skies over Madison should be partly sunny Wednesday, mostly sunny Thursday, and partly sunny Friday and Saturday, with highs near 29, 30, 35 and 40, and lows Wednesday night through Friday night around 15, 16 and 23.
27 Storm Track meteorologist Branden Borremans forecasts a nice Sunday before the storm movies in on Monday, with 4 to 6 inches falling by the time it ends Tuesday evening; then quiet weather with just light mixed precipitation possible Friday night into Saturday.
Borremans said skies over Madison should be partly to mostly sunny Sunday, cloudy Monday and Tuesday, partly sunny Wednesday and Thursday, increasingly cloudy Friday, mostly cloudy Saturday, and increasingly sunny next Sunday, with highs near 47, 37, 35, 29, 29, 35, 37 and 32, and overnight lows around 31, 30, 21, 15, 18, 22, 25 and 20.
Saturday’s high in Madison was 45 at 3:43 p.m., 8 degrees above normal and 25 degrees below the record high of 70 for March 3, set in 1983.
Saturday’s low in Madison was 28 at 11:59 p.m., 8 degrees above normal and 36 degrees above the record low of 8 below for March 3, set in 1884 and 2014.
No precipitation was recorded at the Dane County Regional Airport on Saturday, leaving Madison’s March and meteorological spring (March through May) total at zero, 0.18 inches below normal. Madison’s 2018 precipitation total (rain plus snow converted to liquid) stayed at 4.18 inches, 1.32 inches above normal.
Madison’s record precipitation for March 3 is 1.95 inches in 1881.
With no snow on Saturday, Madison’s March and meteorological spring (March through May) total stayed at zero, 0.9 inches below normal. For the snow season (since July 1), Madison has received 27.5 inches, 14.5 inches below normal.
Madison's record snowfall for March 3 is 5 inches in 1953.