Temperatures will be on the rise Friday, but it will be a brief break from the bitterly cold temperatures expected to return through early next week.
News 3 meteorologist Bob Lesh said strong southwest winds will push temperatures near 20 for highs, but those same winds will keep wind chills near zero and lead to blowing snow and messy roadways. A winter weather advisory is in effect through midnight because of blowing and drifting of existing snow as well as 1-3 inches of fresh snow, most of which will fall Friday evening.
Temperatures will quickly fall again and should remain in the single digits through Saturday.
Another winter storm will move into the area by Saturday night, and this one will bring more snow and a large pool of arctic air to the area. As the system moves through, we can expect 2-5 inches of new snow on Sunday.
Temperatures will crash Sunday night. By Monday morning, lows will fall into the teens below zero and with a fairly brisk northwest wind, wind chills will be as cold as minus 45.
Highs will stay below zero on Monday and Tuesday, with lows falling near minus 20 on Tuesday morning. Wind chills during this period will be between minus 20 and minus 45. Lesh said he expects wind chill advisories and warnings to be posted early next week.
When wind chills are below minus 40, frostbite can occur to exposed skin in as little as ten minutes.
This has been a cold winter so far, with temperatures averaging 5.9 degrees below normal, according to Lesh. It is currently the 14th coldest winter on record in Madison, and with next week's frigid temperatures, we can the ranking to rise.