MADISON, Wis. - A large winter storm is taking aim on Wisconsin and much of the Midwest for this weekend.
Snow, sleet, freezing rain, and rain over Iowa will move though Wisconsin through Saturday morning. Areas to the north and west of La Crosse will see mainly snow from this storm, with heavy snow possible for a time from Saturday night into Sunday morning.
For much of southern Wisconsin, a mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain through much of Saturday morning will change to rain by early afternoon. Before that happens, ice accumulations of a quarter-inch or more may lead to icy roads, sidewalks, and parking lots. Once temperatures climb above freezing in the afternoon, conditions should improve as the ice begins to melt.
The melting ice and snow along with scattered rain showers from Saturday afternoon into Saturday evening could lead to some standing water and some localized flooding, especially where storm drains and sewers remain clogged with ice and snow from our previous winter storms. It's possible that a few thunderstorms could even occur Saturday evening that could produce brief heavy downpours.
As the center of the winter storm moves through Wisconsin Saturday night, a cold front will sweep in from the west, dropping temperatures to below freezing by early Sunday morning.
Rain will change to a short period of snow, resulting in minor accumulations of an inch or two near and northwest of Madison, with several inches of accumulation closer to the Mississippi River and areas northwest of Wisconsin Dells. As temperatures continue to fall below freezing on Sunday, standing water and puddles may begin to freeze, resulting in some icy road surfaces.
Winds will also become very strong on Sunday, gusting to 45 MPH or higher across much of Wisconsin and surrounding states. This may be strong enough to cause small tree branches to break, and unsecured objects like trash cans to blow around and cause some minor damage.
Farther to the west in Iowa and Minnesota, and perhaps to the north into northern Wisconsin, the high winds coupled with snowfall from the winter storm could lead to blizzard conditions with near zero visibility at times, making travel very difficult and dangerous.
If you have travel plans from later Saturday night into Sunday across Iowa, Minnesota, and the northwestern half of Wisconsin north of a la Crosse to Green bay line, make sure you monitor the latest forecasts and be prepared for difficult to dangerous travel conditions, or consider delaying your travel until conditions improve.
Please monitor News 3 Now's Channel 3000 weather forecasts, News 3 Now newscasts on WISC-TV, the News 3 Now First Alert Weather and Traffic App for the latest updates on this winter storm.
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