Icy roads, wind storms overwhelm Wisconsin
cynthia yoo | December 23, 2007 at 09:42 amby
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While the storm that dropped some 10 inches of snow in western Wisconsin -- less to the east -- has tailed off, the big problem for holiday travelers is the icy roads and winds of 20 to 30 miles per hours, with gusts up to 45 miles per hour, said J.J. Wood, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Sullivan office.
By 10 a.m., virtually every road in the greater Madison area was "snow covered and slippery," meaning the plows had pretty much cleared the roads but single-digit temperatures kept ice intact.
The Grant County Sheriff's office reported snowfalls of "seven to eight inches - and they tell me down by the river it's closer to 10 inches," said a deputy. Drifts were still blocking many roads by mid-morning.
LaFayette County authorities said they were still urging no travel by mid-morning because of "white-out" conditions caused by blowing snow.
In the Madison area, there was relatively little snow, but there was enough that the winds were blowing what snow there was over the highways. Every car that drove helped create a path of ice that made even the main highways treacherous.
The Dane County Airport at 10 a.m. reported most arrivals and departures being pretty close to on-time, although several flights had been cancelled earlier due to bad weather conditions.
Sunday's weather was exacerbated by Saturday's warmer-than-usual temperatuers, which not only led to dense fog until the evening hours, but resulted in rain, then freezing rain overnight. At midnight in Stoughton, a fairly heavy rain turned quickly to ice, coating cars, roofs and everything else outside with a thin layer.
A winter storm warning is in effect for southwestern Wisconsin, while a winter weather advisory is in effect for south central and southeastern Wisconsin, both until 6 p.m., according to the service. A wind advisory is in effect for most of southcentral and southwest Wisconsin until midnight.
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