Snow doesn't spare Wisconsin
More snow fell today on southern and eastern Wisconsin to add to the mounds they’ve already received this month.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Tom Zajdel said the eastern and central part of the state should see 3 to 6 inches of snow, the central parts 2 to 4 inches, and the north 1 to 2 inches. There were no storm warnings, just snow advisories, he said.
“This is a run-of-the-mill-type storm,” he said. “We usually get several of these in the winter time.”
The Dane County Regional Airport reported five delays. Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport had a few cancellations for flights to Chicago, but that was related to snow Chicago was receiving, Milwaukee airport spokesman Ryan McAdams said.
Milwaukee had received 23.9 inches of snow this month before today’s snow, more than 14 inches above normal. That made it the fifth snowiest December on record.
Madison had received 27.7 inches of snow, 17.1 inches above normal, making it the third-snowiest December.
La Crosse had received 22.2 inches, or 14.2 above normal, which made it the fifth-snowiest December.
Green Bay had received 19.1 inches, or 10.6 inches above normal. That’s its 10th-snowiest December on record.
11:35 a.m.: Rockford police switch accident plan
The Rockford Police Department has switched to its emergency accident plan in light of the high number of weather-related traffic accidents.
The plan means that if vehicles are involved in a crash but don’t need to be towed and no one is hurt, drivers should report to the Public Safety Building, 420 W. State St., to file crash reports, Lt. Christine Bishop said.
“With weather like this, there’s just not enough officers on the street to handle all the accidents and our normal call volume,” Bishop said.
10:58 a.m.: Interstates snow-covered, slippery
Interstates 39 and 90 are snow-covered and icy, according to gettingaroundillinois.com, a Web site that charts the conditions of Illinois roads.
For more information about road conditions, call IDOT’s hotline at 1-800-452-4368.
The National Weather Service also cautions drivers heading out today that visibility is low and roads are slick, despite salting and traveling.
9:08 a.m.: O'Hare cancellations likely
A winter storm this morning quickly caused problems at O’Hare International Airport.
Flights were delayed about an hour, and cancellations were expected as the day progressed, said officials, who urged travelers to check the status of their flights with the airlines.
Midway Airport reported normal operations this morning.
In Chicago, nearly 300 city drivers were told to prepare their plows and salt spreaders for duty.
“While we’re not looking at a significant amount of snow, it will fall while drivers are on the roadways so we advocate added caution and allowing for a little extra travel time today,” said Michael Picardi, commissioner of Chicago’s Streets and Sanitation Department.
8:50 a.m: Rockford declares snow emergency
Rockford has declared a snow emergency, which means all vehicles should be parked on the even sides of residential streets to make room for snow plowing.
8:10 a.m.: Crews begin salting
Public Works employees have started salting the city’s main roads in light of a massive snow storm headed into the Rock River Valley, but it might not ease travel much.
“Snowfall may be heavy enough at times to result in snow accumulating even on well-traveled and treated roadways,” the National Weather Service reports.
The weather service is predicting a 100 percent chance of snow today, with 4 to 8 inches accumulating by the end of the day.
By the time the snow tapers into flurries late this afternoon, we could see 6 inches of snow.
The storm will likely be heaviest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., the service reports.
The weather service also has issued a snow advisory from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and is warning that snow could be “heavy at times.”
7:37 a.m.: Crews to 'stay ahead of the storm'
Public Works employees are starting the day by filling their trucks with salt and will likely begin salting the city’s arterial routes in the next hour or so, Director Tim Hanson said. They’ll also call contractor Raybine to handle salting of residential roads.
“It’s going to hit us pretty good,” Hanson said of the snow storm. “This is going to be a fast mover.”
The city will use 26 plows and snow-removing vehicles today.
“We’ll stay ahead of the storm,” he said.
7:18 a.m.: Weather service guarantees snow today
The National Weather Service is predicting a 100 percent chance of snow today, with 4 to 8 inches accumulating by the end of the day.
The service has also issued a snow advisory to start at 8 a.m., and is warning that snow could be "heavy at times."
By nightfall, there's a 30 percent chance of more snow.
Today's high temperature will be 31 degrees. That will drop to 20 degrees tonight.
Check back at rrstar.com for more weather updates.