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Warmer weather, additional precipitation expected for rest of week

Published On: Feb 17 2014 06:31:28 AM CST   Updated On: Feb 17 2014 07:18:36 PM CST

The snow is winding down over eastern Wisconsin as yet another winter storm has affected the southern portion of the state.

As of 6:30 p.m. the Dane County Regional Airport reported 4.3 inches of snowfall for Monday. This winter we have received 49 inches of snowfall, and are running 11.8 inches ahead of a normal winter. We are approaching the average annual snowfall for Madison, which is 50.9 inches.

The most recent snowfall actually formed on a surge of milder air that will be moving in from the west mid-week. High temperatures are expected to climb into the middle 30s for Tuesday and Wednesday.

The next storm system will arrive Wednesday night into Thursday. As temperatures dip just below freezing on Wednesday night, precipitation may begin as a mix of sleet, freezing rain, or just plain rain, depending on whether or not temperatures near the ground are above or below freezing. As strong southerly winds arrive Thursday morning, temperatures will climb above freezing, changing all precipitation to rain.

As the storm moves through Wisconsin on Thursday, a cold front will sweep eastward across our area around noon. Thunderstorms may be possible with the passage of the cold front; in fact, there may even be a threat for severe thunderstorms in eastern Illinois and over much of Indiana.

Behind the cold front, temperatures will fall through the 30s in the afternoon. Rain will change to snow by Thursday evening with the potential for some minor snow accumulations before the snow ends Thursday night.

Temperatures will drop well below normal by the weekend. Right now it looks like other than a slight chance for light snow Friday night into Saturday, we will stay dry. But by early next week low temperatures will fall below zero, with wind chills perhaps approaching 20 below zero early in the morning. High temperatures will only reach the teens, while the normal high temperature for next week is in the middle 30s.

The latest outlook from the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center calls for a 70 percent or higher chance for below normal temperatures for much of the eastern half of the country through the first few days of March.

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