UW-Madison officials have closed the campus to all but essential functions on Thursday. There will be no in-person final exams. Also, Governor Scott Walker has declared a state of emergency -- all ahead of a major winter storm that begins tonight.
Heavy snowfall is expected in much of the state tomorrow, with blizzard-like conditions in southern Wisconsin. A winter storm warning is in effect for much of the rest of the state, except the northwest.
Todd Pritchard, a spokesman with Wisconsin Emergency Management, says the storm may make travel virtually impossible in much of southern Wisconsin, and he says some power lines might even be knocked down. Prichard advises people to stop by the store tonight after work if they don't have enough food, medication, or other supplies to ride out the storm.
"I think we're looking at a really monster storm here," he says. "And we need to think about what if we have to just hunker down in our homes for the next 24 hours? Do we have the emergency supplies that we need to really to kind of make it though, and to help our family make it through that time?"
The National Weather Service has posted blizzard warnings for at least 20 southern Wisconsin counties tomorrow afternoon, with gusts of 35-to-45 mph. A winter storm warning is in effect tonight through tomorrow for much of the rest of the state, except the northwest.
National Weather Service meteorologist Ed Townsend in Sullivan says portions of southern Wisconsin could be buried.
"We're anticipating between 14-to-16 inches to 17 inches right about from LaFayette to Western Fond du Lac and Green Lake County."