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Heavy Snow Moves Across Wisconsin After Sleet, Freezing Rain

Areas Of Northeastern Wisconsin Could Get Between 9 And 12 Inches Of Accumulation

Nick Olejniczak (CC-BY-NC)

A heavy band of snow is moving across Wisconsin on Thursday with parts of central and northeastern Wisconsin expected to get between 9 and 12 inches overnight. The snow follows periods of sleet and freezing rain across southern and central regions of the state.

Meteorologist Rod Swerman with the National Weather Service in La Crosse said a low-pressure system is moving through the central plains into northern Illinois and southeastern Wisconsin.

“North of the track of this low, there’s been a rather heavy band of snow develop that’s moving across the area now,” said Swerman.

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Snow has been moving across the state from the southwestern Wisconsin toward the northeastern part of the state, he said.

“The heaviest snow is going to be up in the northeastern third of the state, kind of north and east of Eau Claire, over toward Wausau and northeast of there up toward Rhinelander and Minocqua and those cities up in the north,” Swerman said. “They’re looking to get the most because it’s going to snow there the longest.”

La Crosse and Eau Claire are expected to get between 4 and 6 inches of snow by Thursday afternoon, according to the weather service, while Rhinelander is expected to get at least 9 inches. Far southeastern Wisconsin is experiencing rain Thursday. Swerman said that’s because the low-pressure system is pulling warm air into the region.

Dan Hekrdle, the street foreman for the city of Rhinelander, said his 14-man crew just finished up clearing snow from another snowstorm Tuesday.

“We’re expecting 10 to 12 inches coming and it looks like it will be a span between now and 12 o’clock tomorrow,” said Hekrdle. “It looks like it will be hard from time to time … hard snow. So, they’re talking about possibly an inch per hour.”

Hekrdle said he’ll have plows clearing main roadways and steep hills throughout the night and will bring in the rest of his crew at 2 a.m. to begin clearing side streets and parking lots.

According to the Wisconsin 511, the state’s real-time travel information website, Interstate 39 and U.S. Highway 151 had slippery stretches covered as of 1 p.m. The Wisconsin State Patrol said that at 1:15 p.m., there had been more than 40 calls for assistance to motorists that had either crashed or slid off the road.