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Heavy snow and strong winds lead to near whiteout conditions Friday night

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Temperatures started below 0 again Friday morning and as cloud cover moves in, temperatures will climb into the 20's ahead of our winter storm.

A WINTER STORM WARNING has been issued for all counties from Friday Jan. 17th at 2 pm until Saturday Jan 18th. at 6 pm.

Timing: Around 2 pm snow will start in far western Wisconsin making it's way into Eau Claire around 4 pm. Heavy snowfall rates of 1-2 inches per hour will persist through midnight before a lull in the action. Another strong burst is expected early Saturday before it all tapers off through midday.

Totals: Snowfall accumulations will be greatest near the Minnesota border and west of the Twin Cities. 7 to 9 inches with isolated higher amounts will be possible there. In and around Eau Claire 6 to 8 inches will be likely with totals closer to the lower end in our east and southern counties.

Winds: Winds will increase into the 10 to 20 mph range overnight Friday and Saturday there will be gusts upwards of 35 mph. That's near blizzard strength.

Visibility: Whiteout conditions will be possible during the heaviest snowfall. Generally, visibility will be between 1/4 and 1 mile. Saturday, visibility will vary due to strong wind gusts blowing snow.

Travel impacts: Travel is not advised Friday evening through Saturday afternoon. Snow covered roads will lead to very slippery conditions. Snowfall rates will make it difficult for road crews to keep roads clear. Strong wind gusts will lead to blowing and drifting that could block roadways.

Forecast beyond this system: Quiet weather returns with bitter arctic air for the first half of next week before temperatures climb back towards and above average. Light snow chances pop up Thursday.

Your Stormtracker 18 Weather team will keep you updated with the latest information on air, at the weather page, and through the free WQOW Stormtracker 18 weather app.

Meteorologist Jess Langlois will be tracking the system and commute conditions tonight at Live at Five as well as our 6PM and 10PM Reports.

Latest updates on social media:

Stormtracker 18 Weather Facebook Page

Justin Esterly WQOW Facebook Page

Important Links:

For the latest interactive radar, click HERE.

For the latest school and organization closings, click HERE.

For the latest road conditions and DOT camera views, click HERE.

Justin Esterly

Justin Esterly is our Daybreak meteorologist. Justin joined WQOW News 18 in May 2018.

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