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Icy roads possible for Wednesday morning commute

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The National Weather Service has issued a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for Chippewa, Dunn, Eau Claire, Pepin, Pierce, and St. Croix Counties from 3 until 9 a.m. Wednesday morning. The main impact will be from freezing drizzle/rain causing ice to form on roads.

Travel will be difficult in the morning and while some roads may seem fine, others will be very slick. Conditions can change rapidly with temperatures close to freezing.

Give yourself extra time on the roads tomorrow so you can slow down and leave plenty of extra following room between you and the cars in front of you.

After the morning round of freezing rain/wintry mix, most of the precipitation looks to fall as snow, but some freezing rain and/or sleet could fall as precipitation starts early Wednesday morning. This should transition to all snow with some brief bursts of rain mixing in as temps warm to above freezing.

Snow will continue into Thursday morning before a wintry mix becomes possible again. The system should wrap up Friday mostly as snow, but temperatures will again be above freezing in the afternoon so some mix is possible.

As far as totals go, expect generally two to five inches in the Eau Claire area, though the best chance of three to six inches is further south and east. Places to the northwest will see much less precipitation, and by the end of it all the three day snow total looks to be less than two inches.

Usually these totals will result in a Winter Weather Advisory when forecast, but because it will take a couple days to add up, the rates won't be as heavy. Again, the Advisory is not in effect for the snow, it's in effect for the freezing rain/drizzle Wednesday morning.

Still, it'll be windy and that will cause blowing snow that will lower visibility so make sure to turn on your headlights when driving, and despite these lower totals the roads will still be slippery, especially in spots that get any freezing rain. Road conditions can rapidly change with temperatures toeing the freezing mark, so beware of roads in good conditions quickly becoming slippery.

Treat this as if it were a big system and give yourself more time to travel so you can slow down and leave more following distance.

Once this ends on Friday, expect temperatures to remain warm and above average through the weekend and into early next week with highs in the mid to upper 30s and lows in the 20s.

Matt Schaefer

Matt Schaefer was promoted to Chief Meteorologist in July of 2019 and has been our evening meteorologist for News 18 since June of 2016. Prior to that, he was our Saturday meteorologist starting in September 2014.

Matt was born and raised in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He enjoys all the extremes that mother nature throws at the Badger State: from severe thunderstorms to blizzards to subzero temperatures.

Matt studied meteorology in the Midwest as well, earning his Bachelor’s of Science in Meteorology at Valparaiso University in Indiana. There, Matt was heavily involved in VUTV Weather, the Valpo student chapter of AMS/NWA, and VUSIT (Valparaiso University Storm Intercept Team). He’s logged more than 20,000 miles chasing and studying severe storms all across the country and witnessed nine tornadoes including six in one day!

Matt describes himself as a Wisconsin boy at heart and enjoys cheering for the Packers, Brewers, Badgers, and Admirals just to name a few. He loves simply being outdoors and enjoys the Wisconsin wilderness especially in fall, and whitetail deer season!

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