February 23-25, 2007 Winter Storm/Blizzard

South central and southeast Wisconsin experienced two rounds of hazardous winter weather during the weekend of February 23-25, 2007...or Friday evening the 23rd through early Sunday morning the 25th.

Round 1- Winter Storm occurred Friday night into early Saturday morning...6 PM Friday To 6 AM Saturday

Ahead of a developing low pressure system over the Rocky Mountains, snow spread across south central and southeast Wisconsin right after sunset Friday.  Accumulations ranged from 2 to 5 inches south of State Highway 18.  North of Highway 18, winter storm conditions developed.  Accumulations ranged from 5 to 8.5 inches.  This snow was more on the dry side with snow to water ratios of 13 to 15 to 1.  For reference, a 10 to 1 ratio means that one inch of snow would melt to .10 inch of liquid.   A lower ratio means a wetter snow, a higher ratio means a drier snow.

Snowfall Friday night, February 23-25
Snowfall Friday Night

6 PM Fri - 6 AM Sat

The maximum accumulation of 8.5 inches occurred in Germantown and a couple of miles south of Berlin in eastern Green Lake county.  Milwaukee's Mitchell International Airport measured 4.7 inches and Madison's Truax Field measured 7.0 inches.

Round 2- Blizzard occurred Saturday night into early Sunday...6 PM Saturday to 4 AM Sunday

As the strong low pressure system moved from Kansas through northern Missouri to western Illinois, BLIZZARD conditions developed between 6 PM and 8 PM across most of south central and southeast Wisconsin. The blizzard conditions persisted, especially in open areas, through about 1 AM to 4 AM Sunday, February 25th. 

Blizzard conditions were not observed in the counties of Racine and Kenosha.  Additionally, blizzard conditions were not observed within 5 miles of the Lake Michigan shoreline in the counties of Sheboygan, Ozaukee and Milwaukee.

Periods of moderate to heavy snow and thundersnow, along with east winds frequently gusting to 35 to 45 mph, created the blizzard conditions.  Visibilities were frequently reduced to 1/8 to 1/4 mile, especially in open areas.  Snow drifts of 1 to 4 feet in height developed on some roads, and there were other reports of 5 to 7 foot drifts in some yards.


7' Snow Drift in Beaver Dam 

Snow accumulations from 6 PM Saturday to 6 AM Sunday, in those areas that experienced blizzard conditions, ranged from 6 to 12.5 inches.  The snow was heavy and wet.  The 12.5 inches was measured at the NWS Forecast Office about 3 miles southeast of the village of Sullivan in eastern Jefferson county.

Snowfall Saturday Night
Snowfall Saturday Night
6 PM Sat - 6 AM Sun
2 Day Snowfall Total
2 Day Total

6 PM Fri - 6 AM Mon
3 Day Snowfall Total
3 Day Total

6 PM Fri - 6 AM Tue

Blizzard conditions were observed in the western parts of Sheboygan, Ozaukee and Milwaukee counties.  However, snow and sleet accumulations within a couple of miles of the Lake Michigan shoreline in these counties only ranged from 1 to 3 inches.

A mixture of snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain occurred in the counties of Raince and Kenosha where only winter storm conditions developed.  Snow and sleet accumulations in those two counties ranged from an inch along the Lake Michigan shoreline to 6 inches well inland.  The reason blizzard conditions were not observed in these two counties was because of the sleet, rain and freezing rain that was mixed in with the snow.  The mixed precipitation kept visibilities in the 1 to 2 mile range in these counties, which is above the 1/4 mile blizzard criteria.

Peak wind gusts Saturday night include 47 MPH at Racine, 44 MPH at Milwaukee, 40 MPH at Mineral Point, 39 MPH at Janesville, 38 MPH at Madison, 38 MPH at Sheboygan and 38 MPH at Monroe.

The wind gusts and visibilities did meet or exceed blizzard criteria Saturday night for 6 to 9 hours.

Below are a few images of how this snow impacted the NWS Milwaukee/Sullivan office.  Drifting snow to 3 1/2 feet blocked the entrance to our office.  Forecasters and other members of the staff were stranded at the office due to the hazardous road conditions across rural Jefferson county.  Sleeping quarters were set up in our conference room.

Snowfall around office
Snowfall Behind Office
snowfall at entrance to office
Snowfall At Entrance

Camp MKX
Camp MKX

At about 3 AM to 4 AM Sunday morning, the wind gusts diminished below blizzard criteria and as a result, visibilities in open areas improved above blizzard criteria.  At that point, the blizzard warning was changed to a winter storm warning.

...HOW A BLIZZARD IS DEFINED...

   - FOR 3 HOURS OR MORE...
         - SUSTAINED WINDS OR FREQUENT WIND GUSTS 35 MPH OR HIGHER
         - VISIBILITIES FREQUENTLY BELOW 1/4 MILE
         - FALLING SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW...OR JUST BLOWING SNOW

Note that temperatures and snow accumulation are not considered in the definition of a blizzard.

Below is a text listing of storm total snow amounts from 6 PM Friday through 7 AM Monday. These amounts were taken from a combination of Cooperative Observer, Ham Radio Operator, Trained Spotter and Public reports.

County Location Snowfall (in.)
ADAMS BIG FLATS-2 E-HAM 17.5
ADAMS FRIENDSHIP 16.9
ADAMS MONROE CENTER-1 E-HAM 16.0
ADAMS         FRIENDSHIP 10NE      19.0
ASHLAND LA POINTE-MADELINE IS. 4.5
BARRON CUMBERLAND-HAM 9.0
BAYFIELD PORT WING-3 E 6.3
BROWN G. BAY-SO.-ALLOUEZ-HAM 13.0
BROWN GREEN BAY-AIRPORT 13.8
BROWN SUAMICO-3 SW 11.9
BUFFALO MONDOVI-6 S 17.9
BUFFALO       BUFFALO CITY         21.0
BUFFALO       COCHRANE             21.0
CALUMET BRILLION-WWTP 9.0
CALUMET CHILTON-WWTP 10.4
CALUMET MENASHA-EAST 10.8
CHIPPEWA BLOOMER 7.0
CHIPPEWA CADOTT-HAM 12.0
CHIPPEWA CHIPPEWA FALLS-SW 8.5
CHIPPEWA JIM FALLS-3NW 9.0
CHIPPEWA STANLEY 11.4
CLARK HATFIELD-2 N 11.2
CLARK         OWEN                 12.6
COLUMBIA ARLINGTON-UW FARM 15.0
COLUMBIA PARDEEVILLE-7 N-HAM 17.0
COLUMBIA PORTAGE-3 SE 15.7
COLUMBIA PORTAGE-WWTP 16.0
COLUMBIA POYNETTE-7 WNW-LK WIS. 19.0
COLUMBIA WISCONSIN DELLS-HAM 20.5
CRAWFORD GAYS MILLS 15.9
CRAWFORD STEUBEN-4 SE 14.9
DANE BLACK EARTH 14.7
DANE COTTAGE GROVE 13.5
DANE DE FOREST-HAM 16.8
DANE MADISON-AIRPORT 15.7
DANE MADISON-EAST-HAM 18.0
DANE MADISON-SW-NAKOMA-HAM 14.8
DANE MIDDLETON 18.6
DANE MT. HOREB-1 S-WWTP 15.9
DANE SUN PRAIRIE-4 NNE 17.0
DODGE B DAM-TOWN OF WESTFORD 19.1
DODGE CLYMAN-UTILITY 11.1
DODGE HORICON-WWTP 14.0
DODGE HUSTISFORD-SOUTH-WWTP 11.0
DODGE WATERTOWN-WEST-HAM 15.8
DOOR CARLSVILLE-2 NW 18.9
DOOR EPHRAIM-1 NE-WWTP 16.0
DOOR EPHRAIM-5 SE-NORTH BAY 12.0
DOOR FORESTVILLE-4 E 15.2
DOOR WASHINGTON ISLAND 7.5
DUNN 1 S CONNORSVILLE 14.0
EAU CLAIRE ALTOONA-HAM 8.0
EAU CLAIRE EAU CLAIRE-4 SW-HAM 10.5
EAU CLAIRE EAU CLAIRE-N.WEST-HAM 8.0
FLORENCE AURORA 9.2
FLORENCE LONG LAKE-3 NE 9.6
FOND DU LAC CAMPBELLSPORT-5W-ASHFD 16.5
FOND DU LAC NORTH FOND DU LAC-HAM 20.0
FOND DU LAC TAYCHEEDAH-ST. PETER 15.8
FOREST ARGONNE-2 NW 10.0
FOREST CRANDON-METONGA LAKE 6.7
GRANT         CUBA CITY              9.4
GRANT         MUSCODA 6S           13.4
GREEN MONROE-WWTP 10.0
JACKSON TAYLOR 13.1
JEFFERSON FORT ATKINSON-SW-WWTP 11.6
JEFFERSON JEFFERSON-WWTP 12.3
JEFFERSON SULLIVAN-3 SE-NWS 16.7
JEFFERSON WATERLOO-WWTP 15.4
JEFFERSON WATERTOWN-WWTP 14.4
JEFFERSON WHITEWATER-WWTP 12.0
JUNEAU        MAUSTON              21.0
JUNEAU        NECEDAH              16.0
KENOSHA 6 NW KENOSHA 9.5
KENOSHA PADDOCK LAKE-WWTP 8.6
KEWAUNEE CASCO 13.5
LA CROSSE LA CROSSE-4NW-FRENCH I 21.5
LA CROSSE LA CROSSE-AIRPORT 21.0
LA CROSSE LA CROSSE-NWS-RIDGE 22.4
LA CROSSE     HOLMEN 2S            21.0
LA CROSSE     LA CROSSE 5SE        19.8
LA CROSSE     MINDORO              16.0
LA CROSSE     WEST SALEM           23.9
LAFAYETTE ARGYLE 10.5
LANGLADE ELCHO 7.2
LINCOLN MERRILL-NORTHEAST-HAM 9.0
LINCOLN TOMAHAWK-BRADLEY-RICE 3.8
MANITOWOC FRANCIS CREEK 12.0
MANITOWOC MANITOWOC-SOUTH 15.6
MANITOWOC ST. NAZIANZ-2 W 11.7
MANITOWOC VALDERS 13.5
MARATHON COLBY-5 NE 9.4
MARATHON MOSINEE-2 N-HAM 12.0
MARATHON MOSINEE-5 SW-HAM 11.0
MARATHON ROSHOLT-9 NE-GALLOWAY 14.8
MARATHON SPENCER-WWTP 10.0
MARINETTE AMBERG-9 E 10.0
MARINETTE ATHELSTANE-2 SE 11.6
MARINETTE PESHTIGO-WWTP 13.0
MILWAUKEE HALES CORNERS-WHITNALL 12.6
MILWAUKEE MILWAUKEE-MITCHELL FLD 11.6
MILWAUKEE MILWAUKEE-MT MARY COLL 11.9
MILWAUKEE WAUWATOSA 13.5
MILWAUKEE WEST ALLIS 13.8
MONROE WARRENS-4 SW 19.0
MONROE        FOUR CORNERS         20.0
MONROE        WARRENS 5WSW         19.0
MONROE        WILTON 3E            17.0
OCONTO ABRAMS-4 W 10.0
OCONTO PULASKI-WWTP 9.8
OCONTO SURING-WWTP 9.0
ONEIDA MINOCQUA-7 W 3.8
ONEIDA RHINELANDER-MIDGET LK 6.5
OUTAGAMIE APPLETON-NORTHWEST 11.0
OUTAGAMIE KIMBERLY 12.9
OUTAGAMIE SHIOCTON-UTILITY 14.0
OZAUKEE CEDARBURG-LAKEFIELD 19.0
OZAUKEE PT. WASHINGTON-WWTP 14.2
OZAUKEE SAUKVILLE-2 N 13.0
PORTAGE AMHERST-3 SE 18.5
PORTAGE PLOVER-HAM 13.6
PRICE PHILLIPS-SOUTH-HAM 3.6
RACINE ROCHESTER-1 S-WWTP 11.7
RACINE UNION GROVE-WWTP 11.0
RICHLAND      RICHLAND CENTER      14.7
ROCK BELOIT-9 NW 9.0
ROCK BELOIT-COLLEGE 13.3
ROCK CLINTON-WWTP 11.0
ROCK JANESVILLE-NE-HAM 13.0
SAUK BARABOO-WWTP 14.1
SAUK LA VALLE-4N-REDSTONE L 17.5
SAUK LA VALLE-FIRE 18.0
SAUK REEDSBURG-1 NNE 20.0
SHAWANO PELLA-3 SE 8.0
SHEBOYGAN 5 WSW HOWARDS GROVE 12.1
SHEBOYGAN ELKHART LAKE 11.9
SHEBOYGAN HINGHAM-WWTP 13.3
SHEBOYGAN HOWARDS GROVE-5 NW-ADA 13.0
SHEBOYGAN RANDOM LAKE 20.0
SHEBOYGAN SHEBOYGAN-SOUTH 6.2
SHEBOYGAN SHEBOYGAN-SOUTHWEST 6.8
ST. CROIX BALDWIN 12.0
ST. CROIX ROBERTS 13.9
STEARNS ST CLOUD 13.0
TAYLOR        MEDFORD                9.3
TREMPEALEAU OSSEO 15.3
TREMPEALEAU   ARCADIA              20.5
TREMPEALEAU   BLAIR                14.7
TREMPEALEAU   ETTRICK              21.9
TREMPEALEAU   GALESVILLE 1S        25.0
VERNON HILLSBORO-WWTP 15.5
VERNON STODDARD-3 NE 19.8
VERNON        COON VALLEY          20.6
VERNON        LA FARGE             14.2
VERNON        ONTARIO              24.0
VERNON        VIROQUA              16.0
VERNON        WESTBY               19.3
VILAS BOULDER JUNCTION-2 N 6.1
VILAS CONOVER-2 SE 7.9
VILAS EAGLE RIVER-SOUTH 6.5
VILAS LAND O LAKES-10 W 4.6
VILAS PHELPS-WWTP 8.0
VILAS ST. GERMAIN-2 E-WVIC 5.1
WALWORTH DELAVAN-HAM 13.2
WALWORTH GENOA CITY-4 W 9.9
WALWORTH PELL LAKE-1 SE-WWTP 8.8
WASHBURN SARONA-HAM 7.0
WASHINGTON ALLENTON-WWTP 21.0
WASHINGTON GERMANTOWN-WWTP 16.4
WASHINGTON JACKSON 20.0
WASHINGTON WAYNE-2 SW 14.6
WASHINGTON WEST BEND-2 SW-HAM 15.0
WASHINGTON WEST BEND-FIRE 14.0
WAUKESHA 1 W DELAFIELD 17.4
WAUKESHA 3 S WAUKESHA 16.5
WAUKESHA BROOKFIELD-WEST-WWTP 12.0
WAUKESHA MERTON-1 N-LAKE KEESUS 16.0
WAUKESHA OCONOMOWOC-WEST-WWTP 15.4
WAUPACA WAUPACA-3 SW-KING 20.0
WAUSHARA WAUTOMA-4 N 16.6
WINNEBAGO NEENAH-EAST 12.5
WINNEBAGO OSHKOSH-NORTH 14.0
WOOD WIS. RAPIDS-POWER 15.0
WOOD WIS. RAPIDS-SOUTHEAST 15.7



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