Leap Day will not soon be forgotten in northern Wisconsin, where up to 23-inches of snow closed schools and caused thousands to lose their power.
Numerous precipitation records were broken statewide for a day that only happens once every four years. Crandon had 23-inches of snow, and Minocqua had 21. Seventeen inches of snow fell near Phillips and Medford. Merrill, Lake Tomahawk and Bruce had 16. Jump River in Taylor County had 15 inches. Many of other parts of the north had over a foot. Most of the state’s mid-section had four-inches of snow or less, but rain-and-freezing rain was mixed in – and it made for back-breaking shoveling.
Southern Wisconsin had rain and thunderstorms with a little snow late in the day. Lightning ruptured an underground gas main in Verona, but no one was hurt. Milwaukee and Madison both set rainfall records for February 29th with around a half-inch. The Wisconsin Public Service utility had over 14-thousand customers without power, mainly because the wet heavy snow snapped or sagged power lines. And winds up to 45-miles-an-hour didn’t help. By 2:45 this morning, only about 160 Public Service customers were still waiting to get their electricity back. And the only place where it was still snowing was in Ashland, which had almost 16-inches by last evening. Dan Clark of the National Weather Service said the storm stood out in what’s been a quote, “easy winter.”
Some of the snow is due to melt today, as temperatures get above freezing statewide with highs in the 30’s-and-40’s. More mixed precipitation is due in tomorrow.