The one thing we know for sure is that we’ll have snow by Saturday.
Exactly how much is less clear. But forecasters got into the storm-predicting spirit Thursday, and their forecasts grew more ominous by the hour.
Early in the day, National Weather Service forecasters in Sullivan predicted 3 to 5 inches of snow for Saturday.
By about noon Thursday, the range jumped to 4 to 6 inches, and by 3 p.m., National Weather Service meteorologist Benny Van Cleve said he was looking at 6 to 10 inches.
Regardless of how much snow we get—whether it’s 2 or 10 inches—it will be the first ordinary winter event this year.
Seriously, think about it: Kids did their trick-or-treating in the snow, but the weather was warm and the ground was bare for Christmas carolers.
But back to the forecast.
Van Cleve explained that he saw some variability in snowfall numbers—yes, we get that—and those numbers could continue to change as the storm moves in.
“Janesville is toward the southern end of the storm,” Van Cleve said.
The band of snow northwest of the city likely will bring more accumulation.
A triangular area in the southeastern corner of the state, running from the corner of Rock County to Milwaukee, likely will see mixed precipitation: snow, sleet and freezing rain.
Here’s how the storm is expected to play out:
It will start Friday evening and night with mixture of rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow. Up to an inch of accumulation is possible.
“Travel impacts will be possible,” the National Weather Service announced in a news release.
What forecasters mean is that roads could be as slippery as a bar of soap on the floor of the shower.
A second round of snow is expected Saturday afternoon and night.
“Potentially significant snow accumulations” are possible, the weather service said, and the snow could be “heavy at times.”
Gusty winds will cause blowing and drifting of snow, which makes Saturday a good night to stay home and play gin rummy.
That’s our suggestion, not the National Weather Service’s.
Sunday’s forecast shows things returning to normal, more or less. It will be mostly sunny with a high of 24 degrees, perfect weather for shoveling out the driveway and going sledding.