MILWAUKEE — A powerful winter storm packing a mix of rain, sleet and snow barreled into Wisconsin Thursday, knocking out power and making roads slippery.
The Wisconsin Emergency Operations Center said the storm could dump 15 to 18 inches of snow in parts of northwestern Wisconsin by Friday morning.
As of Thursday evening, Webb Lake had received 3.6 inches of snow. But National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Huyck said snow rates could reach an inch an hour later Thursday and overnight.
Strong wind gusts of 35 to 45 mph were expected to create whiteout conditions into Friday morning in northwestern Wisconsin.
Snow-covered roads were making travel hazardous in northwestern Wisconsin, the state Department of Transportation reported. Roads are ice-covered in central Wisconsin.
Southern Wisconsin is expected to see lower snow totals of 1 to 4 inches by Friday morning, but strong winds gusting up to 60 mph may make driving hazardous. Some areas were reporting heavy rain and hail Thursday night, and minor street flooding is possible, the Wisconsin Emergency Operations Center said.
As of 7 p.m. about 440 homes and businesses were without power across Wisconsin.
Cold weather will return after the storm passes, with temperatures falling below zero Saturday morning, Huyck said.
"We're kind of oscillating between cold and snowy," Huyck said. "We get our choice — we can either have snow and heavy snow or cold. At least that's the way it's working out this winter."