Storm Events Database

Event Details

Event Blizzard
State WISCONSIN
County/Area COLUMBIA
WFO MKX
Begin Date 02/01/2011 19:00:00 CST-6
End Date 02/02/2011 04:00:00 CST-6
Deaths Direct/Indirect 0/0 (fatality details below, when available...)
Injuries Direct/Indirect 0/0
Property Damage 10.00K
Crop Damage 0.00K
Episode Narrative A powerful low pressure center, passing south of Wisconsin, produced blizzard conditions across much of southern Wisconsin from the evening hours of Tuesday, February 1st into the early morning of Wednesday, February 2nd. Snow associated with the system began in the mid-afternoon hours of February 1st in far southern Wisconsin and became heavy as it pushed northward into the state through the evening. Very strong winds were associated with this storm for an extended period of time. Sustained winds of 30 to 40 mph were common through the event, with peak wind gusts between 45 and 50 mph. The combination of high winds and heavy snow created widespread sustained visibilities of less than 1/4 mile, with frequent whiteout conditions and near zero visibilities. Twenty-four hour snowfall totals were between 12 and 14 inches, with 14.5 inches of snow measured in Middleton, 12.7 inches recorded at Dane County Regional Airport, 12.2 inches in Portage and 12 inches in Mineral Point. In addition to the snow that fell during the blizzard, several inches of snow fell on Jan 31. It's possible that some locations did not see a break in snowfall between the evening of January 31st and the morning of February 2nd. Many cooperative observer stations set records for multi-day snowfall totals. Stoughton tied a record with a one-day (2/1) snowfall of 14 inches, and set new two-day (1/31-2/1) and three-day (1/31-2/2) record snowfalls with 19.1 inches for each period. Snow drifts of 3 to 6 feet were common, with reports of some drifts reaching 12 to 15 feet in open rural areas. Drifting snow closed county roads, with many stranded motorists having to be rescued from vehicles buried in the drifting snow. About 100 National Guardsman were mobilized statewide in response to Gov. Scott Walker's emergency declaration for 29 counties to help rescue motorists and run emergency shelters at armories. The blizzard led to early dismissals on February 1st at many area schools, and kept them closed through February 3rd. Snow drifted up to the roof of the Yahara Elementary School in De Forest (Dane County). The strong, gusty winds sheared off the sign at a Super 8 motel in Columbus in Columbia County.
Event Narrative


All events for this episode:

Location County/Zone St. Date Time T.Z. Type Mag Dth Inj PrD CrD
Totals: 0 0 10.00K 0.00K
IOWA (ZONE) IOWA (ZONE) WI 02/01/2011 19:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
DANE (ZONE) DANE (ZONE) WI 02/01/2011 19:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
COLUMBIA (ZONE) COLUMBIA (ZONE) WI 02/01/2011 19:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 10.00K 0.00K
Totals: 0 0 10.00K 0.00K