Winter storm drops up to 16 inches of snow in the Northwoods

A slow-moving, low-pressure system moving through the Midwest sparked a few tornadoes in southern Wisconsin and dropped over a foot of snow in some parts of the Northwoods on Friday night and Saturday morning.

The same kind of instability "with a lot of vertical motion" in this large system caused both the heavy snow and the tornadoes, said Timm Uhlmann, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Green Bay. "The main difference (between kinds of storms) was in how the winds changed and what the temperature profile is."

Here are the latest reported snowfall totals from the National Weather Service:

  • Armstrong Creek: 18 inches

  • Ashwaubenon: 0.6 inches

  • Florence: 15.8 inches

  • Hazelhurst: 16.3 inches

  • Medford: 5 inches

  • Neillsville: 1 inch

  • Plover: 1.8 inches

  • Rhinelander: 13.8 inches

  • Stratford: 2 inches

  • Tomahawk: 11 inches

  • Wausaukee: 6 inches

The storm also caused outages across the state, leaving over 13,000 Wisconsinites without power as of 4 p.m. Saturday. Most outages were in northern and northeastern Wisconsin.

Wintry weather continued through Saturday morning

A winter weather advisory was in effect for Door, Waupaca, Outagamie, and Brown counties until 1 p.m. Further west, a winter storm warning was in effect until 1 p.m. for Menominee, Oconto, Marathon, Shawano, Wood, Portage and southern Marinette counties.

The wintry weather also made travel conditions hazardous Saturday morning. According to, major highways north of a line from Sheboygan to La Crosse were slippery and snow-covered early Saturday morning.

North of Green Bay and Eau Claire, travel conditions were more dangerous, with many major highways covered in snow and ice. Two major highways were closed until 10:30 a.m. Saturday: State 101 from Armstrong Creek to Florence and U.S. 151 from Merrill to U.S. 8.

The wind gusts were also expected to cause blowing snow, reducing visibility. However, these winds are expected "to die down pretty quickly" by Saturday afternoon and evening, Uhlmann said, leading "a fairly cold night" with temperatures in the single digits in the Northwoods.

Outside of Wisconsin, the storm system generated at least 40 confirmed tornadoes Friday. These storms killed seven people and devastated communities in Arkansas, Iowa, Tennessee, Illinois and Mississippi. A theater roof collapsed near Rockford, Ill., killing one and injuring at least 40 concertgoers.

Wisconsin weather radar

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Rebecca Loroff is a breaking and trending news reporter for USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin. Contact her at

This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Wisconsin storm drops 16 inches of snow in Northwoods