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NWS precipitation 1-22-19

Just how big is this storm? When it runs from the Gulf Coast to Canada, it's big.

Dozens of schools and school districts in Wisconsin are getting the jump on a major winter storm heading this way, by cancelling classes and after school activities on Tuesday.

Upwards of 60 schools and districts are closed, from far southwest Wisconsin into the northern part of south-central Wisconsin.

The largest districts to close Tuesday included Platteville, Portage, Baraboo, Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin Dells and Sauk Prairie, according to the school closing list at Channel3000.com.

Schools that did open today might be closing early, so check with your respective school to see if it will be done early or go until the end of the school day.

For a current listing of school cancellations and early closings, go to https://wkow.com/closings/

Other events are also being canceled, including the Madison City Council meeting. The meeting will be held on Jan. 29.

No schools in the Madison area have closed. It's also the first day of spring semester classes at UW-Madison, and the campus is open.

Plows are already working streets in Madison to clear out snow left over from the storm that hit Friday night into Saturday, and the plows will keep at it on the salt routes when the snow starts.

Streets Division spokesman Bryan Johnson said 32 trucks will be sent out when the snow starts, with the routes including the main thoroughfares, bus routes and streets around schools and hospitals.

The plows will be on a "loop," so each plow will keep at it on each salt route. The salt routes take in about half of the city's traffic lane miles.

"We'll keep the routes open during the course of the storm," Johnson said. "It should be warmer, so it'll be easier to keep the mains clear."

A snow emergency has been declared in Madison for Tuesday night and Wednesday night, and two other snow emergencies have been declared, in Sun Prairie and Beloit.

In Madison, a snow emergency means alternate-side parking rules apply to all streets in the city, including the snow emergency zone encompassing Downtown and adjoining neighborhoods.

"Those who do not follow the alternate side parking rules may be ticketed and towed," according to the Madison Streets Division snow emergency notice issued shortly before 10 a.m.

Street parking Tuesday night is on the odd house-numbered side of the street and on the even house-number side of the street Wednesday night.

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Free parking is available in the cashiered sections in city-owned ramps Downtown, from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. each night. If you go into a ramp before 9 p.m. or leave after 7 a.m., you are liable for any parking charges before 9 or after 7.

City officials said don't park on the top level of parking ramps overnight, so crews can plow the areas. Free parking is also available at the Brittingham Park lot off of West Washington Avenue.

The Madison snow emergency zone map is available online.

The Sun Prairie snow emergency will begin at 3 p.m. Tuesday and continue to 3 p.m. Wednesday.

"Snow routes will be maintained as necessary Tuesday afternoon and evening, and a full plowing of the city is planned for the early morning hours on Wednesday," said Lee Igl, director of public works for Sun Prairie.

The Sun Prairie snow emergency means no parking is allowed on city streets for the duration of the emergency.

The Beloit snow emergency is similar, with the emergency running from 3 p.m. Tuesday to 3 p.m. Wednesday, and no parking allowed on city streets in that time period.

Johnson said even if there's no snow emergency called in Madison Tuesday night, it's a good idea for vehicles normally parking on the street Downtown to look at off-street options, so streets can be plowed more efficiently.

Elsewhere in Wisconsin as of 8 a.m. Tuesday, highways in northern parts of the state were snow covered or had slippery stretches, thanks to snow moving through the region, not part of the pending big storm.

Around La Crosse, light snow and fog/mist is being reported by the National Weather Service, making for some ice-covered highways in the region.

Up-to-the-minute road conditions in Wisconsin can be found on the state highway travel map, or by calling 511.

Since the Streets Division in Madison will be busy with the storm, large item and Christmas tree collection scheduled for Tuesday will be delayed.

Johnson said residents with large items or trees at curbside should make sure the items remain visible and not frozen into snowbanks so crews can collect them once the storm work is over.

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