Less than 10,000 without power as temperatures plunge

Hope Karnopp
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Most of Wisconsin is under a wind chill advisory until noon Monday, with wind chills dropping to 20 or 34 degrees below zero.

As the temperatures plunged Sunday, less than 10,000 We Energies customers were without power as of Sunday night. The good news is that power is expected to be restored to nearly all customers by the end of the day with the rest getting power by Monday morning, the utility said.

On Sunday, Milwaukee will see a high of around 3 degrees, with wind chills between -15 and -25 degrees. Sunday night will bring a low of -9 degrees, with -15 and -25 degree wind chills.

And on Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the high will be around 2 degrees and bring similar wind chills. Tuesday's high will also be in the single digits.

Wind chills at this level can cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes, according to the National Weather Service, and you should limit your time outdoors.

"Bodies generate a layer of heat, right along our skin," said Marcia Cronce, a National Weather Service meteorologist. "If the wind blows that warmth away from us, we feel cold. That's the concept of wind chill."

Winds are expected to diminish on Wednesday, but breezy conditions will remain. The high will get out of the single digits and reach about 13 degrees.

More:Bitter cold will engulf Wisconsin starting Saturday night. Near zero temperatures will remain through Tuesday.

Dress in layers, have a winter weather kit in your car, keep pets safe

What should you do to stay safe in this bitterly cold weather? Cronce suggested a few reminders.

Dress in layers and cover exposed skin. Have a winter weather kit in your car with extra blankets, hats and mittens. And wear your coat, even if you're getting into your car in a warm garage.

Don't forget your pets. Make sure they're in a warm and dry place with plenty of food and water.

And be aware of the signs of frostbite and hypothermia. For frostbite, skin may turn white or grayish-yellow, and could feel unusually firm or waxy. Signs of hypothermia include shivering, exhaustion and confusion.

Most We Energies customers will have power by tonight, warming areas available

As of Sunday at 11 p.m., We Energies reported 9,985 customers without power in Wisconsin, with 633 outages. The outage map is available here.

The company says they are on track to restore 98% of customers by the end of Sunday. Slick roads and windy conditions are impacting technicians, We Energies said.

If your power is out and temperatures are falling in your home, you can call 211 to find warming shelters in your area. In Milwaukee, those include:

A warming shelter opened at 4 p.m. on Saturday at the Waukesha County Expo Center. About 27 residents were at the center by 7 a.m. on Sunday. Doors closed by 6 p.m. on Sunday. The center will not be open overnight and the remaining residents have been relocated.

More:Waukesha opens Expo Center as warming facility. Customers scramble for generators, snow blowers.

Not much snow overnight, very light snow possible Wednesday night and Thursday

Any snow that fell overnight on Saturday was very light, and windy conditions made it impossible to measure.

Snow totals from this week reached above 17 inches in some parts of Wisconsin. The NWS' snow totals map is available here.

Apart from harsh wind chills, it's unlikely we'll get much more snow this week. There's a chance of snow showers or flurries Wednesday night through Thursday, but it would be "exceptionally light," Cronce said.

Steam rises from Lake Michigan due to warm water temperatures

Communities along Lake Michigan might see steam fog — a phenomenon that results from cold air moving over warmer air rising up from the body of water.

Videos posted on X (formerly Twitter) show cloud-like formations on Lake Michigan, from Sheboygan down to Chicago.

Parts of I-43 have snow and ice, Milwaukee parking rules still in effect tonight

Road conditions are good on most major highways in Wisconsin, though there are some slippery stretches around Sheboygan and Kohler.

As of Sunday afternoon, the stretch of I-43 from the River Hills area through Knellsville is snow-covered, and ice-covered from Cedar Grove through Newton. There are also slippery stretches around the Kellogg's Corners and Sturtevant areas.

On Saturday evening, the City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works said they were working to address side streets overnight.

"In addition to clearing streets, crews are also responding to emergency tree calls," the department said. "We can only prioritize imminent danger and risk to public safety calls at this time, such as a tree or unmovable limb blocking a street."

Residents dealing with those issues can call 286-CITY for the quickest response, the department said.

A snow emergency remains in effect until 6:00 a.m. Monday morning. No parking is allowed on main streets and alternate side parking is in effect on side streets after 10:00 p.m. tonight.

Jessica Rodriguez contributed to this report.