Heavy snow tapers but difficult driving remains

NORTHEAST WISCONSIN (WBAY) - Those winter weather driving skills are essential Wednesday even after heavy snow tapers off and winds diminish.

Snowfall totals as of 8:30 p.m. show as much as 10 inches of snow fell in Oconto County and 9 inches in Brown County. The Green Bay area received a blanket of snow 6 to 7 1/2 inches thick.

Click here for winter weather warnings and advisories and what that means for you.

StormCenter 2 Meteorologist Brad Spakowitz says winds were starting to diminish, which would make visibility better at night. But caution is urged with snow-packed and slippery roads, especially the secondary roads.

Green Bay Police say a 24-hour tow ban is in effect for I-41 and I-43. That means authorities have deemed conditions too hazardous to remove vehicles in the ditch until Wednesday.

There were numerous reports of cars in ditches, crashes, and slowdowns during the storm.

Brown County responded to more than 60 weather traffic incidents and vehicles in the ditch between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

Outagamie County reported 33 calls since 3 a.m., mostly north of Appleton.

Winnebago County had eight crashes and four calls of vehicle in the ditch since 5:45 a.m.

Action 2 News reporter Andrea Hay said Highway 29 was "very icy."

At the peak, we reported 152 closings, early dismissals and activity cancellations by Northeast Wisconsin schools, businesses, churches and community organizations.

Click here for WBAY's closing announcements page

StormCenter 2 Forecast:
Snowpacked roads will make travel slow and slippery through tonight. Winds could gust from 25-35 mph this evening, so watch for blowing and drifting snow in addition to those slick spots.

The wind should let up overnight, but chills should still be below 0 to begin Thursday. Look for a mix of sun and clouds Thursday with occasional snow flurries. Steadier snow showers may develop overnight, and scattered light snow can be expected Friday. Temperatures will remain chilly with highs in the lower 20s Thursday and Friday. Lows on those nights should be in the teens. Temperatures should be slightly milder over the weekend.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation says these are the do's and don'ts for winter driving:

--Clear all snow and ice from windows and lights
--Leave plenty of room for stopping
--Leave plenty of room for plows
--Brake early
--Don't use cruise control
--Don't pump anti-lock brakes
--Don't "get overconfident in 4x4 vehicles"

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School closings on wbay.com: http://www.wbay.com/weather/closings

Timesaver Traffic: http://www.wbay.com/weather