April 1 snow storm hits northern Wisconsin


Old Man Winter got the last laugh on April 1 when northern Wisconsin was hit with an April Fool’s Day snow storm. On March 31, 2023, Friday’s day of rain turned to snow in the night, dumping about a foot of snow on the city of Merrill by the time it stopped around 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, with higher snowfall amounts going north. For the first time many residents could remember, a portion of Hwy. 51 was entirely closed. Northbound and southbound lanes of Hwy. 51 were closed at approximately 2:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 1, between Lincoln Cty. Hwy. K and U.S. Hwy. 8 because of snowy/icy road conditions and impassable roads, and after numerous vehicles were disabled between Hwy. J and Hwy. S.
The sun came out late morning to begin warming up the temps, and just as that sun was peaking out, some residents in the city lost internet service. That was around 10:15 a.m. Power outages also affected some Merrill and area residents at varying times during the storm, but most had power restored by the end of the day on Saturday.
Around mid-morning on Saturday, both northbound and southbound lanes of Hwy. 51 were re-opened to traffic, except that northbound motorists still needed to exit the highway at the Hwy. S off ramp near Tomahawk and get back on the Hwy. S on ramp to drive around a disabled semi. That semi was removed and that section of Hwy. 51 re-opened at 12:51 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.
Final snowfall totals were reported to be 4.0” in Wausau, 12.0” in Merrill, 13.5” in Irma, 16.0” in Minocqua, and 17.0” in Tomahawk with snow depths increasing even more in some areas to the northeast.
Yes, March 2023 definitely went out like a lion.

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