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Winter weather tightens its grip
Times photo: Anthony Wahl Monroe Middle School students Thomas Pecora, left, and Alex Tordoff catch some air while sledding in fresh snow Monday night.
MONROE - Another blast of winter, in the form of three to five inches of blowing snow, prompted area schools to close early Monday and made for a slippery commute.

By about 3 p.m., Dallas Cecil, Green County Highway Commissioner, said the blowing winds had stopped - at least for a little while. That's when crews usually pick up the pace.

"They're salting again, and seeing some action," he said.

In Lafayette County, Tom Jean, highway commissioner, said the winds there died down about 2 p.m.

"We thought it was clearing out, but then it built back up again and we're in for another two to three hours (of snow) again," he said.

Jean said chip mix was being applied on hills intersections and corners to counter slippery conditions.

Despite road conditions he described as "snow-covered and slippery," Al Douglas, of A1's Towing in Darlington, said he hadn't seen that much of an uptick in business early Monday night.

"Maybe they are finally getting the hang," of winter driving, said Douglas.

Monroe School District announced - at about 11 a.m. - that it was releasing students early.

Other areas schools, including Darlington, Belleville and Albany, made announcements at about 10 a.m. that students would be released 1 to 3 hours early. Snow plows were out all day Monday battling the fresh snow, and Cecil said Green County crews would be at it again early Tuesday. A National Weather Service advisory remained in effect until 3 a.m. Tuesday for moderate snow during the day, and turning lighter at the night, for southwest Wisconsin and northeast Iowa. Southerly winds, gusting up to 25 miles per hour, reduced visibility to one and one-half miles or less at times on Monday. The winds produced drifting snow, and slick roads. Today's forecast calls for diminishing snow but sharply colder temperatures are likely on the way as the storm system moves east, and high pressure builds in behind it.