Super Tuesday weather could snarl vote

(AP) Another punch of snow loomed over the northern Midwest while thunderstorms crashed through the interior Southeast early Tuesday, potentially hampering voting in many of the states holding primaries and caucuses.

The heaviest snow on Super Tuesday was to sock Colorado, the northern Plains and the Great Lakes by nightfall. Rain and thunderstorms were to splash the southern Plains, the Mississippi and Ohio valleys, the Appalachians and portions of the Northeast.

The forecast Tuesday for Wisconsin ran the gamut _ including a dense fog advisory in the south and southeast regions, a winter storm warning in those areas through Wednesday afternoon and a winter storm watch for parts of the southwest into Wednesday morning.

"We're expecting for the Milwaukee area anywhere between 9 and 11 inches," said J.J. Wood, a National Weather Service meteorologist. He said up to 10 inches was expected in a swath from southwest Wisconsin through the Madison area up toward Port Washington.

Several inches of snow fell in central and northern Wisconsin Monday and caused some high school basketball and hockey games to be canceled along with other events. A gymnastics meet at Mosinee was among the sports events called off because of the weather.

The snow triggered a rash of traffic accidents in some areas.

While the north had snow, southeastern Wisconsin had to deal with rain and freezing drizzle that gave sidewalks and streets a mix of slushy water and ice.

So far this winter, Milwaukee has recorded 52.8 inches of snow, or just over the normal average of 52.4 inches for the entire season with about a month and a half still to go, Wood said.

That's far short of the record of 109.8 inches set in winter of 1885-86.

But many residents have been saying they've had enough.

Wood wouldn't hear of it.

"Oh, brother," he said. "It IS February."

It could be much worse. Voters in Alaska were to brave peak winter conditions _ including lows of minus 50 degrees _ just to reach their caucuses. In Juneau, the state's capital, voters will trudge through more than a foot of new snow.

Thick fog poured over much of Illinois on Monday, prompting officials to close Chicago's Midway Airport for much of the day and cancel hundreds of flights at O'Hare International Airport.

In Springfield, Ill., traffic lights were stuck on one color for long periods of time because sensors perched above some intersections couldn't detect through thick fog whether vehicles were waiting. Snow and sleet were expected Tuesday.

In California, two skiers who disappeared near Lake Tahoe during a winter storm were rescued Monday morning after they burrowed into snow caves and huddled together for warmth, authorities said. In Southern California, a 53-year-old hiker was found Monday on Mount San Jacinto a day after she was reported missing during the storm.

Posted by LS

CBS and Associated Press contributed to this report.