Calm But Cloudy:
Wednesday will be a textbook example of the phrase “calm before the storm” as much of the day remains quiet under a blanket of clouds. There is a weak disturbance currently making it’s way through the southern half of Iowa that aims to track to the south of Interstate 80 before mid-day. If any precipitation does manage to appear on any of our local radars, it would likely fall as virga (precipitation that evaporates before reaching the surface).
Especially when you take into account the amount of low-level dry air that is in place thanks to the area of high pressure sitting to our north and east. Despite the fact that cloud cover will dominate our skies for the entirety of our Wednesday, temperatures will still manage to peak in the mid 40s.
Latest on the Storm:
Now to discuss the elephant in the room, the impactful storm system that is schedule to move in Thursday night into Friday. Over the last 24 hours, forecast models have taken the storm’s overall track and shifted it to the south. This heightens the snowfall accumulation potential for extreme northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.
With that being said, the National Weather Service has placed Jo-Daviess, Stephenson, Carroll, Boone, McHenry, and Winnebago County in northern Illinois, as well as our three southern Wisconsin counties under a WINTER STORM WATCH. This watch is scheduled to begin Thursday afternoon, lasting into the morning hours of Friday.
Thursday starts off cloudy but dry so no need to change up your morning routine. It’s shortly after the mid-day hours where we will begin to see precipitation move in from the southwest. Ahead of the evening commute, snow will more than likely begin to overspread the area. At the current moment, it does look like pavement temperatures will be warm enough to prevent any impacts to the evening commute.
With the 32° line remain south of I-88, snow will be the primary type of precipitation overnight Thursday into Friday morning. It’s during this time in which we will pick up a majority of the accumulations with this late week event. Now, the chance for impacts will be greater during the morning commute Friday than during the evening commute Thursday. However, we will have to see how long it actually takes for the snow to start accumulating.
Snow chances stick around for much of Friday morning, mixing with some light rain during the afternoon. Overall, precipitation should wrap up ahead Friday evening’s commute. Again, it’s a little too early to give specifics on snowfall amounts, but at least a few inches of snow are possible for those near the IL/WI border. That’s why it will be important to stay up-to-date with the forecast throughout the day. As I mentioned in Tuesday morning’s blog post, we’ll have to keep an eye on another storm system this weekend. One that will bring another chance for snow late Saturday night into the first half of Sunday.