Wednesday features out second impactful winter-like storm of the season. The first, being the one from this past Saturday bringing the Rockford International Airport 4.8″ of fresh snow. Today’s storm system however will be in the form of a “wind machine”, bringing our area powerful winds that may gust as high as 45 mph.
For that reason, the National Weather Service has placed the entire area under a Winter Weather Advisory until 6PM this evening. The main concern not being snow. In fact, it’s going to be for the likelihood for blowing and drifting snow, along with near-white out conditions in open areas.
As this powerful storm system tracks eastward into the Great Lakes, it’s associated cold front is expected to slide through before mid-morning. This will allow winds to shift to the west, with gust peaking out between 35-45 mph. Meaning that if your travels take you on north and south roadways, those are the roads that will see the most impacts from today’s powerful winds. Extreme caution is urged while driving, even if you don’t see drifts right in front of you. Not only will the gusty winds make for extremely difficult travel conditions, they will usher in a much colder air-mass into the Stateline.
Temperatures early Wednesday morning are sitting in the low to mid 20s. As today’s westerly winds help filter in that cold arctic air, temperatures are expected to fall into the afternoon. Unfortunately, as temperatures fall and winds remain strong, wind chills will remain well below zero through much of our Wednesday. In fact, wind chills are expected to remain below-zero through the end of the work week.
We’ll see the worst of this upcoming cold snap Friday morning as overnight lows fall well below-zero, with wind chills registering between -10° to -20°. So, be prepared for the winds today, then the cold as we get into Thursday and Friday.