Talk about a textbook “Living in the Midwest” type forecast. Especially when we go from 50s and sunshine to 30s and snow in just a short time span. Fortunately, before we start talking about possible the most “significant” storm system of the winter, Monday looks to remain dry.
Our morning began with mostly clear skies, but cloud cover was certainly quick to increase turning our skies mostly cloudy before sunrise. This allowed temperatures to only slowly cool into the upper 20s-low 30s. A huge improvement and quite impressive for late February, especially since we recorded lows in the single digits twice last week. Despite the increase in cloud cover, most of the area does remain dry through much of our Monday. Models do suggest that a few spotty areas of drizzle and showers slide northward into close to I-88. High temperatures this afternoon will climb close to the 40° mark which mean . As temperatures cool into tonight, a few flakes cannot be ruled out, but this shouldn’t lead to much in terms of accumulation into early Tuesday.
Earlier this morning, the National Weather Service began to observe a southward trend in the models regarding the storm systems track. For that reason, they took Green County out of the Winter Storm Watch. The rest of viewing area is at the moment is still under that watch which will go into effect tomorrow morning at 9 AM for most counties. Under the Winter Storm Watch, it hold the potential for 6″ or more of snowfall. However, the higher snowfall totals will all depend on how much farther south model guidance takes this storm system. Around sunrise Tuesday morning, light flurries and snow showers are possible. However, snow isn’t likely to pick up in intensity or coverage until late Tuesday morning into the early-afternoon. Highs in the middle 30s are expected to result in mostly a slushy accumulation on roads. As temperatures drop, expect road conditions to gradually deteriorate.
The BIGGEST uncertainty with our potential snow storm is the how models are handling the track. One model that has been set on the heaviest snow totals occurring right here at home was the GFS or the Global Forecasting System. Up until this morning, this particular model had the low tracking right through southern Illinois and Indiana, placing the deformation bands or stronger snow bands right over the Stateline.
The latest run of the GFS has trended more towards the Euro or the European model which has been consistent with the southerly trend throughout the past couple days. This has focused the heavier snowfall totals now towards central Illinois stretching northeastward into the Chicago metro and northwest Indiana. As of this morning, thinking at the time suggested that 4″-8″ for the Rockford area would be ideal. But with the southerly trend in mind, we have downgraded the snow totals to 3″-6″. As stated above, the storm system’s track is KEY! Regardless of snow totals, keep in mind impacts are going to remain the same: a long-duration snow event in which travel is going to become dangerous as heavy snow falls during the evening commute Tuesday through the morning commute on Wednesday.