While you were sleeping, the National Weather Service added Winnebago, Boone, and McHenry Counties to the Ice Storm Warning. This portion of the warning will run from 6AM this morning to 6AM Thursday morning. Along with that, they have also added Whiteside and Lee Counties to the Winter Weather Advisory.
Ice Storm Timing:
Travel impacts early on in the day will be minimal as freezing rain/sleet will be passing through the region in a light and scattered fashion. With that being said, I would still plan on giving yourself extra travel time just in case a few icy spots form. From about mid-morning on, expect the wintry mix to pick up in intensity and to become more widespread, remaining that way for the latter half of the day.
It’s during this time in which forecast models do show an elongated period of time in which freezing rain could be the primary precipitation. It’s also during this time in which we’ll have to monitor the amount of regular rain that falls. I say that because that may limit the potential for roads to become slick and icy ahead of the evening commute. But if we do wind up with more freezing rain, accumulations for extreme northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin will likely end up in the .10″ to .50″ range.
Significant ice accumulations such as this will be enough to ice over most roads and cause a few power outages. Because of this, it will be best to avoid being on the roads during this time. If you MUST be out on the roads, have a kit ready. Less significant ice accumulations, between a trace to a tenth of an inch, will be possible in areas closer to I-88.
One that includes an extra flashlight, food, and water just in case you are stranded for a bit. Same goes for if you are one that loses power. When it comes to this type of extreme weather, it’s always good to have a kit ready. As we move forward into Wednesday night, precipitation will likely become lighter and more scattered, remaining that way into the early portions of Thursday. This is why we could see impacts from this winter storm linger into tomorrow’s morning’s commute.
Similar to this morning, allow for extra travel time. On the backside of today’s storm system, winds become quite strong for Thursday. Gusts up to 40 mph will be possible, which may result in further tree and power line damage.
Cold air rushing in with tomorrow’s rather strong westerly winds will cool temperatures for Friday, leaving highs in the low 20s. Like the cool-down we experienced last week, this week’s will also be a brief one. Southwest winds aim to return by Saturday morning, allowing temperatures to climb back towards the 40 degree mark.