It may look quiet when you first take a peek out the window this morning, but it is VERY cold. Not as cold as what we’re going to see once next week comes around. But it’s been quite some time. In fact, we haven’t seen low temperatures in the single digits since December 18th. Temperatures early this morning had fallen into the single digits in most areas and those chilly wind chills are making it feel much worse. Galena out in Jo-Daviess county fell to -1° at one point this morning with a wind chill of -22°. Yikes. Northwesterly winds have gusted close to 30 miles per hour, making for subzero wind chills. The blustery winds are going to continue through about noon before gradually tapering off.
An potent area of high pressure that has settled over the upper Midwest will keep our weather tranquil for the day, so be sure to grab the sunglasses. The sun has been teasing us the past few days. So, it’s finally great to see a good amount of sunshine here in the Stateline. With that said, you will also need grab a heavy coat, gloves, hats, and whatever you wear to keep you warm. Highs today will struggle to make it out of the teens, and wind chills stay in the single digits. This area of high pressure will track north of the region tonight keeping conditions dry into our Friday morning with partly cloudy skies. However, winds at the surface switch to the southeast overnight. This is going to help pull in moisture ahead of snow Friday afternoon, but it’s also going to pull in slightly warmer temperatures. Highs to end the work week manage to climb into the upper 20s to low 30s.
Our potential winter storm is now coming ashore in the Pacific Northwest. Ahead of this system, a great majority of the central U.S is under some sort of winter alert already. For those that are going to see wintry conditions earlier than us, a winter weather advisory has been posted. Places farther to the north, including Stephenson, Jo Daviess, Carroll and Whiteside counties here in northern Illinois (for right now), have been placed under a winter storm watch. This is all ahead of a winter storm that will impact northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin with all types of wintry precipitation including snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain Friday into Saturday. The watch goes into effect Friday afternoon, lasting through Saturday evening. I’m sure as we roll into tonight and tomorrow morning, more winter alerts will posted for the Stateline.
Friday kicks off with dry conditions. In fact, we may encounter a bit of sunshine before cloud cover increases by late morning. Snow looks to develop by the early-to-middle afternoon, potentially becoming heavy by the evening commute. If you are one who has to travel home Friday evening, please make sure to plan ahead. Model guidance is in very good agreement that a wintry mix develops overnight Friday into Saturday morning as warmer air is pulled into the region with the incoming surface low. Where exactly that line sets up is crucial to not only snow totals, but also impacts.