Happy New Year’s Eve! I hope you are planning to have a chill day tomorrow, since it might be a bit hazardous to travel tomorrow with this winter storm! First off, let’s take a look at the active weather alerts put out by the NWS. In the pink color is the Winter Storm Warning for most of our viewing area and just South. This is where there is higher confidence in snow totals and more hazardous travel conditions. In the purple is the Winter Weather Advisory toward the North of the viewing area where snow totals are less hazardous.
Now let’s time this system out. While the Winter Storm Warning takes effect at 9AM tomorrow morning, most of the snow showers won’t begin to move in until shortly after. Snow begins to roll in around 10AM to 12PM for much of the area, spreading South to North.
Snow will really pick up into the early part of the afternoon, reaching potential snowfall rates of up to 1 inch per hour during the peak hours in the afternoon.
We will finally start to taper off into the early part of the overnight hours, just dealing with flurries. This is also the time frame that the Winter Weather Alerts expire, so that is directly corelated from when the snow slows down.
Overall, we could see a wide swath of right around 4″ or just higher to the South with some of the heavier bands looking like they are setting up across Whiteside, Ogle, Lee, and DeKalb counties.
Regardless of how much snow we end up seeing, the main hazard will be the deteriorating road conditions. Because of the light and fluffy nature of the snow, it will be very easy for snow to blow around on the roadways, proving more of a difficulty for plows to get them clear. Because of this, travel conditions will be pretty rough tomorrow, especially into the afternoon and evening hours. Visibilities could drop pretty low as well due to the heavier bands of snow during the afternoon.
Putting all of this together, we will see the snow move in by late morning, ramp up into the afternoon, and cause some hazardous travel conditions throughout much of the later part of the day. Avoid travel if possible, but take it easy if you must be out for any reason!
For the full forecast, watch the video below: