Winter Alert Update:
Couple of changes from overnight. As expected, the National Weather Service expanded the Winter Weather Advisory into northwest Illinois to include Stephenson and Carroll Counties. They also expanded the Winter Storm Warning eastward to include Jo-Daviess County. Both the advisory and the warning will be in place until 6PM this evening.
Now, temperatures are still warm enough to the point where rain will be the main type of precipitation for those traveling during the morning commute. With that being said, you will still want to give yourself extra travel time as heavy downpours will drastically reduce visibility. Ponding on the roads will also be a big possibility thanks to the heavy rainfall rates.
Transition to Snow:
Forecast models were in agreement this morning that the transition to snow will take place sometime during the late-morning hours. Once that transition occurs, expect snow to fall for the hours that follow, at times coming down in heavy bursts.
With high temperatures landing in the upper 30s and 40s the past 5 days, road temperatures may be too warm for impacts to occur. However, if we do see an elongated period of heavy wet snow, some roads may give way to slushy accumulations. Right now, that scenario is a big IF.
Once the mid afternoon hours roll around, precipitation will begin to break apart, leaving us with a few scattered snow showers. It’s also during this time in which most of northern Illinois will be experiencing strong winds. No wind alerts posted for our counties and we don’t expect any to be issued. However, northeast winds will be capable of gusting between 30-40 mph. All in all, there will be a sharp cut-off in snowfall accumulations.
Areas that span from Freeport to Rockford down to Sterling can expect minor accumulations, mainly from a trace to 2″. Those that will see a quicker transition to heavy wet snow, mainly in areas north and west of Freeport, could pick up a whopping 3″ to 6″. A few snow showers will once again be possible late tonight into the early stages of Friday morning as a cold front slides through. Otherwise, conditions should slowly dry out, leaving us with a sun-filled and warmer forecast for Super Bowl weekend.