Winter Alerts Issued:

Along with the Wind Advisory, the National Weather Service has been quite busy this morning placing our counties under different wind alerts…

As of 6AM, Jo-Daviess and Stephenson County have been upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning. This will run from Midnight tonight to 6PM Thursday. 

Green, Rock, and Walworth Counties up in southern Wisconsin, as well as Winnabago, Boone, Mchenry, and Ogle Counties in northern Illinois under a Winter Storm Watch. Currently, that will be in effect from late tonight through Thursday afternoon. 

Lastly, our counties to the south, so Carroll, Whiteside, Lee, and Dekalb Counties, have been put under a Winter Weather Advisory. Currently, that advisory is expected to run from 3AM to 9PM Thursday. It goes without saying that there will be changes in these alerts over the next 18 hours. But regardless of who is put under what alert, tomorrow’s snow and wind will cause quite the headache on the roads, no matter where your travels take you. 

Timing Out The Snow:

Currently, our next impactful system is making it’s way across the Rockies and into the southern plains. Out ahead of it, forecast models keep much of the night dry under a mostly cloudy sky. 

As we inch closer to sunrise Thursday morning, Snow will likely overspread the area. While it will take a bit for roads to be impacted by the snow due to the extremely mild temperatures as of late, I would still travel with caution.

Once snow begins, it’s likely to fall without any interruption well into the afternoon, before tapering off to a few light snow showers flurries sometime during the evening. With snow being likely for a good portion of the day, it cannot be ruled out that impacts will linger into the evening commute. Although not as strong as the winds we’re encountering this morning, gusty winds will result in blowing and drifting snow.

Snowfall Potential:

In terms of accumulations, forecast models have been somewhat consistent with where the highest totals will occur. Before we jump into the details, it goes without saying that there is still wiggle room for the forecast to change. As of this morning, a swath of 3″-6″ will be likely in areas to the north and west of the Rochelle and Sterling areas.

Those who live south closer to I-88 and I-90 will end up on the shorter end of the accumulation stick, picking up 1″-3″. On the backside of Thursday’s snow-maker, the attention then turns to the cold that arrives for Friday. Despite sunshine being in full-effect, the fresh snow will limit our temperature climb, limiting most spots to the low 20s. Thankfully, and in a similar fashion to previous cold dips, this one will be brief. Highs return to the 40s starting Sunday.