Timing Out the Snow:

Earlier this morning, all of our counties except for Lee and Dekalb Counties were placed under a Winter Storm Warning. The two counties that are not listed under the warning have been placed under a Winter Weather Advisory, all of which remain in effect until 9PM this evening. A glimpse at this morning’s surface analysis shows that our storm system is spiraling over eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas. 

As this low drifts northeastward, it’s going to tug the activity that has been occurring over the central plains out way, resulting in heavy snowfall rates. Scattered mix and snow will be present during the morning commute hours. 

If you plan to be out on the roads this morning, be sure to use extra caution and take it slow. While road temperatures at the start of the event will be too warm for accumulations to occur, slippery travel will still be likely. Post-sunrise, snow is expected to become a lot more widespread, falling without interruption into the late-afternoon and early evening hours. This is the time window in which we will not only see a most of our snow pile up, but it’s also the time in which traveling will become rather difficult. 

Along with the more intense snowfall rates, winds are also expected to ramp up. Throughout the afternoon and evening, northeast winds will be capable of gusting between 25 to 35 mph. This will pose a heightened threat for blowing and drifting snow, especially considering with the nature of today’s snowfall being a much drier, more fluffy snow.

From there, forecast models do show the steady and more widespread snow breaking apart rather quickly, leaving dry over night.

How Much?:

In terms of accumulations, it all depends on where the frontogenesis band sets up. Forecast models has been consistent, placing that band right over the Illinois and Wisconsin border, hence the placement of the highest snowfall totals. When it is all said and done, areas north of Sterling and Rochelle could pick up 3″-6″. For those who live along Interstate 88, 2″-5″.

Then closer to the Chicago metro, a simple 1″-3″. As today’s snow-maker pulls away, skies will slowly turn partly cloudy into Friday morning. However, the focus then turns to the bitterly cold air that filters in, leaving temperatures Friday in the low 20s. Fortunately, high pressure moves in, allowing for sun-filled skies from start to finish. Improvements in the temperature department arrive over the weekend, lifting highs into the 40s by Sunday.