Winter Weather Alerts: 

Happy New Year folks! The main headline of course as we ring in 2022 is the likelihood of us seeing our first winter storm of the season.

As of early Saturday morning, Winnebago, Boone, McHenry, Dekalb, Ogle, Lee, Carroll, and Whiteside Counties have been placed under a Winter Storm Warning that will remain in effect until midnight tonight. For our other counties, including Jo Daviess and Stephenson Counties in northern Illinois along with Green, Rock and Walworth Counties in southern Wisconsin, a Winter Weather Advisory has been issued until 3AM Sunday morning.

Timing & Snow Totals:

New Year’s Day looks to start off dry with cloudy skies. However, snow will quickly stream into the region from the southwest by the late-morning hours. The heaviest and steadiest snowfall, where we could see snowfall rates as high as 1″/hr, looks to fall between 1PM-8PM. 

At the beginning stages of the event, the snow will fall as a heavy, wet, and dense snow. As this potent storm system’s moisture supply begins to run out, we’ll see the snow become more flaky, light, and fluffy in nature. Guidance continues to keep a chance for snow showers into Saturday night, with chances fully coming to a close by early Sunday morning. Snowfall amounts for most will end up in the range of 4″-7″, with areas to the north and west of Rockford ending up with less snow. 

Areas along the western and southern shorelines of Lake Michigan will see the potential for more snow from this event thanks to lake-enhancement. Now, regardless of what falls, be sure that you’re ready for the impacts the snow will have on travel.

Travel Impacts Likely:

IF you must be on the roads today, the earlier the better. By this afternoon, the combination of the steady snow and the breezy northeasterly to northerly wind will make anyone’s travel plans rather difficult. If there is no way of altering your travel plans, give yourself a lot of extra time and drive at a much slower speed.

With winds gusting between 30-40 mph at times, blowing and drifting snow will likely result in near-whiteout conditions, especially in rural areas. Travel impacts will more than likely carry on into the early stages of Sunday as roads will likely still be slippery and salty in spots. Conditions clear out rather quickly, with Sunday featuring plenty of sunshine.

Coldest Air of the Season:

However, the coldest air of the season is expected to filter in on the backside of today’s potent storm system, allowing temperatures to plummet. Overnight lows Saturday night will fall into the single-digits, with wind chills values ending up below 0°. It’s expected to get even colder Sunday night into Monday morning as temperatures are expected to fall below 0°. While it does look like our temperatures will quickly climb back towards average by Tuesday, another drop in temperatures can be expected late next week. But for those that have been waiting for winter to arrive, here ya go!