March 2nd-3rd (Sat Night-Sun) Significant Winter Storm Possible Across Portions of Illinois This Weekend
Over the past 48 hours or so, model guidance slowly begun to come into more agreement on a potentially significant winter storm moving out of the plains and into portions of the Midwest and Illinois by the latter half of the upcoming weekend. There still remains plenty of uncertainty regarding track, strength, and expected snow amounts but confidence is increasing for a sizable snow event to hit portions of the state, beginning late Saturday evening and most of the day on Sunday.
I dig into this potential winter storm below....
What has happened over the past few days or so is model guidance has trended further north with the main PV/upper level low across southern Canada, which then allows for this system to come ashore California and sneak across the heart of the United States. Essentially, the Canada upper level low is making more room for that system to cut across the plains and eventually into portions of the Midwest. Timing wise, this image is valid at noon on Saturday, showing our potential winter storm coming ashore the west coast. It is then forecast to move mostly in an easterly direction the rest of Saturday and into Sunday.
As the system moves over the southern Rockies and into the southern plains, low level winds will strengthening, allowing for a favorable period of warm air advection and isentropic lift. This will aid in developing a widespread area of snow across the central plains by Saturday evening to our west, as you'll see below.
Below is one models take on the evolution of this winter storm as it moves from the central plains into the southern Midwest, including what looks like the southern half of Illinois right now. The loop runs from Saturday afternoon through late Sunday night, showing a widespread area of snow streaking eastward into southern and central Illinois by late Saturday night. Right now, the period favored most for accumulations and heaviest snow looks to be Sunday morning through Sunday afternoon downstate with actual amounts still to be determined as we get closer.
So, to sum things up....as things look right now, Sunday looks quite snowy across about the southern half of Illinois BUT things could and probably will change some between now and Saturday night/Sunday morning so be sure to stay tuned to continued updates over the next 48 hours or so.
Disregard the exact amounts on the image below for now and concentrate more the swath of highest snow totals as it looks like further downstate will see the most snow as of now.
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