(1:45PM - 4/26/19) As you can probably tell by the shock and awe title, no...the threat of snow has not vanished...it actually is looking more significant and widespread.
Model guidance from this morning and early afternoon has shifted this system south, bringing the threat of snow to more of Northern Illinois, including the likelihood of significant accumulations for some areas. The start of this storm system is now less than 24 hours away, so while significant changes are not likely, small to moderate changes can still occur in storm track and snowfall amounts...especially given the recent shift south. However, with that said confidence is rapidly growing in a historic and record breaking snowstorm for portions of Northern Illinois Saturday morning into Saturday night.
Precipitation will start as rain, spreading across Northern Illinois early to mid morning Saturday. As dynamic and evaporative cooling occurs, rain will mix with and change to snow for portions of Northern Illinois during the mid morning to early afternoon. From that point, snow will continue into Saturday night, before ending from west to east by midnight. Model soundings show conditions highly favorable for banding of heavier snow, very heavy snowfall rates and thundersnow. At this time we expect an axis of 6-9" snowfall totals across far Northern Illinois, with locally higher amounts possible. From there, amounts will quickly taper as you had south towards I-88 and I-80.
This will be a very heavy and wet snow, due to marginal temperatures and the time of year. Given temperatures have been overall warm and trees/bushes have leafed out, some damage is possible...in additional to power lines/poles potentially being affected. The heavy and wet nature of the snow could also lead to damage to flowers and plants that have recently grown or been planted. Caution should be taken when shoveling this type of snow as well.
As mentioned earlier in this article, this will likely be a historic and record breaking late season snowstorm for portions of Northern Illinois. To put this in perspective... Chicago has NEVER on record seen a 6"+ snowfall after April 6th...And has never seen a 3"+ snowfall beyond today's date.
Below is our update TAM snowfall forecast for this event.
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