Well, it is looking like Old Man Winter will really be making its presence known over the coming days with first a fairly impressive shot of wintry precipitation including several inches of snow, sleet and ice but then the coldest air of the season looks to invade the Midwest, including here in Illinois. More details follow below, including when to expect the cold to arrive and just how cold it will be.
Below is a surface temperature animation off one model run from 6am Saturday through 6am Tuesday. You can really see the much colder temperatures quickly invade much of the region, including much of Illinois following the winter storm as it pushes off to the northeast. Timing this out, expect widespread well below normal temperatures with readings in the low single digits (possible zero degrees) to upper single digits across the northern half of the state by Sunday morning. The coldest time period looks to be Sunday morning but Monday morning will be a close 2nd. Southern Illinois will attempt to escape the real impressive cold initially, only getting down into the mid teens to low 20's. The heart of the this arctic cold outbreak will be most felt across the northern half of the state. Wait until you see the forecast wind chills below...
The real impressive thing about this cold shot will be the potential very cold wind chill values thanks to some gusty west and northwest winds of 10 to 20mph at times. Some model guidance, such as shown below show wind chill values getting to our below -20 early Sunday morning across a large portion of the state.
Looking ahead to Monday morning, this cold will have some staying power with another morning of widespread winds of -10 to -20 degrees. Again, southern Illinois will escape the worst but is still going to quite cold across downstate.
Stay tuned for more updates on this impressive cold outbreak as it looks like winter is here to stay for awhile!
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