Our slow moving winter storm made its initial presence known overnight last night into this morning with areas across western and northern Illinois picking up 1-2" of snow so far with a few isolated spots in western Illinois getting up to 3". We will see a lull in activity later this afternoon and into the evening but model guidance continues to highlight another period of good snows later tonight and overnight as you'll see below. Let's dig into the latest....
As we have tracked our system from well out across the Pacific Ocean to coming ashore and crossing the Rockies, we can now say it is on the door steps of entering the Midwest this afternoon. Our upper level low is slowly organizing and strengthening as it comes further into the region this afternoon. It will eventually turn more east then northeast and take a favorable track for widespread accumulating snows across portions of the state.
Taking a look at regional radar this afternoon, there are a couple areas of scattered snow showers across the state (in orange) and down into portions of Missouri with more rain being the norm across southern Illinois. Besides some passing areas of light snow over the coming hours, we will be mostly void of more widespread precipitation till later tonight and overnight. Also plotted on there is the current position of our weather system by the red L along with the forecast track it is going to slowly take over the next 36-48 hours.
Below is a high resolution model animation of pretty much the duration of this event from 2pm this afternoon through Saturday evening. This really shows the slow moving nature of this winter storm and the areas of darker blues indicative of heavier snows pin wheeling around the area of low pressure as it meanders across the Midwest. We will see a lull in good snows later today and this evening but more organized snows will develop later tonight and overnight across central Illinois then pin wheel their way north and northwest into western and northern Illinois overnight, dropping another 1-2" locally 3" of snow by tomorrow morning. Tomorrow is a little trickier but some areas across western and northern Illinois could remain all snow through much of the day but accumulation rates could slow down given marginal surface temperatures. Further east across east central and maybe into the southern suburbs of Chicago near I-80, there could be a changeover to rain or a mix for a time tomorrow afternoon.
The real interesting period ot watch is tomorrow night through late Saturday morning where latest model guidance continues to mostly be in good agreement on a better chance of more substantial snow accumulations across the northern part of the state as a good slug of moisture wraps around the low pressure system into the area.
Below is our latest thinking on total snowfall amounts. Stay tuned for continued updates on this slow moving winter storm.
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