(10:15PM - 2/21/22) A winter storm is expected to impact the region and state, Wednesday afternoon through Friday morning. This winter storm is expected to produce a swath of accumulating snow/sleet/ice across the region and state during this time.
Over the past several days model guidance has been honing in on the potential for a winter storm to affect the region and state, Wednesday through Friday. While there continues to be some model guidance disagreement regarding this storm system at this time, a large majority of model guidance is showing a consensus solution, which is what our current forecast is based around with good confidence. As stated, there still does continue to be some disagreement within model guidance at this time, so some changes to the forecast can be expected until full agreement on the situation is reached. Stay tuned to updates over the next several days regarding this winter storm.
An initial lead wave is expected to move through the Ohio Valley Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning, bringing with it an initial round of wintry precipitation across the southern half of the state. Furthermore, a main storm system will develop across the Southern Mississippi Valley Thursday morning, and will then track near the Ohio Valley Thursday night, and eventually into the Mid-Atlantic by Friday morning. This storm system will bring a renewed push of wintry precipitation across the region and state, Thursday morning through Friday morning.
Wintry (Snow/Sleet/Ice) Aspect Forecast...
Wednesday Afternoon - Thursday Morning, Feb 23-24th ~ Lead Wave Event:
A lead wave is expected to move through the Ohio Valley, Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning, with an associated area of precipitation traveling along with it. Precipitation in the form of a mix of rain/freezing rain/sleet/snow will move into Southwestern Illinois Wednesday afternoon. A transition zone will set up much of this period across Southern Illinois. Across this zone, precipitation types will from south to north will range from freezing rain to sleet to snow. This area of rain will expand as it further develops and pushes northeastward, continuing to spread across Southern Illinois Wednesday night, before ending Thursday morning. A lull in precipitation may occur between this lead wave and the main storm system to follow.
Thursday Morning - Friday Morning, Feb 24-25th ~ Main Winter Storm Event:
As the main storm system moves through the region, an associated renewed push of precipitation will move across the state and region, Thursday morning through Friday morning. This renewed push of precipitation, in the form of snow/sleet/ice, will move into Southwestern Illinois Thursday morning. This area of precipitation will then further develop and spread across much of the state from midday Thursday through late Thursday night, before ending Friday morning. A transition zone will set up much of this period across Southern Illinois. Across this zone, precipitation types will from south to north will range from freezing rain to sleet to snow. North of this transition zone across affected areas of Northern and Central Illinois, all of the precipitation will fall as snow. Snow will vary in intensity, but will generally be light, with snowfall rates of 0.5"+ an hour possible at times.
Below are the snowfall and ice forecasts for this winter storm.
-An axis of of snow/sleet accumulation of 1-3" across Northern and Central Illinois.
-Ice accumulations of a glaze (Up to 0.10") to 0.10"+ across Southern Illinois.
-Widespread travel impacts likely across much of the state.