We continue to keep a close eye on what looks to be a very impressive weather system that will eventually develop across the plains on Friday and then move into portions of the Midwest beyond that. However, questions still remain regarding the strength and track of this system which has big implications on what to exactly expect across all of Illinois regarding precipitation types as well as amounts. I dig into some of the latest below, including some model changes and trends we've been seeing since yesterday.
Our weather system of interest is still well out over the northern Pacific Ocean this afternoon as a low amplitude disturbance and will be moving through the Gulf of Alaska later tonight and through portions of the day tomorrow. This is one of the reasons we think model guidance will continue to struggle with exact outcomes/solutions until the system comes ashore the western U.S. on Thursday. However, over the last 24 hours or so, there has been a trend on some guidance for a further northwest track as it moves through the Midwest. What implications this will have will be shown below.
Taking a look at ensemble model guidance, we can see that there is still a good amount of spread between location/tracks of the surface low across the region but as of late, there are more members in the further north camp than we saw yesterday. Again, nothing is locked in stone at this time but a further north track would be shunting any wintry weather and/or snow accumulations further north. Could this change and shift back south? Yes it certainly could which is why this still bears watching over the next couple of days.
Discard exact locations of different precipitation types for right now but this is a loop from early Friday morning through Friday evening, showing the beginning stages and evolution of this system. Precipitation will quickly develop across the plains and streak east and northeast into portions of the Midwest by Friday afternoon and evening. The track of this system will determine where a swath of snow and most likely a swath of freezing rain will set itself up across the Midwest, which could be across portions of Illinois. This would be the first wave of precipitation Friday evening and overnight with another wave of action looking likely during the day and evening hours on Saturday.
Again, we want to continue to stress that nothing is set in stone yet and we are still a couple days away from having a good grasp on this so if you happen to see someone on TV spitting out expected snowfall amounts, **DO NOT BELIEVE THEM**, as it is way too early for that nonsense. As of right now, our current thoughts are as followed below with the brunt of wintry precipitation expected across the northern areas of the state given current forecast track (which is still subject to change). Updates will continue over the next couple of day so stay tuned!
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