Potential winter storm to impact Central Illinois Sunday night & Monday

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Peoria, Ill. (WMBD) – A powerful storm system is expected to develop in eastern Colorado this weekend and sweep across the Central Plains and Midwest on Sunday and Monday. While the exact track of the storm is uncertain, the odds are increasing that Central Illinois will see accumulating snow and potentially freezing rain.

What we know

  • Multiple rounds of precipitation possible Saturday night through Tuesday morning
  • Light snow accumulations possible north of I-74 Saturday night (generally less than 1 inch)
  • Freezing rain possible Sunday night and Monday morning
  • Heavy snow Monday afternoon and evening
  • Possible power outages and impacts to travel Sunday night and Monday

Our next chance of snow will come Saturday night as warm advection ramps up ahead of the deepening low pressure system in eastern Colorado. Warm advection is the process of wind blowing warm air towards an area of colder air. This causes warm air to be lifted over the cold air at the surface, saturating the air and leading to the development of precipitation. This precipitation will be in the form of light snow along and north of I-74 with a wintry mix further south. Snow accumulations through 6 am Sunday will be an inch or less along I-74 with 1-2 inches along I-80. Some light freezing rain, generally less than a tenth of an inch, is possible south of I-74 through Sunday morning.

The first round of organized precip will end Sunday morning with spotty rain/snow showers and drizzle remaining possible throughout the day. The main system will move in Sunday night and continue through Monday night with periods of rain, freezing rain and snow possible.

The main event: 12 am Monday through 12 pm Tuesday

While there is still some uncertainty in the track of the storm, the favored storm track brings the low pressure system from eastern Colorado into Oklahoma and into southern Illinois. This track would lead to freezing rain and snow as the dominant precip type across our region with a transition from ice to snow Monday afternoon.

Freezing Rain Forecast

Light freezing rain are expected to begin around midnight, increasing in coverage and intensity through 8 am Monday. While slight adjustments are likely in the coming days, the risk of freezing rain and ice accretion is greatest along and south of a Galesburg to Pontiac line where 0.10″ to 0.25″ of ice is possible.

Snowfall Forecast

There is a risk of heavy snow along and north of a Macomb to Peoria to Pontiac line where there’s at least a 60% chance of receiving more than 3 inches of snow. As it stands now widespread accumulations of 3-7 inches are expected along and north of a Macomb to Lexington line with heavier amounts possible across Knox, Henry, Stark and Bureau Counties. There will likely be a sharp drop in accumulations on the southern end of the snow band resulting in accumulations of 2-5 inches in Bloomington and 1-3 inches in Lincoln.

The snow that falls is expected to be very wet with 0.75″ to 1.25″ of rain/melted snow expected. This heavy weighted snow will stress tree limbs that were already stressed from the New Years Day ice storm. Any ice accumulations prior to the heavy snow will exacerbate the problem and could lead to widespread tree and power line damage.

Keep in mind, this storm is still nearly 2000 miles away and the slightest shift north or south means that these amounts could change significantly. If you are planning on traveling on Sunday night and Monday be sure to download the Ciproud 2 Go Weather App and monitor future forecast as the exact details come into better focus.

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