A strong cold front to bring a flash freeze to Central Illinois Thursday

Weather Blog

Peoria, Ill (WMBD) – A strong cold front will move across Central Illinois on Thursday bringing rain, snow and rapidly dropping temperatures to the region. The combination of rain, snow and falling temperatures will lead to a flash freeze scenario where wet roads begin to ice up. Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories are in effect for portions of the region.

Storm Impacts

  • Rapidly dropping temperatures in the afternoon with rain changing to snow
  • Bursts of heavier snow possible north of I-74
  • Flash freeze – slick roads for the evening commute as temperatures drop rapidly
  • Areas of blowing and drifting snow Thursday evening

Snow and Rain Forecast

The heaviest snow is expected along the I-80 corridor where 2-4 inches are expected through Thursday evening. Amounts will tapper off quickly towards I-74 with most areas along and south of I-74 seeing less than 2 inches of snow. When it comes to rain and melted snow, most of Central Illinois is expected so see around and a half inch of moisture.

Flash Freeze Scenario

The rain or snow alone won’t be enough to cause issues across Central Illinois, but when factored with the sudden drop in temperatures wet roads are likely ice up. Our exclusive road temperature forecast shows that pavement temperatures will suddenly drop into the 20s by mid afternoon. In addition to the sudden drop in temperatures, winds will gust over 40 mph behind the cold front creating blowing snow and reductions in visibility. The combination of slick roads and blowing snow could make the evening commute slick.

Even though winter weather advisories are not in effect for areas along I-74 between Peoria and Bloomington, roads are likely to become slick ahead of and during the evening commute.

Once this system moves through much colder temperatures will settle into Central Illinois for the foreseeable future with a weather pattern conducive for periodic chances of snow. A stronger cold front will move through Saturday bringing more snow and even colder temperatures to Central Illinois. This front will leave the region with single digit high temperatures and sub-zero low temperatures through early next week. Life threatening wind chills between -10° and -30° are possible Saturday night through Monday night.

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