Peoria, Ill. (WMBD) – Scattered showers have developed across Central Illinois and will become more widespread tonight. The rain will continue Saturday but will begin to mix and change to light snow and flurries as temperatures drop throughout the day.
Rainfall amounts have been rolled back a bit based on the latest trends, which have shifted the heaviest rain east of I-55. Still, an additional 0.5 to 1.5″ of rain is expected through Saturday. While this amount of rain in December would typically be a concern, soil temperatures are well above freezing. This should allow rain to soak into the soil more effectively and limit any excessive runoff that could lead to localized flooding.
The rainfall is welcomed news for the parts of Illinois that are currently experiencing moderate to severe drought conditions. According to Thursday’s U.S. Drought Monitor moderate to severe drought conditions were still in place between Springfield, IL and Elkhart, IN.
As we’ve stated throughout the week, the greatest snowfall accumulations are going to remain north and west of the region. However, as temperatures drop Saturday a period of light snow and flurries is possible as the wrap-around moisture moves over the region. Any accumulations are expected to remain light, generally an inch or less, and mainly confined to grassy and elevated surfaces.
Impacts to Weekend Travel
Other than some minor slowdowns due to periods of moderate rain Friday and Saturday, any impacts to local travel should be minimal. Even once the rain and snow ends, pavement temperatures in Central Illinois are expected to remain above freezing until 6 am Sunday. This should allow any wet roads to dry before it becomes cold enough for them to ice over.
Winter weather will impact travel across Iowa, Wisconsin and northern Illinois so those planning to travel along I-80 in Iowa this weekend are likely to encounter slick road conditions.