Peoria, Ill. – Less than a week after a small clipper system brought 1-3 inches of snow to portions of Central Illinois, a series of stronger storms could impact the region later this week.
Here’s what we know…
- Scattered rain showers and gusty winds expected Thursday
- Wintry mix could make travel hazardous Friday night
- Accumulating snow is possible Saturday
The first front will bring scattered rain showers and gusty winds to Central Illinois on Thursday. Rain should end by Friday morning with a period of dry weather through early afternoon. The next wave is stronger and will begin to move into Central Illinois Friday evening, continuing through Saturday. This second wave is the one that could have the biggest impacts on Central Illinois and could bring ice and snow to the region.
While confidence is high that a period of winter weather will move through Central Illinois late this week, its not clear whether ice, snow or a mixture of both will be the dominant precip type.
After the initial cold front moves through Thursday night, warm air from the south will be trying to push back to the north as an area of low pressure deepens in Arkansas. Since warm air is less dense than cold air, the warm air will be lifted up and over the cold air at the surface. This will leave a layer of warm air aloft that will be above freezing allowing and snow falling through this layer to melt. As the rain falls closer to the surface, it could refreeze into sleet or freezing rain.
As of this writing, it is not clear how far north that layer of warm aloft will get. A few tenths of a degree is the difference between what could a major freezing rain event or wet and heavy snow. While it is impossible to make an ice and snowfall forecast this far out, it appears that travel will be difficult Friday night and Saturday across the state. Even in southern Illinois (south of I-70) where most of the precipitation will fall as rain, 3-5 inches of rain will lead to localized flooding.
Stay with Your Local Weather Authority for the latest on this developing storm.