Snow and sleet expected Saturday afternoon and evening

Weather Blog

Peoria, Ill – Heavy rain fell across much of Central Illinois Friday night with most areas receiving 1-3 inches of rain by noon Saturday. Areas west of the Illinois River experienced light freezing rain and freezing drizzle Saturday morning leaving a light glaze of ice on elevated surfaces.

After a brief break from the rain, the final wave of the storm system will swing through Central Illinois this afternoon and evening. The snow is expected to ramp up 2 am west of the Illinois River and spread east throughout the afternoon and evening. A Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect for areas west of the Illinois River through 12 am Sunday.

The track of the snow band has shifted a little to the east and it now appears that most of Central Illinois will see a quick 2-4 inches of snow with locally higher amounts possible before the storm ends by midnight. Complicating the forecast will be localized bands of sleet mixing in with the snow which would keep snow accumulations lower in spots. The additional sleet and snow will add another 0.25″ to 0.50″ of moisture to the 1-3 inches already received.

Regardless of amounts, conditions will deteriorate this afternoon with travel becoming difficult this evening. Winds will also occasionally gust to 35 mph which will create areas of blowing and drifting snow which will reduce visibility.

The greatest risk of snow accumulating on roads is west of the Illinois River where road temperatures are expected to be below freezing as the snow begins. This would allow the snow to start sticking to road surfaces immediately. Further east it could take a few hours before road temperatures fall below freezing preventing snow from immediately accumulating on the roads, however, localized snowfall rates of 1 inch per hour would allow the snow to fall faster than it could melt.

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