Snowfall Forecast Update: Winter Weather Advisories Issued for Central Illinois

Weather Blog

Peoria, Ill. (WMBD) – The National Weather Service has issued Winter Weather Advisories for portions of Central Illinois, including Peoria County, through Noon Saturday. This will mainly be a light snow event for the region but western parts of Illinois could see moderate to heavy snow.

Key Takeaways

  • Snow most likely between 6 pm Friday and 6 am Saturday
  • Light to moderate snow accumulations with minor to moderate impacts to local travel
  • Dry air will limit snow accumulations northeast of a Kewanee to Bloomington line
  • Forecast Confidence
    • Timing: High
    • Snow Amounts: Moderate

Snow will develop across Central Illinois this afternoon, possibly starting as rain south of I-74, before becoming widespread by the evening commute. The bulk of the snow will fall between 6 pm Friday and 6 am Saturday with decreasing clouds throughout the day Saturday. Roads will quickly become snow covered ahead of the Friday evening commute and will remain that way for much of the night.

The heaviest snow is expected to remain over Iowa and Missouri where a widespread 4-8 inches of snow is likely. Central parts of Iowa could even be in for more than 10 inches snow. Some of this heavier snow could clip far western Illinois and bring locally heavier amounts to parts of Knox, Fulton and McDonough Counties. Further east the intrusion of dry air is expected to limit snowfall amounts east of a Kewanee to Bloomington line.

Should the air be dry air end up further east or the storm track slightly further east, as a few models continue to suggest, accumulations in the Peoria area would likely end up an inch or two higher than expected. However, history and experience tells us that the drier air will have a greater impact on our accumulations than what these more aggressive models suggest.

Wind speeds will be blowing from the northeast at 10-20 mph with gusts up to 30 mph possible. While this could lead to some localized blowing and drifting snow, the wet nature of the snow should limit the overall impacts of blowing snow.

Snowfall Forecast as of 8 PM Friday

Only minor adjustments were needed for this latest snowfall forecast. I continue to anticipate dry air limiting accumulations to under one inch across much of La Salle and Livingston Counties. Amounts will range from just a trace to two inches of snow in McLean, Woodford and Marshall Counties and 1-3 inches across the Peoria Metro Area. The highest accumulations will be across western parts of Knox and Fulton Counties where 3-5 inches of snow are expected to fall.

Road Conditions

At the onset of the event roads will warm enough to keep them wet for a few hours but will likely become snow packed and slick by the evening commute. Snowfall rates east of a Kewanee to Bloomington line will be lighter making it easier for road crews to maintain road conditions here. Further west snowfall rates will be heavier and travel could become increasingly difficult, particularly across Knox and Fulton Counties where snowfall rates could exceed 1 inch an hour.

Here’s a look at our exclusive road conditions forecast through 8 am Saturday

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