Peoria, Ill. (WMBD) — I’ll tell you right of the bat that there is still a tremendous amount of uncertainty surrounding the forecast due to the following reasons…

  • Uncertain storm track
  • Low snow ratios
  • Limited supply of cold air
  • Surface temperatures near to above freezing
  • Warm ground temperatures
  • Snow mainly falling during the day
  • Higher Sun Angle

Rain is likely to start late tonight, mainly after 3 am and continue into Friday morning. By mid to late morning, some parts of Central Illinois should begin to see a changeover to a very wet and heavy snow. Exactly where this band of snow develops remains uncertain, but underneath it snowfall rates of 1-2 inches an hour will be possible. Outside of that heavier band of snow, snow will be harder to accumulate and may end up falling as a wintry mix or even all rain.

Based on the latest trends we have continued to shift the axis of heavier snow further east with the heaviest snow expected north of I-74 and along and east of I-55. Right now, it looks like a narrow swath of 3-6 inches of snow will be possible from Pontiac to NW Indiana with amounts tapering off to less than 3 inches along the Illinois River. Bloomington/Normal looks to be on the edge of some of the higher amounts with 2-5 inches expected. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for areas along and east of I-55 from Noon through 9 pm Friday.

Given the warm temperatures it’s likely the band of accumulating snow will be narrower than what is actually advertised here, perhaps as wide as a county or two, and additional shifts in storm track are still very much possible.

Winds are also expected to become strong with frequent gusts between 40 and 45 mph from the north likely. Where the heavy/wet snow falls, there will be a risk of downed trees and powerlines.

Rainfall Forecast

Rainfall amounts have been decreased west of the Illinois River to less than a half inch while areas along the Illinois River are set to see a half inch to an inch. Along and east of I-55, amounts could still reach over 2 inches which could result in localized flooding.