Peoria, Ill. (WMBD) — A strong storm system will impact much of the country this week bringing heavy snow to the upper Midwest and the Northern Plains and heavy rain to Central Illinois. While the winter weather is expected to stay north of us, the storm will still bring impactful rains and winds to the area.

Key Takeaways

  • Periods of heavy rain likely Wednesday
  • Strong Winds and falling temperatures expected Thursday

An area of low pressure currently located off the coast of the Baja Peninsula is expected to lift across the Southern Plains on Tuesday and into the Midwest on Wednesday as a large scale trough develops over the western U.S. As the system sweeps across the Southern Plains it will pick up a significant amount of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico setting the stage for heavy rain in Central Illinois.

Storm Timing

While a few stray showers and storms are possible Tuesday night, the bulk of the rain is expected to ramp up across Central Illinois on Wednesday. Light rain is expected to develop Wednesday morning with rain ramping up in coverage and intensity during the afternoon. Rainfall rates could exceed a 0.50″ per hour at times between noon and 6 pm. Scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms will remain possible throughout the evening before rain shifts north of the region by midnight. Severe weather is not expected at any point during this event.

It will be a dry day across Central Illinois but a strong cold front will bring falling temperatures and gusty winds to the area. Temperatures will likely top out in the lower to mid 50s before noon then drop in into the upper 20s by early evening. The strong front will also bring strong west-southwesterly winds to the state with frequent gusts of 35-50 mph possible.

Rainfall Forecast

Rainfall amounts are expected to range from 1-2 inches over much of Central Illinois with localized amounts over 2.0″ possible. The heavy rain could lead to localized flooding, particularly in urban areas. The Weather Prediction Center has issued a slight risk for excessive rainfall across Central Illinois on Wednesday.

Northern Plains & Upper Midwest Snow

On the cold side of the system multiple rounds of heavy snow are expected from the northern Rockies through the Great Lakes. A long duration snow event will result in wind a widespread 1-3 feet of snow from Wyoming to Michigan. Minneapolis, Minnesota looks to potentially see the worst of it with over 2 feet of snow expected through Thursday. Freezing rain could be a bigger issue across central Iowa, southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois Wednesday with ice accretions up to 0.50″ possible. Those planning to travel this week across the northern U.S. will want to monitor the forecast closely and reach out to airlines for potential cancellations before your trip.