Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Winter Weather Update and More

***Don't forget, any weather questions you may have throughout the day the weather chat is the place to go just to the right of this post****

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12:45pm Update: Winter Storm Warnings continue for Jo Davies, Stephenson, Carroll, Whiteside, Winnebago, Boone, McHenry, Ogle and DeKalb counties.

Winter Weather Advisory for Green, Rock and Walworth counties in southern Wisconsin and for Lee county in Illinois.

Moderate to heavy snow continues over north-central Illinois with a heavy snow axis just south of Highway 20 and extending into eastern Iowa.  So far, totals have been near an inch to two inches and will continue to steadily climb through the afternoon before slowly coming to an end by this evening.  Roads are snow covered and traffic has been moving slowly across the area.   Still sticking with my 6" area wide with locally higher totals where the heavier bands of snow set up.  Either way, visibility has come down significnatly and roads are snow covered so conditions for the rest of this afternoon and evening will continue to worsen. 

Visibility has significantly gone down across Rockford via our SkyTrack camera.  Heavy snow moving through the Rockford Metro - up to the Wisconsin/Illinois border and down through Rochelle.  Visibility down to less than half a mile.

Update:  Whiteside county has now been added into the Winter Storm Warning

10:30am Update: Snowfall rates are beginning to pick up across western Illinois this morning.  Heavier snowfall is occurring across northeast and north-central Iowa this morning and the snow will continue to slide east/southeast through noon.  Roads are already snow covered so watch for slick spots. 

9:40am Update: Light snow is now moving in west of I-39 and will continue to move east.  There is a  moderate to heavy band of snow falling near Dubuque south through Jo Daviess, Carroll and Whiteside counties.  Within this band of heavier snow visibility has been reduced to a quarter mile or less and snowfall rates are near half an inch to one inch per hour.   Accumulations could be near one to two inches by Noon across northwest Illinois.

8:15am Update:  If you were to just look at the current radar image across northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin you would expect to see snow outside.  If you were to step outside right now you would notice we don't have a whole lot of anything except bitter cold!  Our atmosphere this morning is extremely dry with dew points well below zero.  Snow has just recently been reported in Dubuque, IA even though the radar showed it snowing there for some time this morning.  As the snow falls through the dry atmosphere it evaporates.  You can tell by looking at the clouds that there is some moisture in them by the way their color is - we're just not seeing it yet at the surface.  It will take some time before the atmosphere saturates before we see some snow.  So your travel this morning will be okay, just VERY cold!

A Winter Storm Warning continues for Jo Daviess, Stephenson, Winnebago, Boone, McHenry, Ogle and DeKalb counties through this evening.

A Winter Weather Advisory remains for Green, Rock and Walworth counties in southern Wisconsin as well as for Whiteside and Lee counties in Illinois.

Looks like the heaviest snow bands may set up right along the Highway 20 corridor this afternoon and evening.  A boundry drapped across the area and an upper level low will become the focus for snowfall later today.  Snow has been reported across Iowa this morning with reports of one to two inches falling so far.  Even though the radar is showing snow across the region, probably a lot of it isn't reaching the ground just yet as dew points are well below zero.  I anticipate the snow to move into northwest Illinois after 7am and spread east through mid-morning; hitting Rockford around 9am.  The snow will start off light but increase in intensity during the afternoon and evening.  Your morning commute should be fine, just cold!  It's later today and tonight that travel may become tricky and slick. 

Snowfall totals area wide will likely top out around 5"-6", however, as some of the heavier bands begin to set up the rate at which the snowfall comes down may cause totals closer to 7" or even 8".  Going into the afternoon we'll have to pay very close attention to just where this moderate band of snow sets up and what the snow to liquid ratios are.  Some of the latest weather guidance has suggested the storm speeding up this afternoon which could cut down on totals. 

Updates will continue to be provided right here so be sure to keep checking back!

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