Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Wednesday Update: Snowfall and Gusty Winds

Low pressure in the deep South Tuesday brought severe weather and tornadoes to Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.  That same low will track northeast into Tennessee and Kentucky by Wednesday morning and then into western Ohio by Wednesday night.

In anticipation of accumulating snowfall Wednesday, Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories have been issued for parts of Chicago, Indiana and Michigan.  Winter Storm Warnings are in pink and Winter Weather Advisories are in purple.  Areas south and east of the downtown Chicago area could stand to receive half a foot of snowfall by Wednesday night with very strong Northeast winds likely causing extremely dangerous travel conditions for the evening commute.

The far western suburbs and Rockford are right on the edge of little snow accumulation to no snowfall at all.  This alone should give you an idea of just how complex this storm system is going to be and how tight the snowfall gradient will be just over 100 miles!

The current track and thinking from Monday hasn't changed much with respect to snowfall amounts.  Around the Rockford area accumulations will likely be a dusting, maybe up to an inch up through Janesville.  Far eastern Boone, McHenry and DeKalb counties could receive a couple inches of snow with totals nearing four inches the closer to you get to Chicago.  One important note is there has been a very small shift in the surface low track to the west and if that westward track continues, worst case scenario for Rockford and surrounding areas would be 2" to 4" of snowfall.  So, this forecast is not set in stone yet.  So stay tuned!

Northeast winds will increase by late morning Wednesday with wind gusts nearing 35-40 mph through the afternoon.  This will bring wind chills down roughly ten degrees from the actual air temperature, making it feel a lot cooler than the past two days.

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