Well, snow’s on the mind of the Tri-State and it’s not surprising. We hit 60° yesterday, some of us will see the teens tonight and wind chills in the single digits, but we can’t help ourselves – we look to the weekend with the promise of accumulating snowfall and, boy is it promising.
The latest model data suggests that the first of the snowfall should reach our westernmost counties late Friday evening before spreading throughout the remainder of the Tri-State during the predawn hours on Saturday. While low temperatures early that morning will dip toward the upper 20s and low 30s area wide afternoon highs peaking near the mid to upper 30s could be problematic for snowfall production and accumulation.
There remains a significant chance that the southern half of the region (especially south of the Ohio) will see periods of rainfall or even a wintry mixture during Saturday afternoon. The mercury will gradually fall toward the freezing mark that evening and the snowfall production will resume for a short period before the last of the snow exits east of the region early Sunday morning.
Lending credence to the likelihood of periodic rainfall associated with the system, the Weather Prediction Center’s latest winter weather projections depict a high likelihood of 4 or more inches of accumulation across our northwestern third of the area. Some model data is calling for as much as 6″ of total snowfall across portions of Central Illinois.
Thankfully much of the model data we use to determine these snowfall projections are beginning to gel nicely. Though, I have to stress the “Preliminary” in these preliminary snowfall projections. It appears as though much of the region will receive between 2″ and 4″ between Friday night. More minor accumulations are expected for Madisonville and south due to the likelihood of rainfall. Our northernmost counties will remain the coolest during the impending event and (as a result) see the greatest snowfall totals.
Again, I cannot stress enough that these projections and numbers are preliminary; there’s still a good amount of time between now and the event itself. A lot can change in a short period of time, especially with the rain-line straddling the Tri-State. We’ll continue to watch the situation closely over the coming days – 44Weather will have additional updates as the system draws nearer.