Despite the cool, clear and tranquil conditions currently situated throughout the Ohio and Wabash Valleys, the National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning, Winter Weather Advisory and Winter Storm Watch for portions of the Tri-State in advance of this weekend’s impending snowfall event. Considering the potential impact this system may have on the region, I wouldn’t be surprised to the NWS expand that Winter Weather Advisory to encompass a majority of the area.
Snow is expected to reach portions of our westernmost counties as early as 5:30 P.M. CT tomorrow evening. From there, it will spread eastward, first affecting the areas south of the Ohio, then gradually shifting northeastward toward Evansville (reaching the River City around 8:00 P.M.) and the rest of Southwestern Indiana. By midnight, the entirety of the Tri-State will be experiencing a full-on snowfall event.
A sustained, heavy and wet snowfall will continue into the predawn hours Saturday for the whole of the region; expect accumulations to add up quickly overnight. Eventually, the southerly wind flow associated with the system will gradually drive surface temperatures above the freezing mark, eroding that sustained snowfall and replacing it with rainfall from the south. In fact, there is a high likelihood that many of us south of the Ohio will see more rainfall than snow during Saturday afternoon and early evening as the mercury climbs into the mid and upper 30s.
However, it is appearing more and more likely that temperatures will remain at or below that freezing mark for much of our northern and western counties. As a result, they stand the greatest chance of receiving significant snow accumulations. That combination of rain, snow and periodic wintry mixture will linger through Saturday night and into Sunday; all-the-while that freeze line will align itself with the Ohio Valley perpetuating that chance of rainfall for our southernmost counties. Current model data suggests that the last of the winter weather is expected to exit east of the region late Sunday morning.
Again, it looks as though our Illinoisan counties will find themselves shoveling the most snowfall come Sunday afternoon. Many communities west of the Wabash will see 3″ to 4.5″ of snowfall – I wouldn’t be surprised though to see one or two reports of 5″ from our far northern or western counties. Some portions of south central Illinois could see upwards of 7″ by the time this is all said and done.
It looks as though those of us in the River City will see between 2″ and 3″ by Sunday – Owensboro will likely trend closer to 2″. It’s around this point in which that pesky freeze line mentioned above becomes a thorn in the side. Due to the likelihood of rainfall, many communities in the 1″ to 2″ range such as Madisonville and Hartford could see a quick burst of snowfall with 1″ to 2″ of accumulation by late Saturday morning – Unfortunately, the rain and above freezing temperatures could melt that accumulation down to a fraction of an inch or virtually nothing by the time the event concludes. That being said, no matter where you reside in the Tri-State, snow is headed your way. Is your shovel ready?
44Weather will continue to keep you updated on the situation as it continues to evolve.