Aside from 80° sunshine that is.
A very dynamic weather system will start and end with wintry precipitation, sandwiched with an inch or so of heavy rain! Let’s take this in batches.
Tonight: Rain and thunder will develop after midnight, possibly mixed with snow and sleet at times. Minor snow and sleet accumulations are possible, especially along and north of US20. Our Futuretrack computer model puts down 1-2 inches of snowfall, just in time for Friday morning’s commute. Areas most likely to receive the snow accumulation are in the Freeport-Rockford corridor, points northward into Monroe, Beloit, and Janesville. Areas along the I-88 corridor will likely stay as all liquid. Temperatures will hover right at 32 degrees.
Thursday: Morning wintry mix will become all rain by 8am as warmer air moves in from the south. Rain will be accompanied by thunder at times. Small hail and gusty wind are possible in and around thunderstorms. Highs around 47 in Rockford with 50s south of I-88. 1-2 inches of rain is likely which will cause some flooding problems. Watch for standing water on roadways and if you live near a creek, watch for rapid rises. The rivers will need to be monitored, especially on Friday and Saturday as ice jams will be possible.
Thursday night: Very Windy with rain changing to snow. Some minor accumulations will be possible. Again, in the 1-2 inch range for Northern Illinois. However, this minor snow will come with major wind! Wind gusts will exceed 50mph in open areas causing white-out conditions. It’s conceivable that we hit all-out blizzard conditions Thursday evening after 8pm. Temperatures will fall to around 22 with wind chills around 10 degrees.
Friday: Light snow in the morning, becoming sunny and very windy. Highs around 32 with peak wind gusts around 45mph.
This post was written by Eric Sorensen on February 19, 2014