WINTER STORM WARNINGS IN EFFECT

Update 12:34am: Yes, I’m blogging even after work. I made it back to my apartment just fine; Bypass 20 was cleared sufficiently that it’s very drivable if you drive appropriately. However, country roads out in open areas will likely not be as good tonight. At the station, we were experiencing blowing and even some minor drifting. This will impact rural roads that aren’t cleared as often. I can tell you from experience (i.e. my parking lot) that the slush is very, very slick! In addition, slush will likely freeze in some spots tonight, leading to very hazardous conditions. Please plan for extra time for your morning commute!

LIVE CHAT – For your username, please use your first name and the town where you live. Thanks! [The chat has ended for the night… thanks for joining us and reporting your snowfall totals!]

Update 6:48pm: Road conditions areawide are classified as patchy to completely covered in snow. We have about 1.5″ here at the station north of Winnebago. The highest snowfall total reported thus far is 3.0″ in DeKalb; there is still a fairly heavy band of snow located over DeKalb County right now.

Update 5:54pm:
The Storm Prediction Center has issued a local technical discussion regarding snowfall trends through about midnight. Click here to read it. Snowfall totals in the Rockford metro are now around 1.5″ to 2″.

Update 4:35pm: Winter Storm Warnings continue. We have about an inch right now at the station, although Franklin Grove has 2.5″. I would suspect that other locations not far east and south of Rockford are somewhere in the 2-3″ range at this time.

When I was out measuring snow here, I could hear a car’s tires lose traction. The wet pavement that is now collecting a slushy accumulation will turn to icy pavement later this evening if it’s untreated. Bridges and overpasses will be the first to be susceptible to ice.

The heaviest snowfall will continue to fall along and east of Interstate 39.

Update 2:43pm:
The snow has become heavier and more steady here at the station… and it appears the same way in downtown Rockford based on our skycam shot. Now that the snow has gotten going, it will become easier for it to accumulate both on the ground and on roadways. The snow will vary in intensity this afternoon and evening, but I don’t foresee any breaks in snowfall.

Update 1:42pm:
What should be some heavy snow in/near Rockford is only light snow. It appears that temperatures are still a tad too warm (both at the ground and aloft) for good snow production. Still manageable road conditions for the time being, although I wouldn’t be surprised if bridges/overpasses have snow on them.


Update 12:52pm: Can you tell I like updating? Anyway, the image at left shows the change in barometric pressure over the past three hours. Once a weather system is pretty well developed, the surface low will tend to move toward wherever the greatest fall in pressure is located. At noon, the greatest pressure fall was in eastern Michigan. Since the low is now located in east-central Illinois, it should take a general northeast track. As the low pulls away, we will remain in the favored area for snowfall.

Update 12:33pm: A band of heavier snow is developing roughly along I-39 and moving westward. This trend of occasional bands of moderate to heavy snow will continue. In addition, winds will increase to around 15-25mph this evening, creating a blowing snow hazard, especially overnight.

Snowfall reports to weather@wrex.com are appreciated.

Original post: The entire WREX viewing area is under a WINTER STORM WARNING.

Hazardous winter weather will overspread the area today and tonight. The snow has taken a while to get going north of US20, but snow will eventually envelope the entire Stateline.

The latest data suggests the possibility of snowfall in excess of 6″ in some locations. In addition, strong winds late this afternoon will cause blowing snow.

IF YOU MUST TRAVEL TODAY, BE EXTREMELY CAUTIOUS!

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This post was written by qni_it on November 30, 2008

24 Comments so far

  1. Justin November 30, 2008 4:45 PM

    Will there still be travel problems tomorrow morning?

  2. Justin Gehrts November 30, 2008 4:56 PM

    Very likely. I haven’t looked at a ton of stuff yet… just enough to know that it’s reasonable to up the snowfall totals.

    Haven’t checked to see exactly when I think it’ll stop snowing, BUT blowing snow will become a concern later this afternoon through the night tonight.

  3. tony November 30, 2008 5:39 PM

    So do you think it will be bad about 10pm tonight because that’s when I get off of work and also how will it might be at around 9am tomorrow morning because I have a doctors appointment. I was very shocked when I got up this morning and heard 6-8 inches possible especially when it was only 2-4 yesterday.

  4. Chad South Beloit November 30, 2008 6:20 PM

    The storm looks like it’s sucking in some dryer air, is there a chance this storm is weakening ?

  5. Justin Gehrts November 30, 2008 6:27 PM

    Chad – hopefully you got to sleep in today! There was a little dry air aloft that got wrapped in, but that is now becoming a non-factor for us. Looking at recent trends and talking with the fine folks at the National Weather Service, it appears that organized bands of snow should start developing this afternoon.

    I don’t any signs of another dry slot developing… so it’ll be snowy from here on out.

    Tony – we should be well into the snow by 10pm tonight. I do know that some trucks are at least preparing to head out, since I saw one on Bypass 20. Tomorrow morning, the snow will be tapering off, but the amount of blowing snow will have an impact on road conditions by that time.

  6. tony November 30, 2008 7:06 PM

    I have noticed from the radars that there should be some moderate snow falling, but outside my window, there is hardly anything coming down. What time should the main snow start happening.

  7. bluedaisy November 30, 2008 7:10 PM

    Let It Snow Let It Snow Let It Snow! (Can you tell I have tomorrow off work??) 🙂

    Thanks for the up to date info – keep it coming!

  8. tony November 30, 2008 7:21 PM

    Well I think the 6-8 inch total this morning was jumping the gun. I noticed that on justins 7 day outlook he has 3-6 inches and now the NWS has lowered the amounts to 3-6. Thanks goodness for 13 weather team. They are always on it and more accurate than anyone. Either way it is still possibly the first big snow for this early season.

  9. tony November 30, 2008 8:17 PM

    Well as of this post at my house it is really starting to come down now. If this is an omen of the storm to come, looks like it will pile up.

  10. WI Weather Buff November 30, 2008 9:44 PM

    Y’know, I am really not ready for this.

    I feel like I’m still just starting to recover from last winter.

    I have a 1 hr commute to w*rk when the roads are dry and the weather grand. There were many times last winter when my 1-hr commute took 3 hrs or more and I am just plain not ready for another endless round of that.

    Dang j*b … why can’t they move it closer to my house?

    Bleh.

  11. bryce26 November 30, 2008 9:45 PM

    i thought wet snow dosn’t blow like dry snow

  12. WI Weather Buff November 30, 2008 9:50 PM

    Hey, is that lake effect snow?

    I could swear the radar looks like its coming in straight off Lake Michigan. Sheesh, you hardly ever get that this far inland.

    Or am I imagining things?

  13. bryce26 November 30, 2008 10:01 PM

    in belvidere theres only a coating on the ground, will this pick up?

  14. Justin Gehrts November 30, 2008 10:02 PM

    WI Wx Buff – There has been some lake influence. However, since the lake is so warm, the snow coming off it is really wet, so accumulations aren’t really any higher because of lake-enhanced snow.

    Bryce – Regarding blowing snow… wet snow is indeed hard to blow around. However, as our temperature drops into the 20s tonight, and winds increase, I believe that the snow will “dry out” enough to blow around in open areas.

  15. Justin December 1, 2008 12:18 AM

    Wow. I got in an argument with a friend that said it was lake effect snow. I told him that it would snow regardless but it just made it more wet. I was just guessing to make him look wrong.

    Anyway, where is the link to see closings tomorrow morning? I cant seem to find it anywhere.

    And people need to learn to drive!! I dont care if you have a heavy duty deisel with 4 wheel drive, any vehicle can slide. I was on perryville where the lanes merge and out of nowhere someone came flying past me and tried to cut me off but then slid and almost hit me. Its a miracle my car stopped with my bald tires.

  16. WI Weather Buff December 1, 2008 12:26 AM

    Justin, I agree with you about bad driving! Somewhere back in the archives of this blog, about this time last year or maybe the year before I went off on a complete and total RANT about tailgating when the roads are snow covered and slippery. GRRRR.

    You said it just right, no matter what kind of vehicle you have, no matter what kinds of fancy gadgets its got or what the tire salesguy said, vehicles can still slide and cannot stop on a dime when the road underneath them is slippery!

  17. WI Weather Buff December 1, 2008 12:33 AM

    Okay Justin G ….

    I know Eric wrote a blog lesson about this eons ago, but I forgot what the answer is and I can’t find the old lesson on this topic:

    What time is 03-06Z in human terms? (grin)

    Thx.

  18. Justin Gehrts December 1, 2008 12:46 AM

    During standard time, 03-06Z would be 9pm-12am.

  19. WI Weather Buff December 1, 2008 12:47 AM

    Thanks!

  20. Dubuquer December 1, 2008 1:26 AM

    Here in Dubuque, IA our storm total thus far is 4.1 inches.

    –Some areas on the grass have about three and some have more than five inches, but I found a nice flat spot and measured just shy of 4.1 inches.

    –I take it the snow is nearly done accumulating here? How much more snow accumulation through the night can we expect in Dubuque?

    –And, by the way, some schools tomorrow in NE Iowa are all ready delayed!

    –Another thing, I drove home around 5:00 when the intensity of the snow really started to get going around here, and the roads were horrendous. I guess I am continuing the “bad driving” topic. I consider myself a pretty experienced driver; I know when to slow down.. unlike some people.. GRR.. but leaving the highway, I had to let the ABS let me stop, because my regular brakes just wouldn’t cut it! I applied the brakes gently, but I just kept sliding! No fun.. at all. Then, the road that I turned onto was 100% slush/ice/snow covered; and I fishtailed a time or two.

    –Did I forget to mention cars in ditches on my drive home from Dubuque?

    But, back to the reason why I came here.. 4.1″ of snow (variable) measured–MUCH lesser in the city of Dubuque as opposed to a few miles west of the city. And, how much more snow can I expect out here?

    Thank You!

  21. Dubuquer December 1, 2008 1:28 AM

    And, snow is really beginning to blow-around, here!

    How will Monday Morning’s commute be impacted?

    –Obviously, adversely.. But, details, please?

  22. Justin December 1, 2008 1:34 AM

    Hopefully enough to cancel school. We’ve had a snow day every year on Dec. 1st since I was a freshman… Lets keep the streak goin!!

    Is there enough activity to have a live chat? That would be easier.

  23. Justin Gehrts December 1, 2008 1:48 AM

    West of the Mississippi, the heaviest snow is ending. It’ll probably be light snow through the night, though.

    Morning commute will depend largely on how well road crews can keep things cleared. Something on their side is that temperatures are plenty warm for the salt to do its magic… as long as it doesn’t dissolve into the wet snow before melting it! I do expect most places to be pretty messy, but any decreases in snow intensity will likely help road crews immensely.

  24. WI Weather Buff December 1, 2008 9:28 AM

    A brief reconnaissance mission @ 3:00 a.m. indicated that blowing & drifting is happening on rural highways.

    If you've got a long rural commute, best to take your 4WD & leave yourself extra time.

    *SIGH* Back to the "winter commute schedule" ….

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