Wednesday, February 20, 2013
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Winter storm expected on Thursday

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[February 20, 2013]  The National Weather Service in Lincoln posted a forecast early Wednesday morning about winter storm conditions possible Thursday afternoon into early Friday morning over parts of west-central and central Illinois.

The NWS message said that low pressure will track out of New Mexico and into the central Plains Thursday and into the western Great Lakes by sunset Friday.

Snow will develop in extreme western Illinois by midday Thursday and spread northeast over central and east-central Illinois during the afternoon and evening on Thursday. Snow will gradually become mixed with sleet or freezing rain by Thursday afternoon over southeast Illinois and over central Illinois during the night Thursday. Snowfall amounts of 4 to 6 inches will be possible west of Interstate 55, with the heaviest amounts over Knox, Fulton and Schuyler counties.

East winds will increase Thursday afternoon and will be gusting up to 30 mph. This will produce some blowing and drifting of the snow Thursday afternoon into Thursday evening, especially northwest of the Illinois River.

A winter storm watch remains in effect from Thursday afternoon through late Thursday night for the counties of Knox, Stark, Peoria, Marshall, Woodford, Fulton, Tazewell, Schuyler, Mason, Logan, Cass, Menard, Scott, Morgan, Sangamon and Christian, including the cities of Galesburg, Peoria, Havana, Lincoln, Jacksonville, Springfield and Taylorville.

Timing: Snow will develop over parts of west-central Illinois by early Thursday afternoon and continue through Thursday evening.

Accumulations: 4 to 6 inches of snow, with heaviest amounts northwest of the Illinois River.

Wind: East winds will increase to between 15 and 20 mph, with a few gusts reaching 30 mph, which will cause some blowing and drifting of snow Thursday afternoon into Thursday evening.

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Impacts: Conditions will deteriorate rapidly once the snow begins. Travel will become hazardous due to poor visibility and roads quickly becoming snow-covered and icy. The potential for some sleet or freezing rain will make driving conditions even more hazardous, especially late Thursday afternoon through Thursday night.

Precautionary, preparedness actions: A winter storm watch means there is a potential for significant snow, sleet or ice accumulations that may affect travel. Continue to monitor the latest forecasts.




Keep watch at NWS, Central Illinois:

Graphical depiction:
(Or see below for graphic posted by NWS on Wednesday.)

[Text from National Weather Service, Lincoln office]

A winter storm continues to take aim on central and southeast Illinois for Thursday and Thursday night. Precipitation is expected to begin to spread in from the southwest late Thursday morning and continue through the evening hours before diminishing after midnight. While this will start as snow, it will begin to mix with or change to sleet and freezing rain, especially after late afternoon. The greatest snow accumulations are expected along and northwest of the Illinois River, while locations along and south of Interstate 70 have the greatest potential for significant ice accumulation.

There is still some uncertainty in the details of this system, which would affect where the heavier snow and ice amounts occur, so continue to monitor the latest forecasts for updates on this system. A winter storm watch has been issued for a portion of central Illinois and is in effect for Thursday afternoon through Thursday night.

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