Blizzard threatening up to a foot of windblown snow in areas downstate. Storm’s winds and light snow to swipe the Chicago area

The second powerful winter storm to sweep into the Midwest in less than a week is to bring travel-crippling blizzard conditions to downstate Illinois and Indiana Wednesday and Wednesday night. Though its most potent blast of wintry weather is to focus on areas to Chicago’s south, the system’s powerful winds, gusting at times to 40 mph, and its light north-flank snows will make themselves felt over portions of the metro area Wednesday into Wednesday night amid daytime wind chills expected to hover in the teens.


White-out conditions brought on by as much as a foot of snow and 50 mph wind gusts may lead to road closures over a huge swath of terrain from downstate Illinois and Indiana east across Ohio, the northwest half of Pennsylvania, New York state and into Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.


Model snowfall estimates through Thursday include 13.7” Dayton, Ohio, 12.3” Indianapolis, 10.5” Cleveland, Ohio, 9.2” Toledo, Ohio; 8.7” Terre Haute, 6.5” Evansville and 5.7” in Detroit.


Our in-house RPM model is predicting localized 24-30” accumulations in the hardest hit high-elevation areas of northern New York state.


These are estimates, and while final amounts may vary, the trend in snowfall intensity communicated by these totals is clear.


Same winter storm unleashes swarm of twisters across the Deep South Tuesday; outbreak may be the worst U.S. Christmas outbreak in the 30 years since 1982


As feared, the storm driving the predicted blizzard downstate also lambasted the Deep South Christmas day.  But it was tornadoes spawned by powerful thunderstorms—not snow—which were the headliners across a five-state region from eastern Texas to Alabama. Early reports indicate the storms produced injuries and extensive damage to some locales and threatened to push the Christmas Day 2012 outbreak into the books as the worst to occur since 1982. In that outbreak, 29 twisters occurred which resulted in 3 fatalities.


That was the same Christmas Chicago recorded a 64-degree high temperature—the warmest Dec 25 reading on the books here in 142 years of official records.


Lake-effect snows bring White Christmas to parts of the Chicago; up to an inch reported


A concentrated, narrow “plume” (corridor) of lake-effect snowfall developed as predicted Christmas day producing as much as an inch of snow over a small portion of the Chicago area Tuesday.


Though O’Hare recorded just 0.1” and Midway reported just a trace, an inch of snow fell at Rogers Park and Morton Grove, 0.9” Northbrook and 0.5” on Chicago’s northwest side at the WGN studios not far from Wrigleyville.


O’Hare’s 0.1” of snow brings season total to a paltry 0.4”—still the least so late in a season in 69 years


Tuesday’s tally at O’Hare nudges the 2012-13 seasonal snow total “all” the way to 0.4”—far short of the 7+” considered normal to date. The anemic 0.4” total is the least snow to have occurred here by this late in a snow season in the 69 years since 1943, when just 0.3” had fallen.


U.S. snowpack expands to more than 50% of Lower 48; reflective surface limits daytime highs to single digits across 4 northern states


Snow coverage across the Lower 48 passed the 50% mark Christmas Day—the greatest percentage of the country covered by snow this season. It’s an amount well below the 10 year U.S. average by Dec 25 of 36.9%.  It’s also well below the 29.2% Lower 48 snow coverage a year ago.


Chicago’s next shots of snow loom Friday and Sunday night; expanding snowpack to allow more of that cold arctic air to flow into Chicago next week, intensifying the chill


A new weather system made its way onto the West Coast Christmas Day prompting a series of winter weather watches and warnings over a six state area from California to Colorado. It promises a new round of snow for western ski resorts and is to track into the Midwest with Chicago’s next snow potential Friday and Friday night. A second system appears likely to follow Sunday night.

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