The season's latest winter storm produced a wave of accumulating snowfall overnight across the Chicago area after burying areas of the state farther west toward the Mississippi River under nearly a foot of snow. Mount Sterling, Illinois---east of Quincy---measured a 10.5" accumulation while Hannibal, Missouri, just across the Mississippi, was hit with 13.5". The St. Louis area recorded a 6" snowfall before precipitation shifted to sleet and freezing rain. And, over a large area of downstate Illinois and Indiana, from Champaign east to Indianapolis, freezing rain deposited ice and produced treacherous travel conditions.
Kansas, northern Oklahoma and Missouri bear the brunt of the storm; top snow totals hit 18"
The huge system, which was first signaled by computer models as potential trouble for the nation's mid-section more than a week ago while far out in the Pacific, reserved its most potent snows for the Plains. There, many locations logged the 2012-13 snow season's biggest accumulations to date. Kansas City's 9.0" total set a new record for Feb. 21, eclipsing the old benchmark of 5.1” set in 2010.
More than a foot of snow fell from northern Oklahoma across a large swath of Kansas east into Missouri. Far southeast Nebraska got in on the heavy snowfall as well with Elwood measuring an 11.5" accumulation. Though contributing to terrible travel conditions, the snow also delivered much needed moisture to an area which has been locked in severe and extreme drought.
Snows which linger Friday likely to produce little additional accumulation here
A heavy overcast lingers Friday in the wake of significant overnight snows with spells of drizzle and periods of more sporadic, much lighter snowfall predicted from time to time. Significant additional accumulations aren't likely, though the low pressure system responsible for Friday's inclement weather may hold clouds over the area into Saturday.
An average of 25% of Chicago’s seasonal snow, including nearly a third of its 4"+ snows, have occurred from Feb. 22 forward
Nearly 75% of the snow Chicago receives over the course of its snow season has typically fallen by Feb. 22. But, 25% of the city's snow and nearly one-third of its 4" or greater snows have occurred from this date forward over the 128 year observational record here.
The city has recorded 330 four-inch or greater snow events over that period of time, 105 (or 32%) of which have occurred beyond this date in past snow seasons.
New Pacific storm heads into Heartland next week and is being monitored
A vigorous new system is churning across the Pacific. Model forecasts take it into the nation’s mid-section early next week then slow its eastward movement as an atmospheric blocking pattern takes shape. The system's structure appears quite complex in current numerically-generated scenarios. But, early indications suggest liquid-form precipitation or a mix of rain and sleet could begin falling with it across Chicago later Monday, potentially shifting to snow as cooling takes place Monday night into Tuesday. We'll keep you posted on this potential storm’s development and movement as newer information arrives.