A winter storm watch has been issued for areas south and east of Chicago for Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.
From the National Weather Service:
DEEPENING LOW PRESSURE WILL TRACK SOUTHEAST OF THE AREA TUESDAY
AND WEDNESDAY. WARM AIR INITIALLY WILL ALLOW FOR PRECIPITATION TO
FALL AS RAIN ACROSS THE AREA BUT IT IS EXPECTED TO TRANSITION TO
MODERATE TO BRIEFLY HEAVY SNOW LATE TUESDAY EVENING AND WEDNESDAY
MORNING. SNOW AMOUNTS AND LOCATION OF HIGHEST AMOUNTS IS STILL NOT
CLEAR BUT THERE IS THE POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT SNOW ALONG WITH
BLOWING SNOW ACROSS THE WATCH AREA.
The winter storm watch includes the following counties…
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF…KANKAKEE…PONTIAC…WATSEKA…PAXTON…
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN CHICAGO HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM
WATCH…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 10 PM CDT TUESDAY EVENING UNTIL 1PM CDT WEDNESDAY
TIMING…RAIN WILL CHANGE TO SNOW FROM LATE TUESDAY EVENING INTO
THE OVERNIGHT HOURS FROM NORTH TO SOUTH.
MAIN IMPACT…MODERATE TO AT TIMES HEAVY SNOW IS POSSIBLE WITH
HIGH ACCUMULATION RATES. TOTAL AMOUNTS OF 6 OR MORE INCHES OF
SNOW IS POSSIBLE.
OTHER IMPACTS…NORTHERLY WINDS WILL INCREASE TO 20 TO 35 MPH
WITH GUSTS OF 35 MPH TUESDAY NIGHT THROUGH WEDNESDAY MORNING
LEADING TO BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW. TRAVEL MAY BECOME
TREACHEROUS DUE TO SNOW COVERED ROADS AND SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCED
VISIBILITY LATE TUESDAY EVENING THROUGH WEDNESDAY MORNING.
Strong southerly winds 20 to 30 mph with gusts over 40 mph have boosted temperatures close to 20 degrees this evening, but the strong winds are causing much blowing and drifting of the newly fallen snow across the area and it is taking a severe toll on area roads, especially in northwest and north central Illinois and in the Rockford area.
Here are some reports sent to us by Meteorologist Eric Sorensen at WREX-TV in Rockford
Roads are becoming a disaster tonight. Reports of dozens of cars in the ditch in a 10 mile stretch of Illinois 72, People abandoning cars out in NW Illinois, and two-foot drifts out near the station. Travel is discouraged.
Beloit Rd. from IL76 to IL173 covered in drifts.
Rockton Rd. east of Free Church: shut down.
Cunningham Rd. west of Winnebago: drifted.
IL38 Rochelle to DeKalb: 30 mph traffic.
US20 drifting between Freeport and Lena.
Auburn Rd. impassable west of Meridian Rd.
IL72 from Genoa to Hampshire: 30 cars stuck in drifts Harlem Rd. between Rock Cut & Aberdeen almost impassable
IL173: Drifting Harvard to Machesney Pk.
Riverside Blvd. east of I-90: Drifted.
IL route 72 completely shutdown
The blowing and drifting snow will be followed by a weekend snowstorm that threatens to bring another round of accumulating snow to the region with 4 to 8 inches expected in much of the Chicago Metro area with the heaviest totals south of the city. Dangerous and record-setting cold air will follow in the wake of the snow beginning Sunday night with temperatures dropping to 20 below or lower in some outlying areas with wind chills to 50 below. The subzero weather is expected to last into Wednesday with daytime highs on Monday struggling to break minus 10.
The freezing rain advisory has been extended to 4pm this afternoon
Latest radar trends show the area of drizzle and light snow moving south through the Chicago Metro area with the precipitation diminishing in areas north and west of the city.
Glazing has been minor on most heavily traveled and chemically treated surfaces, but slick conditions have been reported on sidewalks, driveways and parking lots and on lightly traveled roads away from the city. Motorists and pedestrians should exercise caution through the afternoon.
A freezing rain advisory remains in effect for the entire Chicago Metro area until 2pm
Temperatures are plunging below freezing in the Chicago Metro area this afternoon as arctic air surges into the city and surrounding areas on strong and gusty north winds. Temperatures have dropped into the upper 20s and lower 30s and this is causing some light glazing of roads and walkways as a light drizzle is freezing on contact with the below freezing pavement.
Main roads and chemically treated surfaces are just wet, but some glazing is causing slippery spots on untreated and lesser traveled roads and pavements including sidewalks and parking lots.
Motorists and pedestrians are urged to be cautious when traveling about this afternoon. As cold air continues to infiltrate the area this afternoon the freezing drizzle should transition to light snow or flurries.
Temperatures will continue to tumble reaching the lower 20s by late afternoon and dropping through the teens into the single digits tonight before dropping to near or below zero by Monday morning.
A fast-moving clipper system is spreading an area of snow across Iowa and Minnesota this afternoon and the area of snow appears to be Chicago bound. Snow should move into the metro area from the west late this evening reaching the I-39 corridor by about 9pm and overspreading the area by about midnight. While heavy snow is not expected, totals are forecast to be in the 1 to 2 inch range with the greatest amounts across the north portions of the region. The snow should end early Christmas morning.
The north portions of the Chicago area are guaranteed a white Christmas with snow cover ranging from 1 inch south to 8 inches near the Wisconsin state line. However, south portions of the area have little if any snow on the ground , a result of last weekend rains. If the overnight snowfall arrives as expected, most of the Chicago Metro area should log its first white Christmas since 2010 when 5 inches of snow covered the ground at O’Hare International Airport, the city’s official weather site. A location is considered to have a white Christmas if at least 1 inch of snow covers the ground on Christmas Day.
Christmas Eve snow cover
The latest snowfall totals from areas west and north of Chicago
Madison, WI 2.5 inches
National Weather Service at Sullivan, WI 2.6 inches
Iowa City 5.5 inches
Elizabeth ,IL 3.1 inches
Blue Grass, IA 5.0 inches
Moline 4.1 inches
Freeport, IL 3.0 inches
Dubuque, IA 3.7 inches
Though icy conditions plagued areas well north and west of the city Saturday evening, much of the Chicago area escaped glazing conditions as a cold rain soaked the area with temperatures hovering just above freezing. The rain is moving out of the area late this evening as temperatures hold steady or slowly fall ranging from the upper 20s far west and north portions of the area to the lower and middle 30s in the city and areas to the south and east.
An area of snow is developing over portions of Iowa and Missouri under the storm’s upper-level low center, and this snow area will swing northeast overnight and Sunday morning bringing some snow to the Chicago area. Totals will be heaviest well north and west of the city – north and west of a line from Kenosha to De Kalb where winter storm warnings remain in effect. Snow totals in the warning area could range from 3 to locally 6 inches. Amounts will taper to the east with 2 to 4 inches possible in portions of Lake and Kane counties where winter weather advisories are posted. Amounts will continue to taper in Chicago and areas farther to the south and east where final totals by Sunday afternoon will range from 1 to 3 inches north and west of the city to a dusting south and east.
Pink counties- Winter Storm Warning
Purple counties- Winter Weather Advisory
This evening’s snow is history. While amounts were generally around 1 inch the snow’s arrival during the evening rush hour coupled with temperatures well below freezing played havoc with the evening commute.
Some late snowfall totals
Woodstock 1.5 inches
Deerfield 1.2 inches
So far this evening snowfall has been light with Chicago area amounts around 1/2 inch but with temperatures below freezing and the snow falling during rush hour, traffic on many area roads and expressways has slowed to a crawl.
Some snowfall totals ..
Arlington Heights 0.5 inches
Deerfield 0.5 inches
The snow has already ended at Rockford with 1.6 inches reported at WREX-TV . Marengo reported 1 inch of snow.
Here is the latest map of storm snowfall totals compiled by the National Weather Service.
Regional snowfall totals