A band of snow, mixed with some sleet and rain continues to develop just to the south of Interstate 80. The precipitation area is moving north toward Chicago and represents the next wave of wintery weather for the area.
Sleet was reported in Pontiac at 1:25PM and light snow had returned to the Marshall County airport in Lacon, IL
An all out blizzard is expected to develop tonight and continue into tomorrow across most of Iowa, Northern Missouri, Eastern Nebraska, Southern Minnesota, and Western Wisconsin.
Snowfall totals over these areas are expected to be in the 8 to 16 inch range. The heavy snow is only one part of the problem. Strong winds developing on the back side of the storm will produce wind gusts in excess of 50mph resulting in white-out conditions.
Long distance travel west of Chicago on both Interstate 80 and Interstate 90 is strongly discouraged.
When conditions deteriorate tonight, both I-80 and I-90 will likely be shut down.
Blizzard Warnings are posted for most of Central and Western Iowa as well as portions of Southern Minnesota.
A Blizzard Watch is in effect for Eastern Iowa and sections of Western Illinois. Some of the Illinois cities included in the Blizzard Watch are Moline, Freeport and Galena.
Much of the Chicago area is experiencing a lull in the action at the Noon hour.
Some light snow has redeveloped north of the city in McHenry and Lake Counties with little or no snow elsewhere. The latest observation from the Waukegan Airport (12:35PM) confirms what we are seeing on the radar, with a report of light snow and visibilities reduced to 1 mile.
Further to the south, a band of moderate to heavy snow continues to expand across Iowa eastward into Central Illinois. This band is lifting north toward the Chicago area and is expected to reach the southern suburbs sometime around 2PM. It is this area of snow that could produce a burst of moderate to heavy snow between 3PM and 6PM.
After 6PM, enough warm air is expected to work its way into the system that the snow will mix with, or change over to rain.
While the Chicago area will see bursts of snow from this long lived winter event, the heaviest storm totals will occur across Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and NW Illinois.
Total snow accumulations here in the Chicago area will be held down by the fact the snow will mix with, or change completely over to rain (or sleet) for a period this evening and tonight.
Winter Storm Warnings remain in effect for Lake(IL), McHenry and DeKalb counties where up to 8 inches of snow could fall. Winter Weather Advisories are posted for Cook, DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties.
As of 11AM, around one inch of snow has fallen at Chicago’s two major airports.
O’Hare is reporting 1.3″ of new snow since Midnight, while Midway has recorded 0.9″.
Despite the rather minor totals, flight delays are common, averaging almost 2 hours (1:55min) at O’Hare and just over a half hour (:38 minutes) at Midway.
Much of the Chicago area is going to see a break in the snow late this morning and early this afternoon. Off and on light snow and flurries are expected from 11AM until 2PM with little or no additional accumulation.
After 2PM, the situation is expected to change rather quickly as strong dynamics from the developing winter storm, still centered near Colorado Springs, Colorado, begin to make its next move on the Midwest.
A band of moderate to heavy snow is expected to develop over Central Illinois in the next couple of hours. This band should arrive in the Chicago area sometime after 2PM, resulting in another challenging rush hour.
A major winter storm continues to wind up over the Southern Plains late this morning. Snow began to fall across portions of the Chicago area shortly after 3AM, and some locations have reported up to two inches of accumulation.
Here are some of the latest snowfall reports:
1.0″ Poplar Grove