ROCKFORD (WREX) — If you're looking at the forecast and getting a sense of déjà vu, it's understandable. A developing winter storm over the High Plains is set to bring a second round of accumulating snow for the late week period.
High pressure weather for now:
Enjoy the sunshine Mother Nature has to offer Thursday morning, because clouds are going to be increasingly common late in the day. Highs climb into the middle 40s, which is about 15° or so below average. This mid-April chill is just the first sign of things to come for the Stateline.
By late Thursday, cloudy skies and light precipitation is forecast to spread across the region. Precipitation may start initially as a mix of rain and snow as temperatures are likely to be in the upper 30s late this evening.
Breaking down the timing:
A winter weather advisory goes into effect at 11 p.m. Thursday for Lee and DeKalb Counties. Model guidance develops a wintry mix from west to east by 9 to 11 p.m. As temperatures tumble into the lower and middle 30s, a rain and snow mix is going to transition to a wet snow.
Light snow is likely to fall along and north of I-88 for the majority of the overnight, but heavier snow could develop in bands south of I-88. This could result in as much as 2" to 4" in portions of Lee County, especially around the Amboy and Sublette area. Locally higher amounts are possible, especially closer to I-80. Some models have even dropped double-digit accumulations closer to the Quad Cities and Peoria.
Regardless of how much snow falls, by daybreak Friday most areas should see a gradual tapering of snowfall rates. The heaviest snow is likely to fall from roughly 2 a.m. through about 6 a.m., especially for areas under the winter weather advisory.
Slick travels possible:
While many are sheltering in place, essential workers still have to be on the roads and by early Friday, a tricky commute is possible. As we experienced Wednesday morning with the light snow, it doesn't take much to cause issues on the roads. Bridges are likely to be the worst early Friday morning, but as temperatures climb into the middle and upper 40s Friday afternoon, road conditions should quickly improve.
A warming weekend:
After a string of well below-average high temperatures since Monday, a warm-up is finally on the docket for the weekend. High temperatures both Saturday and Sunday climb close to 60°.
High pressure is going to keep weather fairly quiet this weekend, with only a small chance for a few spotty showers on Sunday as a disturbance ripples overhead.