The stubborn light snow showers in the region that are continuing this evening will hold on a little longer than anticipated, but are expected to taper by midnight and end by early Wednesday, Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Jamie Simpson said tonight.
Accumulations of a half-inch can’t be ruled out in spots, and some in the region may have seen at least an inch hit the ground since Tuesday morning, Simpson said. The continuing showers, coupled with continuing winds tonight that could reach 30 mph at times, has been sending snow blowing across many roadways.
As temperatures continue to fall into the teens tonight and into the low teens by Wednesday morning, salt will become less effective, Simpson said.
That cycle sets up the creation of icy spots in the morning where winds have continued to blow snow onto roads overnight, mainly north of Interstate 70, he said. Roadways left icy by wind-driven snow contributed to a multivehicle accident on State Route 55 in Champaign County on Tuesday afternoon that sent three people to a hospital.
The winds will remain in the range of about 15 mph come sunrise Wednesday, Simpson said.
Temperatures will start out near zero and won’t rise much higher than the low to mid teens.
Winds will die down Wednesday evening, setting up another cold start to Thursday.
That cold start portends trouble as thickening clouds Thursday evening and into the overnight will conjure up sleet that more than likely will arrive as freezing rain by Friday morning, Simpson said.
There will not be enough for any power line issues or tree limbs being brought down, but there will be enough accumulation for a glazing on surfaces.
Treated roads may fare OK overnight Thursday as temperatures will remain in the upper 20s to about 30, but there may be problems on bridges, overpasses and ramps.
Freezing rain will still be in the area as the Friday morning commute begins, but temperatures rising through the morning will change the precipitation to just rain. That rain will taper in the afternoon as temperatures reach the low 40s.
Saturday and Sunday look to be dry and cloudy, with highs both days in the 40s.