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Season’s first accumulating snow becoming more likely

Tuesday Morning’s commute to be potentially affected
Published: Nov. 22, 2020 at 9:41 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Aside from a couple brief brushes with snow and a sprinkling of a few chilly days here or there, we’ve yet to see much in the way of wintry weather as we creep closer to Thanksgiving. However, it’s becoming increasingly likely that the most impactful dose of winter weather to date is on the way shortly.

We’ve come back to earth a bit in the temperature department of late, with more seasonable conditions over the past three days. Another seasonably mild day’s on tap Monday. Sunshine will dominate most of the day, but northwesterly winds will keep temperatures in the middle 40s.

Sun will be out and shining brightly Monday, though northwesterly winds will keep temperatures...
Sun will be out and shining brightly Monday, though northwesterly winds will keep temperatures seasonable once again.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

While pleasant, quiet weather’s on tap Monday, the situation becomes much more complex beginning Monday Night. Clouds will gather quickly in the evening as a dynamic weather system begins its approach from the southwest. Precipitation’s soon to follow after midnight, and the atmosphere’s temperature profile appears likely to be one supportive of snow.

Snow will begin to overspread the area in the opening hours of our Tuesday.
Snow will begin to overspread the area in the opening hours of our Tuesday.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

It’s likely we’ll have several hours of light to, at times, moderate snow through the early morning hours Tuesday, which suggests that the morning commute may see some impacts.

Snow will be falling as Tuesday begins over most of the area, though a mix with rain is...
Snow will be falling as Tuesday begins over most of the area, though a mix with rain is possible along and south of Interstate 88.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Ground temperatures are still somewhat mild, and road temperatures even warmer. But, both have cooled considerably over the past few days, and so slushy accumulations are indeed a possibility as snow continues through much of the morning. By late morning, most of the snow will have pushed into Wisconsin, and, as temperatures warm, and precipitation that comes at or after noon will come in the form of rain.

Most of the snow will have lifted into Wisconsin by midday, with any precipitation thereafter...
Most of the snow will have lifted into Wisconsin by midday, with any precipitation thereafter to come as rain.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Now, for the million dollar question. How much snow is on the way? Right now, computer models, while fairly closely clustered, are still showing some spread, which should come as no real surprise given just how warm it’s been for so long. Our current thoughts are that most locations will see 1 to 3 inches, while a few folks may see a bit more, especially as you go into Southern Wisconsin. Should a changeover to rain occur a bit earlier, especially south of Interstate 88, accumulations may end up being a bit under an inch. Whatever accumulations that do occur won’t be around for long at all. Temperatures are still likely to reach the lower 40s by Tuesday Afternoon.

Our thoughts are that most spots are to see one to three inches of snow, with the greatest...
Our thoughts are that most spots are to see one to three inches of snow, with the greatest amounts likely to be found in Wisconsin.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Snow may shut off by the middle portion of our Tuesday, the storm system’s impacts here are far from over. Rain will take over as the primary form of precipitation for the rest of the day Tuesday further assisting in the snowmelt. Rain’s likely to continue into Tuesday Night, and likely persisting into much of Wednesday. The rain Tuesday Night may be on the heavy side at times, so impacts on that commute may be possible as well, though on a much smaller scale.

Tuesday Morning's commute is likely to be the one most impacted by the long duration storm....
Tuesday Morning's commute is likely to be the one most impacted by the long duration storm. Slushy roads are to be expected.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

A steady, light rain is to continue Wednesday Morning here, though as the map below clearly illustrates, the storm’s a large one, and one that’s to bring rain to a large portion of the Midwest and Great Lakes.

Rain is likely over a large portion of the Midwest and Great Lakes early Wednesday.
Rain is likely over a large portion of the Midwest and Great Lakes early Wednesday.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Wednesday won’t be total washout, there will indeed be dry hours, though they’re not likely to be found here until after the noon hour. Meanwhile, wet roads will inhibit travel over much of Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio, for those who may still be traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Rain will remain a factor over a large area through Noon Wednesday, though activity here looks...
Rain will remain a factor over a large area through Noon Wednesday, though activity here looks to be more scattered.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Rain will gradually wind down here during the afternoon, and any travel to the west of Interstate 39 should be greatly improved. However, it’ll still be a wet go of it to our east into Wednesday Evening.

Rain should be done here or close to done by dinnertime Wednesday.
Rain should be done here or close to done by dinnertime Wednesday.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Right now, Thanksgiving remains likely to be a pleasant, mild one, with a partly cloudy sky and temperatures back into the 50s.

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