Quiet Tuesday ahead of midweek snow system

More significant pattern change to follow by the weekend, beyond
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 7:11 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Despite the temporary return of sunshine for a few hours Monday afternoon, there was a very noticeable chill in the air.

The high temperature of 25° in Rockford makes Monday the coldest day we’d seen since back on December 27, and the breezes didn’t do us any favors either. Undoubtedly, though, there are many folks who enjoyed Monday’s chill, and they’ll be glad to know there’s more where that came from later this week and beyond, and snow lovers have reason for optimism as well!

Tuesday’s to feature quite a bit in the way of clouds, but all expectations are that we’ll be snow-free all day, and quiet conditions are to extend well into Tuesday night. Temperatures are to climb back above normal, albeit slightly, with highs expected to reach around 35°.

We're cloudy, but quiet during the day on Tuesday.
We're cloudy, but quiet during the day on Tuesday.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)
Clouds are to go nowhere early Tuesday evening, but there's still not a hint of any snow...
Clouds are to go nowhere early Tuesday evening, but there's still not a hint of any snow showing up.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Late Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning is the period during which snow will be approaching and ultimately overspreading the Stateline. With snow expected to continue well into the day, expect the Wednesday morning commute to suffer some setbacks. Plan on roads being slushy and slick in spots. Snow will continue through midday, only to taper to flurries and widely scattered snow showers as the afternoon progresses.

Snow will be approaching from the south overnight Tuesday into very early Wednesday.
Snow will be approaching from the south overnight Tuesday into very early Wednesday.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)
Snow showers are to begin shortly before sunrise Wednesday.
Snow showers are to begin shortly before sunrise Wednesday.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)
Rain is likely to have an impact on Wednesday morning's commute.
Rain is likely to have an impact on Wednesday morning's commute.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)
Snow showers are to continue through noon Wednesday, or perhaps a bit after that.
Snow showers are to continue through noon Wednesday, or perhaps a bit after that.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)
Snow will taper off to flurries in the afternoon hours.
Snow will taper off to flurries in the afternoon hours.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)
A few flurries may linger into very early Wednesday evening.
A few flurries may linger into very early Wednesday evening.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Now, onto the million dollar question. How much snow are we expecting to accumulate? Unlike the vast majority of winter storm systems, the answer in this case is rather cut-and-dried. Computer models have been remarkable consistent in setting up the heaviest snowfall amounts across portions of southern and central Illinois, along with central and northeastern Indiana.

Still, it’s reasonable to think that most areas will pick up an inch or two of snow, with one or two places, especially along and south of I-88, picking up closer to three inches. Meanwhile you won’t have to go too far to the north or west of Rockford to see areas that pick up less than an inch of new snow.

No more than three inches of snow will fall in the Stateline, while most of us are likely to...
No more than three inches of snow will fall in the Stateline, while most of us are likely to fall closer to the 1-2" range.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

It’s certainly not going to reverse the course of the snow season, which has been, with no doubt, paltry to date. It will, however, help us put at least a small dent into the snowfall deficit which now stands at nearly a foot.

We could use the snow, as we're nearly a foot below normal for the season to date.
We could use the snow, as we're nearly a foot below normal for the season to date.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

The good news for snow lovers is that there’s a parade of disturbances that follows Wednesday’s snow system, and a chance for snow has been placed into the forecast every day between Thursday and Sunday. While no big snows are foreseen, there’s surely a chance we get an inch or so at a time, and that could add up quite nicely.

Longer range is when the forecast really starts to look interesting, especially once we get into next week. There remain very strong signs of a significant pattern flip that’s to occur as we close out January and welcome February. The vast majority of long range guidance suggests we’re to turn much colder, with several of next week’s days to see highs in the teens and lows in the single digits.

A significant shift to below normal temperatures is to occur starting this weekend and lasting...
A significant shift to below normal temperatures is to occur starting this weekend and lasting well into next week.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Also of interest is the thought that the more active pattern is to persist as well, with above normal precipitation also a decent bet. Obviously, with colder temperatures in place, we eliminate the possibility of mixed or liquid precipitation, so any disturbance that would pass through would be a snow generator.

The pattern looks to be more active in the longer range.
The pattern looks to be more active in the longer range.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

This flip comes at just the right time as preparations for the Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition, already once-delayed, are to commence in short order. There’s little doubt that temperatures will be more than cold enough to make the necessary snow to build and shape the huge blocks of snow then set to be delivered at Sinnissippi Park ahead of the February 8-11 event.