February's off to a remarkably quiet start in the Stateline, one of just 33 Februaries since 1906 not to produce any accumulating snow in the month's first eight days! The dry streak is certain to end on Sunday, as a winter storm takes aim on the Stateline.
Light snow is to begin in a few spots between 3:00 and 5:00 Sunday Morning, but won't accumulate more than a few tenths of an inch. The main event gets going by mid-morning, likely between 8:00 and 10:00. Once the widespread snow begins, it's likely to persist well into the afternoon, perhaps becoming quite heavy at times. It's plausible that in some of the heavier snow bursts, accumulations of one inch per hour may occur in a spot or two.
We'll still need to keep a very close eye on temperatures. With temperatures at or even a few degrees above freezing for much of the area, there's a very reasonable possibility that rain could mix in at times, especially south of Rockford. That would certainly eat away at accumulation totals in those areas.
Winter Weather Advisories will be in effect for much of the day for Jo Daviess, Stephenson, Winnebago, Boone, Green, and Rock Counties. That's where the most significant local accumulations are likely. The counties to the south of Rockford will still almost certainly get some snow, but the combination of the storm track and the warmer temperatures will keep accumulations under advisory criteria.
Our accumulation forecast calls for 2 to 4 inches over most of the Stateline. Realistically, given the temperature profile in our atmosphere, most of us will fall in the lower part of that window. Those most likely to receive 4 inches would be communities located right along the Wisconsin border. An isolated 5 inch tally can't be ruled out in parts of Green or Rock County. South of Interstate 88, where rain is a bit more likely to mix in, accumulations will be held to about one inch.
"Warmer" air and pavement temperatures should prohibit there from being any extremely treacherous roads. More likely that anything, main thoroughfares will be more wet and slushy than anything else. However, untreated surfaces, rural roads, residential streets, bridges and overpasses may all quickly become snow covered and slick, so caution is highly encouraged for most of the daytime hours.
This quick-moving storm system will be exit rapidly late Sunday Afternoon, and conditions will dramatically improve Sunday Evening. However, as temperatures cool Sunday Night, any untreated surfaces that may still be wet could become icy in spots.