The 2019-2020 winter season has been on the milder side and has less snow under its belt compared to normal. February 2020 so far has shaped up to be an active one so far, this pattern will continue beginning tomorrow night and through the end of the week.
The rest of Tuesday will be dry under partly to mostly cloudy skies and temperatures near normal. Most of Wednesday will be dry as well and it will be a tad warmer with a wind shift. Beginning late Wednesday evening, this is when we can expect the snow to begin.
It will move in from south to north and overspread the area late Wednesday night and overnight into Thursday. This will not be a big snow-maker for us but we look to close the gap with this system, as we are 7.9" below normal snowfall for the season.
Most of the accumulating snow will fall late Wednesday and overnight into early Thursday. Our current thoughts are that this will start after the Wednesday evening commute and gradually end around the time of the Thursday morning commute. Regardless, be prepared for potential travel impacts. The entire Stateline will see accumulating snow from this but some areas more than others.
The higher snowfall potential lies south and east of the City of Rockford. In our viewing area, places in parts of Ogle, Lee and DeKalb Counties have the highest snowfall potential. Our current thinking is that most spots will see 2-4" when all is set and done. However with the areas just mentioned, a few local amounts closer to 5" can't entirely be ruled out.
The bigger story is what comes after the snow. Not only are we going to have accumulating snow, but the temperature is expected to drop to its lowest levels since last winter in Northern Illinois. By Thursday afternoon, temperatures in our region are expected to fall below 0° for the first time in 10 months. The last time temperatures were below 0° at the Chicago Rockford International Airport was back on March 4, 2019, 344 days ago.
But there is a small silver lining with this cold blast, it will be short-lived. At times late Thursday through early Friday, wind chills will be between -10° and -20° before gradual improvements begin later Friday. While dressing in layers is nothing new to Stateliners, doing so will be necessary late Thursday through Friday.
Once the mercury on thermometers go back above zero late Friday, our temperatures will continue warming up from there. Temperatures in the upper 30's by Sunday and back into the 40's by Monday.