When it comes to snow, we’re not quite in the clear

Just when you thought it was safe to put away the winter boots and gloves, the National Weather Service predicts accumulating snow overnight and early Friday in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin that could have “significant travel impact” along and north of I-90.

Clumpy, wet, slushy accumulations likely will accompany the weather system, which meteorologists expect to move from Canada through southern Wisconsin and Illinois.

“How much of that snow makes it to Winnebago and McHenry counties depends on where the heaviest band develops,” said David King, meteorologist with the NWS’ Romeoville bureau.

While models can change, the temperatures are cold enough and the water content high enough to support some accumulation, King said. Further south, between I-88 and I-80, meteorologists expect a rain/snow mix, with rain only south of I-80.

A few flakes may fall before midnight in Rockford and Winnebago, but should pick up after midnight and could impact the morning commute, King said. With that in mind, drivers should exercise caution, keep a safe distance between vehicles and allow extra travel time.

“This system should be fairly transient,” said King. Moving in by late morning/early afternoon, “the cold front will push through the city and out of the area by tomorrow night.”

This system is typical for this time of year when a quick warm-up can be followed by a system containing colder air and snow, King said, adding that snow in March and April is not uncommon.

NWS records show a March 25, 1930 snowfall in the Chicago area totaled 13.6“. Additionally, records show three snow accumulations of 9” or more before April 6, in 1938 (9”), 1975 (9.4” ) and 1982 (9.4”).

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