Snow continues to fall in the viewing area. At midnight 2-4" had been reported from various spotters all over the viewing area.
As of 1:47 a.m., I have 3" west of West Lafayette with light snow falling.
The back edge of the snow is still in eastern & northeastern Illinois & moving east-southeastward. All of the snow should be out of the viewing area by 5 a.m.
Wind has not & will not be an issue with the snow.
With the snow pushing out with time, crews will be able to get a handle on clearing roads for the morning hours. However, uncleared secondary roads will be snow-covered & slick. Also (see below)..........
It is not out of the question that some patchy light freezing drizzle occurs after the snow & into the early morning hours.
Temperatures will continue to rise to 13-21 by early morning. How can you have some freezing drizzle when it is that cold & has been so frigid as of late?
To get snow, the temperature where the moisture & lift are located needs to be <10C. It actually takes a lot of cold to get nice flakes to develop in the mid & lower troposphere & produce a nice snowfall.
-10C to 0C where the lift & moisture are located won't really give you snow. If lift is occurring at lower levels & is very subtle, you know (especially) you can't really get flakes at that temperature. Rather, you will get supercooled water (drizzle) & perhaps little snow pellets & needles.
Now, note the projected sounding for early morning at Lafayette.
Note the inversion (red & green lines split) above 6000' in the morning. Below that there is plenty of moisture trapped, above that, it dries. So moisture is concentrating nearer to the surface.
Note how we are near or just below -10C from the surface to 4500' & that is where we are saturated & where the subtle lift is located (all lower levels). In fact, note how much of the very subtle lift is located in the lowest 1000'. Note how we are pushing 0C or 32 degree F at around 7000', so much warm air is coming in aloft from 7000-12000'!
So, we will not be cold enough there for snow flakes anyway. Rather, the very shallow lift near the ground in saturated environment with low clouds, mist & haze may produce some freezing drizzle even if it is in the teens since we are at or warmer than -10C & there will be considerable warmer air coming in only 5000' up.
So after all that.............in a nutshell: Any lift & moisture for precipitation will be trapped closer to the ground under a lid where it is still quite cold. However, all the warmer air coming in above the lower levels is too warm & dry to support snow. So, you get freezing drizzle with teens to near 20.
Any patches of freezing drizzle in the morning than develop will exit & we are looking at a mostly cloudy day with temperatures rising into the 24-32 range with a southwest breeze at 8-13 mph.
Lift surges in tomorrow night with some areas of freezing drizzle developing late in the night & into early Saturday morning as temperatures rise to 27-34. We may still get freezing drizzle even at 34 due to the very cold surfaces. The trees may be 34, so it may be just drizzle there, but surfaces near/at ground level may have freezing drizzle.
Saturday looks gray with temperatures reaching 35-42 by evening with southerly winds at 8-15 mph.
Sunday looks pretty nice as any drizzle in the morning will give way to some breaks in the clouds. Some areas may even go partly cloudy for a while as drier air is mixed into the low cloud deck. With southwest winds at 10-25 mph, it will be a perfect day to wash & wax the car. Highs should reach 47-55!
Rain comes in with strong southwest winds Monday with 53-59!
Watch for ice jams, however, & loads of pot holes & cracks in roads. This will be especially evident as we see much, much colder weather come back end at the end of next week.
The next potential of snowfall or ice of impact or consequence would be late next week.
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