January 29, 4 PM Weather Forecast Update

Here is your snowfall total map!

Posted: Jan 28, 2021 3:51 PM
Updated: Jan 28, 2021 4:01 PM

Here is your snowfall total map for the snow Saturday late afternoon-night.

The band of heaviest snowfall still looks to run from around Davenport, Iowa through Chicago to northeast of Fort Wayne.

A mix & change-over to sleet & some freezing rain is expected before going to rain.  Areas that see snowfall the longest will see the highest totals (north & northeast).

This is an interesting & complicated scenario.

It appears that it will warm to 35-41 Saturday with strong south-southeast wind 15-30 mph.  As the precipitation develops & overspreads the area it will fall through a layer of very dry air.  So, part of it will be virga & evaporate at first, but as it reaches the ground, substantial evaporative cooling will occur with temperatures wet-bulbing or falling to 30-33 which will counteract the warmer air trying to come in.  In this process, a mix of sleet, rain & snow may occur at the onset.

Another issue is the fact that the fetch of warmer air will be blowing over snow pack in Kentucky & southeastern Indiana (some places saw 4-6"), so that will chill the air a bit.  Otherwise, it might get much warmer & make for more rain than mix & snow, even with the substantial wet-bulbing.

Corresponding with the evaporative cool-down that south-southeast flow will be trying to transport a layer of warmer air atop near/at freezing air near the surface with time, so that is why I am mentioning some freezing rain in the transition from snow to rain (with even some sleet, too).

So..................expect some rain, sleet & snow mixed at the onset around & after 3:30 pm, then a period of all snow before a change-over takes place from southwest to northeast & north gradually over the area to freezing rain, sleet & rain.  Our northern & northeastern areas are looking at many hours of snow, while the south & southwest will see a shorter duration.

Thoughts are that the entire viewing area will be in rain by Sunday morning, except north of Route 14 where some freezing rain may be occurring.

All rain mid to late Sunday morning should then change to snow pretty rapidly northwest to southeast through midday & afternoon with some minor 1" or less accumulations by Sunday night-early Monday morning.

WORST CONDITIONS OVERALL FOR THE VIEWING AREA:  Saturday evening-night

KEEP IN MIND that any slight shift in the track will result in tweaks to this forecast, but this has been a consistent trend in the analysis so far.

Be weather aware & check our frequent updates tonight & through tomorrow & Saturday.  A slight shift southward will bring the heavier snowfall farther south.  More sustained, intense evaporative cooling could make for snow longer, too.  Also, if it is too dry, too much virga may chew up totals a hair.

As you can see there are a lot of moving parts & this system seems a bit more complicated than other more traditional winter weather systems.

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Some more needed rainfall with real taste of Fall weather...
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