Strong winter storm to bring wind and snow to the area Wednesday


CENTRAL ILLINOIS - A winter storm will spread rain north after midnight into the area with the wind becoming gusty. Rain will then change to snow west of I-57 during the early morning hours. Rain will be heavy at times early in the morning along and east of I-57 before changing to snow by late morning. 

Chief Meteorologist JC Fultz says travel will become difficult tomorrow as falling snow, combined with wind gusts to 45 mph, will create near blizzard conditions. Fultz also says the snow will be very wet and heavy due to temperatures remaining just above freezing at the surface. A Winter Storm Warning will go into effect tomorrow morning and run through early Thursday morning for much of central Illinois. A Winter Weather Advisory will also go into effect for counties along interstate 70 tomorrow morning and continue into early Thursday morning. 

Here is what to expect: 

  • Rain arrives after tonight along and south of I-74
  • Rain to Snow timing
    • Heaviest snow expected to fall mid morning into early afternoon
    • 5 AM along and west of a line from Champaign to Sullivan to Shelbyville to Vandalia
    • 7 AM along and west of a line from Danville to Mattoon to Effingham
    • Noon: Rain/Snow line remains the same with rain still possible in Edgar, Clark and Cumberland Counties
    • 1 to 2 PM rain changes to snow in southeastern Illinois. 
  • Snow Accumulations
    • 5" to 8" of wet and heavy snow along and north and east of a line from Colfax to Champaign to just north of Paris. 
    • 2" to 5" for areas east of I-57
    • 1" to 2" in a very narrow corridor along I-55
    • Less than 1" Jacksonville 
  • Wind Gusts to 45 mph on Afternoon
    • Wind Gusts will be out of the north
    • Falling snow, plus snow on the ground, combined with wind gusts to 45 will create near blizzard conditions.
    • Visibilities will be drastically reduced for much of the afternoon. 
Current Conditions