FIRST ALERT: Winter Weather Advisories issued ahead of Wednesday snow

Impacts on Wednesday morning commute nearly certain
Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 7:09 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - There haven’t been too many times this winter during which weather has caused problems during some of the peak commute times, but it appears as though Wednesday will buck that trend, as a winter storm system takes aim on the region.

Winter Weather Advisories have been hoisted by the National Weather Service to cover our entire area, with the exception of Green County. They take hold at 3:00 Wednesday morning and will last until 3:00pm.

A Winter Weather Advisory will go from 3:00am to 3:00pm Wednesday for all but Green County.
A Winter Weather Advisory will go from 3:00am to 3:00pm Wednesday for all but Green County.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

To be clear, there haven’t been many dramatic changes in the specific details in the forecast over the past 24 hours. This is NOT going to be the be-all and end-all event. Rather, the timing of the snow matching up with the morning commute is the primary reason for the National Weather Service’s decision to go ahead and hoist the advisory.

Snow’s to overspread the area from south to north, first reaching Whiteside, Lee, and southern DeKalb Counties between 1:00 and 2:00am. The remainder of the area will see snowflakes begin to fly between 2:00 and 4:00am, with residents of southern Wisconsin the last to see the snow. It appears that there will be a somewhat lengthy window of steady snow that will take us up until around 9:00 or 10:00 Wednesday morning, meaning that impact on the morning commute are all but a given.

Snow will advance northward and will begin in our southernmost counties between 1:00 and 2:00am.
Snow will advance northward and will begin in our southernmost counties between 1:00 and 2:00am.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)
Widespread snow is to fall over most of the area come 4:00am.
Widespread snow is to fall over most of the area come 4:00am.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)
Widespread snow is to continue as we get closer to sunrise.
Widespread snow is to continue as we get closer to sunrise.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)
The morning commute Wednesday will almost surely be affected.
The morning commute Wednesday will almost surely be affected.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)
Things will start to quiet down from west to east later Wednesday morning.
Things will start to quiet down from west to east later Wednesday morning.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Upon reaching the midday hour Wednesday and in the hours that follow, snow is to taper off to flurries or lighter, much more scattered snow showers. Any accumulations from that point forward would be minimal, a few tenths of an inch at best.

Things should begin to quiet down around the noon hour or very shortly thereafter.
Things should begin to quiet down around the noon hour or very shortly thereafter.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)
A few flurries and scattered light snow showers are possible Wednesday afternoon.
A few flurries and scattered light snow showers are possible Wednesday afternoon.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)
The evening commute will be much, much quieter.
The evening commute will be much, much quieter.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

In total, the thought here remains that most areas are to see between 1″ and 3″ of snow. Also unchanged is the belief that the lightest amounts will be found in places north and west of Rockford, while a few spots, especially along and south of Interstate 88 could see closer to 4″.

Most of the area will see 1-3" of snow, with the lightest amounts north and west of Rockford,...
Most of the area will see 1-3" of snow, with the lightest amounts north and west of Rockford, with some areas south of I-88 set to pick up closer to 4".(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

A few light snow showers may linger into early Thursday, though most of the area will be dry for the vast majority of the day. Clouds and northerly winds, however, will present a challenge for temperatures, which may struggle to reach 30°.

A few flurries or light snow showers may linger into Thursday morning.
A few flurries or light snow showers may linger into Thursday morning.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)
Clouds are to stick around Thursday, though snow is not to be a factor.
Clouds are to stick around Thursday, though snow is not to be a factor.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Beyond Thursday, there are a few more disturbances we’re watching, both of which could give us chances for additional snowfall. The first is to come Friday, with a second system Saturday also showing some potential of producing enough snow to break out the shovels once again. Both of these systems will bear close monitoring, and we’ll be doing just that in the coming days.

Several more chances of snow are in the forecast moving forward.
Several more chances of snow are in the forecast moving forward.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)