I'll say this right at the beginning.... this is a tricky snowfall forecast to make for a few reasons. We'll have a few rounds of precipitation move through, and some of this may not fall as all snow which could limit exactly how much we will see. But here's a first look at what we could potentially expect later this week.
Tomorrow should be dry, but a few snow showers may begin to move into areas west of the Illinois River tomorrow evening. Snow will become more widespread across the area tomorrow night into Thursday morning.
Precipitation will continue at times throughout the day on Thursday, but with temperatures potentially climbing into the mid 30s, we could see snow changing to or mixing with rain. Some sleet or freezing rain can't be completely ruled out either.
We'll see a change back to all snow Thursday night and Friday morning, but once again another mix may be possible during the day on Friday.
In addition to temperatures at the surface, temperatures about a mile up in the atmosphere will be close to freezing. If temperatures at this height get above freezing, that will help melt any snow.
Here is a look at one forecast model which shows temperatures just above freezing for parts of the area Thursday afternoon.
To put this another way, once you melt snow, it is impossible for it to return to snow. It can either become rain, freezing rain, or sleet.
With temperatures one mile up hovering close to freezing, we could also see a rain/snow mix at times during the day on Thursday and Friday.
So, how much snow will we see?
Here is my first forecast for snowfall totals. It is important to keep in mind that this will fall over the course of a few days, and there could be some melting at times. Therefore, total snow accumulations with this storm will likely be higher than what is on the ground by Saturday.
Here are a few other things to consider with this storm.
Like I've mentioned a couple of times, there are some things in this forecast that we're pretty confident in, and others that need some fine-tuning over the next few days.
Stay with Storm Team ABC on-air, online, and on social media over the next few days for the latest on this storm.