Winter Storm Warning: Heavy Mix of Rain, Sleet, and Snow Coming for Midwest

by Megan Molseed
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Areas in the midwest are bracing for yet another winter storm including a mix of rain, sleet, and snow. The storm is expected to hit some areas along the midwest early Thursday morning. So far, winter storm warnings have been issued for La Salle, Kendall, Grundy, Kankakee, Livingston, counties in Illinois as well as parts of Cook and Will counties. Thursday’s warning also includes some areas in Indiana.

The heavy mix of snow, rain, and sleet is already causing travel concerns as well as flooding in some areas in the midwest. According to early forecasts, some areas may see some freezing rain begin by late Thursday night. As the storm progresses, however, residents can expect the precipitation to turn into a heavier snowfall. Meteorologists suggest that the snow could begin to accumulate as much as one inch per hour. Some areas can expect to see as much as eight inches. Additionally, residents can expect to see wind gusts as high as 40 to 50 mph. Weather officials have also warned areas in the storm’s path to expect possible power outages.

Warm Temperatures Could Mean Problems As Winter Storm Moves In

Parts of the midwest saw warmer temperatures Wednesday, which means the storm conditions are likely to start out as rain. This could lead to flooding issues, especially within low-lying areas along rivers and streams.

Additionally, these conditions could lead to the break-up of ice jams in the coming days, which can also be a major flooding hazard. Parts of Indiana are already under flash-flood warnings.

Temperatures May Drop Creating Hazardous Ice and Snow Conditions

Some areas are expecting the high Thursday temperature to hit during the early hours. Midnight will likely see the highest temperatures of the day. This, of course, means that temperatures will drop throughout the early morning hours. This will turn precipitation to ice, and later snow before the system continues on, moving out of the area. Because of these falling temperatures, residents can expect to encounter possible freezing rain and sleet during their Thursday morning commute, creating safety concerns.

As of now, the midweek storm system is following along a route along the Great Plains area of the midwest. However, the storm’s path is largely determined by how quickly the precipitation turns as it travels along the midwest. The speed and direction the storm is going will be determined by when the precipitation makes the change from rain to snow.

If the storm follows a northerly route, much of the Chicago area can expect to see accumulating snow through Thursday. However, if the storm takes a more southerly route, Chicago may not see major accumulation. In this scenario, the storm would primarily impact central Illinois and parts of Indiana.

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