West central Illinois will experience a drastic drop in temperature starting this afternoon, along with precipitation expected throughout much of the night.
While the four-county area has experienced temperatures in the 40s and 50s over the past two days, the unseasonable warm weather is rapidly coming to an end. Overnight and early morning rain could soon turn to ice and slush as the National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for the Jacksonville area between 3 p.m. and midnight.
Storm team 20 Meteorologist Joe Crain explains what’s causing the sizeable shifts in temperature.
“The cold front is the big weather-maker in this case because on one side of the front you have the warm southerly air that’s come in the last couple days to put our temperatures a good 20 to 25 degrees above normal. But behind the cold front, much colder arctic air starting to blast its way back in from the northwest. So as that front slides in this afternoon, a couple things will happen: any lingering precipitation will gradually change from rain to more of a winter mix of some sleet and freezing rains,” says Crain.
Crain says forecasts now show less of a chance for winter precipitation in the Jacksonville area this evening; however, decreasing temperatures could create very slick conditions.
“We’ll go temperatures in the 50s in the morning to the 40s mid-afternoon, to the 30s late-afternoon, eventually in the 20s and even 10s late tonight, early tomorrow morning. While the threat of winter precipitation this evening isn’t great for around the Jacksonville area, the precipitation will be well off to the east and southeast. However, that winter weather advisory in effect for the Jacksonville area because with those temperatures dropping quickly this afternoon, those wet roads from rain earlier in the day will quickly freeze late afternoon and early evening, and could make for some slick going on driveways parking lots and sidewalks,” Crain says.
Aside from today’s winter weather advisory, Crain looks ahead to what this weekend’s forecasts are showing.
“With that snow we see (in the forecast) late Sunday night, early Monday morning, if we get a little bit of accumulation, obviously with those temperatures staying only in the 20s and teens for daytime highs to the early to mid part of next week, any accumulation will stay on the ground much as it did around Christmas and the first part of the year,” says Crain.
Local residents are encouraged to stay up-to-date on weather conditions. Stay tuned to WLDS and WEAI as we’ll provide the latest updated forecasts throughout the day and night.