Today's Weather Discussion: Wintry Weather Sunday
Saturday, Dec. 11:
Our first real batch of winter weather arrives for our Sunday, bringing chances for small snowfall accumulations, much colder temperatures, and very windy conditions. Snow showers will be arriving by Sunday morning, and we'll have a chance for occasional snow showers through the daytime hours, tapering off to flurries Sunday evening. It looks like the best chances for snow will remain east of the Mississippi River, mainly targeting IL & KY.
As of this update on Saturday night, a Winter Weather Advisory is in effect from 6AM Sunday until 6PM Sunday for the counties highlighted below. A Wind Advisory is also in effect for Sunday for the enitre Local 6 area. These advisories mean that the effects of the snow and wind are expected to cause travel difficulties....including snow-covered roads, reduced visibility from blowing snow, and strong winds may make higher-profile vehicles difficult to control.
As for snowfall amounts....this in not expected to be a "raid the bread & milk" type of snowstorm, but a small amount of accumulation is expected. With temperatures expected to remain in the lower and mid 20's all day long, any snow that falls will stick on surfaces, including roadways, and even small accumulations on roadways can make for some tricky driving. I just finished looking over the latest model data, and I still think an estimate of 1-2" in the advisory area is a safe bet.
Perhaps just as big of an issue tomorrow will be very strong northwest winds. Behind tonight's cold front, a tight pressure gradient will drive NW winds that will be sustained at 20-25 mph, but occasional gusts up to 40 mph are likely through the day and into Sunday night. Here's a look at those winds as of 3PM Sunday, showing the core of sustained 25 mph winds over Southern IL & Southeast MO.
These strong winds will create difficult driving conditions regardless of whether snow is falling or not. This will also lead to making an accurate estimation of how much snow has fallen rather difficult, since snow will be blowing around with the wind.
Temperatures will be taking a nose-dive over the next few days also. I expect highs Sunday in the mid to upper 20's during the morning hours, then numbers to fall to around 20 by sunset, and to around 10 by Monday morning. Highs Monday will struggle to reach 20, then it's back to around 10 Monday night. Wind chills Sunday will remain in the 10-15 degree range, with wind chills dipping below zero by Monday morning.
Looking ahead to the rest of the week...a system is showing up on forecast models for the middle of the week that could bring another chance of rain. More on that tomorrow.