Update/3:15 p.m. Tuesday:
The winter storm watch has been changed to a winter weather advisory, which is in effect until 9 p.m.
Expect a combination of rain, snow and sleet this afternoon and evening before the storm passes through our area. The National Weather Service says we could get between three and five inches total, and that the situation will be exacerbated by winds clocking in at as high as 35 mph.
With temperatures right at the freezing mark, wet snow has been falling fairly consistently since later morning and is causing some roads to be predictably slippery. We asked our Facebook readers about what they were seeing, and here's what they reported...
- NICOLE C.: Jefferson and raynor r baddddd
- LAUREN D.: Broadway turning into 53 was pretty slick
- STEPHANIE S.: It's fine!! I was on 52 by Republic. It's the people who are freaked out that make this worse than it is.
- HEATHER D.: Houbolt by jjc is bad! ! Very slushy. And one wipeout into a sign aleady.
- RAY P.: The roads look decent in Aurora area but there are a boatload of wrecks. Must be extra slippery snow.
- CRYSTAL R.: Stores closing , street lights on larkin and route 30 not working
- LINDA D.: Flossmoor slushy roads. snow/ rain coming down
- MELISSA H.: Roads are fine in New Lenox. they are just really wet.
- SHARON R.: BP at Weber and Romeo Rd - if you stop for gas, they are cash only right now.
Original story posted Monday afternoon:
For the second time in less than a week, we're being told to brace for a winter storm.
The National Weather Service's winter storm watch for this area begins Tuesday afternoon, when a combination of rain, snow and sleet begins before switching over to all snow by Tuesday night. Although there is a "higher than usual amount of uncertainty with respect to snow accumulations," several inches are "probable," according to the latest forecast.
More problematic than the snow is the wind, with gusts that could be as high as 40 mph, forecasters said.
"Heavy, wind-whipped, wet snow could result in very low visibilities and difficult travel," the Romeoville-based weather service said. "Heavy snow could impact the late afternoon commute so persons planning travel should anticipate potentially significantly elevated travel times."
Based on the weather forecasts, the Illinois State Police issued a travel advisory for the entire state Monday, urging drivers to take care Tuesday and to get off the road if "driving conditions become too hazardous."
The probabilty of precipitation/snow tomorrow is 100 percent, with the high hitting 36 before temps drop to a low of 32, the forecast said. There is a 70 percent chance of overnight snow, with possible overall accumulations ranging from three to seven inches.
Snow could continue into Wednesday, but temperatures are supposed to climb to 35, the forecast said. For the rest of the week there's a "chance of snow," with temperatures going above freezing during the day and dropping into the 20s overnight.
Illinois State Police say that should you have a weather-related accident, a report can be filed with the state within 10 days.
The agency also encourages drivers to follow these tips:
- Anticipate reduced visibility and watch for black ice when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges, and curves.
- Avoid abrupt steering and braking and avoid tailgating by keeping a safe distance between vehicles.
- Allow enough time for travel and advise others of travel itineraries.
- Avoid unnecessary and sudden lane changes.
- Always keep your gas tank at least two-thirds full to prevent the vehicle’s fuel line from freezing.
- Always wear a safety belt and keep a charged cell phone handy.
Officials are also warning to take care when shoveling because of the heaviness of the snow, which could trigger heart-related ailments.