Forecast calls for winter storm with chance of white Christmas

CHAMPAIGN — Wintry weather this week could make holiday travel plans difficult, the National Weather Service reports, but those hoping for a white Christmas could have their wishes granted toward the end of the day.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch beginning Tuesday evening and lasting into Wednesday afternoon. Forecasters say snow and ice accumulations exacerbated by wind gusts up to 30 mph could make driving difficult.

The heaviest snow is expected south of Champaign, with as much as 6 inches of accumulation expected along and east of Interstate 57, forecasters said. Visibility could be reduced to less than a half-mile in some areas, with white-out conditions possible.

Most of the snow is expected to fall over the southern part of the state and East Central Illinois. The heaviest snowfall is expected to hit between midnight Tuesday and noon Wednesday.

The National Weather Service is also predicting a "slight" chance of snow today. Forecasters say freezing rain could fall before 7 a.m. before turning into freezing drizzle between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. Today's high temperature is expected to be around 33 degrees.

Tuesday night's snowfall could last into Wednesday evening, forecasters say. Thursday is forecast to bring partly sunny conditions with highs around 29 degrees.

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