LIVE: Winter weather roundup Feb. 14, 2014
The following is a collection of news related to Friday's snowfall in East Central Illinois. If you have useful weather information to add, please leave a comment on this story. If you have a closing or cancellation to report, please call WDWS at 217-351-5300. School closings require a code word.
IDOT: Roads still bad
The state's website that shows road conditions in real time indicates that drivers still need to use a lot of caution on Friday night.
According to gettingaroundillinois.com, interstate highways in East Central Illinois still had patches of ice and snow and other state routes were snow- or ice-covered.
More snow is in the forecast for Saturday.
Reprieve on the way
More snow is likely Saturday, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
The National Weather Service is forecasting sunny conditions and temperatures in the 40s on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, and the thermometer could reach the mid-50s by Thursday.
We'll have to get through another ugly weekend first. Snow is likely Saturday, with a high around 21. Sunny Sunday, but still belowing freezing with a high of 28. The warmup begins on a sloppy Monday, which will bring higher temperatures but freezing rain and sleet.
Check out the full 7-day forecast here and more here from WDWS 1400-AM meteorologist Greg Soulje.
Champaign snowfall total
State Climatologist Jim Angel said as of 5:15 p.m. Friday, 1.9 inches of snow had fallen in Champaign. That brings this winter's total to 35.5 inches.
Weather forces change to DWS broadcast schedule
WDWS-AM had planned to broadcast the boy's basketball game between Unity and St. Teresa on Friday evening. However, that game has been cancelled due to weather. DWS will now broadcast the boy's basketball game between Normal West and Champaign Central at approximately 7:30 p.m. Friday.
More snowfall totals
Meteorologist Greg Soulje reports the folliowing snowfall totals as of 2:30 p.m. Friday:
Gibson City 3.0"
Hoopeston activates snow routes
The City of Hoopeston has activated its snow routes as of 2 p.m. Friday. You're asked to remove your vehicles from snow routes or risk having them towed.
Another state roads update
The heavy snowfall we received this morning has led to slick roads and hazardous travel conditions.
Illinois State Police said there have been five accidents and more than 40 cars sliding off the roads, as I-57, I-72 and I-74 are all currently snow and ice covered. You're also asked to avoid the area between Neil Street and Lincoln Avenue on I-74 due to several crashes in that area.
State Police said don't travel unless you absolutely have to for an emergency. If you do, make sure to use extreme caution, slow down and give yourself extra time to reach your destination.
Meteorologist Greg Soulje said most of central Champaign County has received 1.3 to 1.7 inches of snow as of 12:45 p.m. Friday, while the far southwest and southern parts of the county have received about 2.5 to 3 inches. Danville has seen 2.5 inches of snow as well. In McLean County, Normal has received nearly 4 inches of snow.
February has been (no surprise) colder and snowier than average so far
State Climatologsit Jim Angel, who's based in Champaign, has a look at the month so far in his weekly weather summary.
And those statewide figures for February hold true for Champaign-Urbana too.
Angel said the average temperature locally so far this month is 12.5 degrees. That's around degrees below normal. Snowfall this month before Friday checked in at 8.7 inches. That's around three inches above normal.
Overall this winter before Friday, Champaign-Urbana had seen 33.6 inches of snow. That's well above the normal of 23.2 inches and checks in as the seventh snowiest winter on record. At the top of that list is the winter of 1977 and 1978 when we saw nearly 50 inches of snow.
This winter in Champaign-Urbana also checks in as the sixth coldest on record. Topping that list is also the winter of 1977 and 1978 when the average temperature was around 20 degrees.
The coldest reading we've seen this winter is minus 14, but that's nowhere near that coldest reading ever seen locally. That's minus 25, last seen in 1994.
Winter weather advisory in effect
More counties have been added to the winter weather advisory that's in effect until 6 p.m. Friday.
The list now includes Champaign, Coles, DeWitt, Douglas, Edgar, Macon, McLean, Moultrie, Piatt, Shelby and Vermilion counties.
Snow is expected to accumulate quickly during the midday hours Friday. The National Weather Service said 2 to 4 inches are possible with higher amounts possible south of Interstate 74.
State police issue traffic advisory
The snowfall is already causing slippery conditions on area roadways. State police based in Pesotum said visibility is also causing problems. Troopers are responding to numerous calls of cars that have spun off the roadway into ditches. If you become stranded, you are encouraged to remain inside the car or truck, activate your emergency flashers and call 911 if you need help.
Monticello activates snow routes
The City of Monticello has declared a snow emergency for the community. The declaration means that no parking will be allowed on designated snow routes. Vehicles left parked on the designated snow routes will be towed.
A look at the forecast and current conditions can be found here.
Greg Soulje's take
Greg Soulje's weather blog, including posts on the current weather, can be found here.
Closings and cancellations
Closings, cancellations, and other advisories can be found here.
The state's road conditions map is available here. Doesn't look good for East Central Illinois.