Baby, it's cold outside

And it likely will be at least into next week

CHAMPAIGN — How do you top a December that was colder than average?

So far, Mother Nature's game plan seems to be throwing snow at the first couple of days of the new year and starting off Friday with raw temperatures that make the prospect of staying home under a pile of blankets seem mighty attractive.

December was colder, drier than normal in Illinois

Last month in Champaign-Urbana and Illinois was colder and drier than average.

State Climatologist Jim Angel said the average temperature locally in December was 26.6 degrees.  That's 2.3 degrees below normal.  Local precipitation last month checked in at 2.23 inches.  That's a half an inch below normal.

Central Illinois Daily Life: Jan. 1-Jan7. 2014

Images of people, places and events as seen through the lens of News-Gazette photographers.

Gifford residents told about resources to help them stay

GIFFORD — Judy Singh drove her car for about five weeks after the storm until it finally overheated and clunked out.

It turned out the tornado drove a two-by-four through her radiator and into her engine. It shouldn't have been running at all.

Updated: multiple weather advisories issued for East Central Illinois

A freezing rain advisory has been issued for DeWitt County on Saturday.  Two-tenths of an inch of ice is expected.

Earlier, the National Weather Service issued a dense fog advisory for Ford and Iroquois counties until 7 p.m. Friday.  Visibility may be less than one quarter mile in some locations.  You should drive slow in foggy areas.

Champaign activates snow routes, sidewalks rules

Champaign has activated emergency snow routes and its sidewalk-clearing rules.

From a city news release:

Crews clearing roads of snow

The bad news: We got more snow than was forecast.

The good news: It's relatively warm and there wasn't much wind, except for the northern part of Champaign County.

Public works crews were out in force throughout the area Saturday, focusing first on clearing primary roads.

They expect to be working well into Sunday.

Cities urge caution as winter storm moves through area

Local public works officials say Champaign-Urbana's busiest streets should be fairly clear of ice early Saturday, but drivers will still need to use caution as the snow could continue to fall through part of the morning.

Winter storm warning issued

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for Ford and Iroquois counties.

The warning is in effect from 6 p.m. Friday through noon Saturday, and heavy snow is forecast with this system that could dump 5 to 8 inches on the two counties.

Updated: winter weather advisory issued

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for all of East Central Illinois.  The advisory affects different counties at different times but generally runs from Friday afternoon through midday Saturday.

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