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Blizzard Warning!

posted Feb 1, 2011, 3:10 PM by Brian Donahoe

From the National Weather Service

...DANGEROUS MULTIFACETED AND LIFE THREATENING WINTER STORM...
 
...BLIZZARD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 3 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 
3 PM CST WEDNESDAY... 
 
A BLIZZARD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 3 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 
3 PM CST WEDNESDAY. 
 
* TIMING...ACCUMULATING SNOW WILL DEVELOP AROUND THE INTERSTATE 
80 CORRIDOR DURING THE EARLY TO MID AFTERNOON...SPREADING 
NORTH TO THE WISCONSIN STATE LINE BY MID TO LATE AFTERNOON. 
THE MOST SIGNIFICANT SNOW MAY COME IN A COUPLE OF WAVES...WITH 
THE FIRST WAVE LATE THIS AFTERNOON INTO EARLY THIS EVENING... 
FOLLOWED BY A SECOND WAVE OF INTENSE SNOW LATER THIS EVENING 
INTO THE OVERNIGHT. ACCUMULATING LAKE EFFECT SNOW SHOWERS WILL 
CONTINUE OVER NORTHEAST ILLINOIS WEDNESDAY MORNING...SPREADING 
INTO NORTHWEST INDIANA WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON. 
 
* ACCUMULATIONS...SNOW WILL BE HEAVY AT TIMES WITH ACCUMULATION 
RATES LIKELY REACHING OR EXCEEDING 1 TO 2 INCHES PER HOUR. STORM 
TOTAL SNOWFALL OF 10 TO 18 INCHES IS LIKELY TOWARD ROCKFORD AND 
DIXON. THE HEAVIEST SNOWFALL TOTALS ARE LIKELY DOWNWIND OF LAKE 
MICHIGAN IN THE CHICAGO METROPOLITAN AREA INTO NORTHWEST INDIANA 
WHERE 12 TO 20 INCHES OF SNOW IS LIKELY...WITH POSSIBLE 
LOCALIZED TOTALS UP TO TWO FEET. 
 
* WINDS...NORTHEAST WINDS WILL INCREASE TO 20 TO 35 MPH BY LATE 
THIS AFTERNOON. WIND GUSTS UP TO 40 MPH WILL BE POSSIBLE BY 
EVENING WITH GUSTS OF 40 TO 50 MPH LIKELY TONIGHT. EVEN 
STRONGER WINDS ARE LIKELY NEAR THE IMMEDIATE LAKE SHORE WITH 
SUSTAINED WINDS OF 30 TO 40 MPH WITH GUSTS BETWEEN 50 AND 60 
MPH. 
 
* BLIZZARD CONDITIONS...THE STRONG WINDS ALONG WITH BLOWING AND 
OCCASIONALLY HEAVY FALLING SNOW WILL REDUCE VISIBILITIES TO 
NEAR ZERO AT TIMES. 
 
* THUNDERSTORMS...ISOLATED SNOW-PRODUCING THUNDERSTORMS ARE 
EXPECTED TO DEVELOP TONIGHT...RESULTING IN LOCALIZED INTENSE 
SNOWFALL RATES. IT IS NOT UNCOMMON FOR SNOWFALL RATES TO EXCEED 
4 INCHES PER HOUR IN THUNDER SNOW MAKING TRAVEL NEARLY 
IMPOSSIBLE. 
 
* TRAVEL...ROAD CONDITIONS WILL RAPIDLY DETERIORATE DURING THE MID 
TO LATE AFTERNOON AS SNOW DEVELOPS FROM SOUTH TO NORTH ACROSS 
THE AREA. TRAVEL IS EXPECTED TO BECOME TREACHEROUS BY LATE 
AFTERNOON...AND DOWNRIGHT DANGEROUS BY EARLY EVENING AS WINDS 
INCREASE RESULTING IN WHITE OUT CONDITIONS. SNOWFALL RATES WILL 
BE SO INTENSE AT TIMES THAT ROAD CREWS MAY BE UNABLE TO KEEP PRIMARY 
ROADS AND HIGHWAYS CLEARED. UNNECESSARY TRAVEL SHOULD BE AVOIDED 
AT ALL COSTS THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH EARLY WEDNESDAY MORNING AS 
MORE THAN HALF OF THE FATALITIES IN PREVIOUS ILLINOIS BLIZZARDS 
HAVE OCCURRED AS A RESULT OF TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS. BEFORE MAKING 
THE DECISION TO TRAVEL...CONSIDER IF GETTING TO YOUR DESTINATION 
IS WORTH PUTTING YOUR LIFE AT RISK. 
 
* POWER OUTAGES...THE COMBINATION OF STRONG AND GUSTY WINDS 
ALONG WITH POSSIBLY HEAVY WET SNOW STICKING TO POWER LINES 
COULD RESULT IN POWER OUTAGES. DUE TO THE PROLONGED NATURE OF 
VERY ADVERSE CONDITIONS...PLAN ACCORDINGLY FOR THE POSSIBILITY 
OF A PROLONGED DISRUPTION IN COMMERCIAL POWER. 
 
* OTHER IMPACTS...THE HEAVY NATURE OF THE SNOW WILL MAKE 
SHOVELING VERY DIFFICULT...AND POTENTIALLY DEADLY. DURING AND 
IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE BLIZZARD OF 1999 OVER 40 PEOPLE IN 
THE CHICAGO AREA ALONE LOST THEIR LIVES TO HEART ATTACKS WHILE 
SHOVELING THE HEAVY SNOWFALL. TAKE FREQUENT BREAKS INDOORS AND 
DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE TASK AT HAND WHEN SHOVELING.


Instructions:A BLIZZARD WARNING MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. FALLING AND BLOWING SNOW WITH STRONG WINDS AND POOR VISIBILITIES ARE LIKELY. THIS WILL LEAD TO WHITEOUT CONDITIONS...MAKING TRAVEL EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. DO NOT TRAVEL! IF YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST TRAVEL...HAVE A WINTER SURVIVAL KIT WITH YOU. IF YOU GET STRANDED...STAY WITH YOUR VEHICLE.


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