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County Weather Advisory Update

posted Feb 1, 2011, 3:29 PM by Brian Donahoe
The winter storm which is moving into northeastern Illinois is forecast to bring blizzard conditions to Lake County in the coming hours. The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Blizzard Warning for Lake County and surrounding areas from 3:00 p.m. today through 3:00 p.m. tomorrow. Hazards with this storm include very intense snowfall of two or more inches per hour, strong winds with gusts of up to 50 mph, and temperatures falling to below zero on Wednesday night. Convective processes within the storm may also produce "thunder-snow" in some areas.
Current forecast models indicate storm snowfall of from 15 to 20 inches of snow is likely, with the possibility for higher snow amounts in some areas because of convective bands and lake enhancement. In addition to very intense snowfall, winds will increase through the evening tonight, with sustained 25 to 30 mph winds and gusts up to 50 mph possible, particularly along the Lake Michigan shore. The most intense snowfall is expected between 9:00 p.m. tonight and 5:00 a.m. Wednesday morning, but some snow may linger through the day on Wednesday. Winds will decrease through the day Wednesday, but remain strong enough to produce windchills colder than 25 degrees below zero across much of Lake County.
This is a potentially life-threatening weather situation. Travel will become very difficult or impossible overnight tonight, and all non-essential travel should be avoided until the storm subsides Wednesday afternoon. The strong winds will likely lead to snow drifts of several feet, perhaps more in open spaces, and will make it a challenge for transportation personnel to keep roads clear. Road maintenance crews will continue to plow and treat roads as possible, focusing on arterial routes and access to critical facilities such as hospitals. Isolated utility outages should be expected throughout the region.
Governor Quinn proclaimed a state of emergency and disaster for the entire State of Illinois because of the ongoing winter storm, and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency has activated the State Emergency Operations Center to coordinate state activities and support various local governments as necessary.
With dangerous conditions probable across the county for the next twenty-four hours, we encourage people to check on their friends, family, and neighbors, particularly those that are elderly, disabled, or have no nearby support network.
Across Lake County, various government agencies and departments are coordinating to make sure that urgent public safety needs are safely addressed. Many jurisdictions have developed plans for road and street crews to accompany fire, EMS, and law enforcement units as they respond to emergency calls, in an effort to ensure that roads are passable.
Many government units, schools, and businesses will be closed tomorrow in the interest of safety. Lake County government offices (including County government offices in the County Building and other County offices in Waukegan and Libertyville, as well as the Health Department) and the 19th Judicial Circuit Court (including all courtrooms in the main courthouse in Waukegan, branch courts in Park City, Round Lake and Mundelein and the juvenile court in Vernon Hills ) will be closed on Wednesday.
All essential Lake County functions, including DOT, Winchester House and the Sheriff's Office will continue operations. Lake County Emergency Management Agency will staff the county's Emergency Operations Center throughout the storm to monitor conditions and coordinate support for our local partners.
Stay tuned to local media outlets, NOAA Weather Radio, or the National Weather Service webpage for the most current information regarding weather conditions.
Additional information will be provided as it becomes available. We anticipate distributing our next informational update tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon. As always, feel free to contact our office at 847-377-7100.
Thank you for your support.