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StormTeam 3: Tracking a double header snow system Tuesday

Two low pressure systems will merge over the upper Midwest on Tuesday, allowing for widespread snow.

Posted: Feb 22, 2020 5:41 PM
Updated: Feb 25, 2020 8:35 PM

UPDATE: This forecast is out of date. Check the weather tab for the latest information

While the weather is certainly cooperating this weekend, these conditions will not last forever. In fact, it all comes to an end on Tuesday.

Two small disturbances in the atmosphere, known as shortwaves, will close in on the upper Midwest on Tuesday - merging into a larger snow storm that has the potential to drop several inches of snow.

On Monday, the first disturbance will be working its way towards Illinois from Texas. This system will pass well to our south. Simultaneously, the second disturbance will be moving in from the northwest near Montana. As these systems draw closer to each other late Monday, the second disturbance will be absorbed into the first disturbance over Illinois - together making for a much larger winter storm. On the north and west sides of this storm will be sustained snow and strong winds.

The interactions between two merging systems are quite complex, and because of this it is unknown where exactly the heaviest snow will fall, and when precisely that could be. Nonetheless, snow looks to start sometime late Monday night early Tuesday morning for our area. Snow will continue to fall throughout the day, and could potentially not move out until mid-Wednesday at the very latest.

As the now large snow storm exits to the east on Wednesday, the backside of the storm will push winds to 20-25mph sustained out of the north. This has the potential to make for large snow drifts on Wednesday.

Bottom line, expect some snow and hazardous travel conditions Tuesday and even Wednesday as these two systems merge. Whether this is 1 inch or 6 inches of snow, or to what degree the impact to travel will be, is still unknown.  We will know much more come Sunday night.

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