Biggest Snowfall In Recent Years Expected In Champaign-Urbana This Weekend

A snowy day on Clark Street in Urbana.

Clark Street in Urbana, near the University of Illinois campus, on Dec. 26, 2017.

Jim Meadows/Illinois Public Media

Forecasters are predicting up to 8 inches of snow to fall in the Champaign-Urbana area beginning late Friday evening through much of the day Saturday.

“We haven’t seen that much snow the last couple of winters, so that’s why this one is going to be potentially memorable if it does verify,” meteorologist Andrew Pritchard said. 

The swath of snow stretches from East St. Louis to as far north as Quincy and Effingham. Central Illinois is expected to receive the most snowfall, while areas in the northern and far southern tip of the state will be less affected by the winter weather.

The snow is expected to begin around midnight Friday in the Champaign-Urbana area. "That’s going to become heavy at times as we head into Saturday,"  Pritchard said.  "Then a moderate to heavy snow will continue through much of the day on Saturday, with total accumulations probably ending up around six to eight inches.”

The Illinois Department of Transportation issued a winter weather advisory for travelers Friday, when IDOT crews began plowing operations and pre-treating some roads and bridges. 

“We are working hard to keep roads safe, but conditions will be challenging. If you do venture out, be prepared for increased travel times,” said Illinois Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary Omer Osman.

Pritchard says that wind gusts between 20 and 30 miles per hour could also make driving difficult, particularly Saturday. 

“With the heavy snowfall falling at the same time throughout much of the day on Saturday, I would imagine most of the roads inside the city limits of Champaign-Urbana are going to be pretty traitorous,” Pritchard said.

Flights at Willard Airport in Savoy could also be delayed or cancelled due to winter weather. Flights to and from Charlotte, North Carolina, were cancelled Friday and Saturday. Travelers are advised to check their flight status on the airport's website in case of additional flight changes. 

Story source: WILL