Winter Storm Warning Issued For Much Of Champaign County
Champaign-Urbana is bracing for its second consecutive weekend of winter weather, with up to six inches of snow expected in some areas of central Illinois before the storm dissipates Saturday night.
Most of Champaign County will be under a winter storm warning beginning at midnight on Friday through midnight on Saturday. Meteorologist Andrew Pritchard said the storm will be similar to what the area saw last weekend in terms of snow accumulation and timing, but that this weekend’s storm could have wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour, creating even more hazardous driving conditions and decreased visibility at times.
“We’re expecting much stronger winds with this storm system, with winds gusting between 30 to 40 miles per hour, which we did not see last time,” Pritchard said. “Expect visibilities to be much lower and travel to be a little more traitorous.”
Champaign-Urbana: Winter Storm Warning goes into effect at Midnight tonight. 4-6" of snow possible, with greatly reduced visibility/near white-out conditions possible at times due to winds gusting to 40 MPH. My thoughts: pic.twitter.com/yRfdLDg5sG— Andrew Pritchard (@skydrama) January 18, 2019
Several events in the area have already been cancelled due to the snow storm moving in from the west. The Champaign Public Library and Douglass Branch Library will be closed Saturday. The Champaign Unit 4 School District has cancelled all scheduled activities for Saturday and Urbana High School has also cancelled all athletic events and practices.
Due to forecasted winter weather, Unit 4 is cancelling all school activities and practices on Saturday, January 19. Activities on Friday, January 18 will take place as scheduled.— Champaign Schools (@Unit4Schools) January 18, 2019
Pritchard said the Champaign-Urbana area can expect mostly snow from this weekend's storm, with the heaviest snowfall most likely occurring Saturday morning.
“It’s really going to be very similar to what we saw last weekend with snow beginning overnight Friday and the heaviest snow expected early in the day Saturday,” Pritchard said. “The difference with this one is going to be the winds … expect visibility to much lower.”
Illinois State Police reported 384 traffic crashes during last week’s storm, and assisted 1,257 motorists. They recommend that people avoid traveling during the winter storm warning. If you must travel, ISP recommends drivers slow down and that they bring an emergency car care kit that contains jumper cables, a flashlight, an ice scraper, blankets, gloves, food items, water and a first-aid kit.