Freezing rain, sleet, snow, bitter cold in forecast
Rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow could impact travel in the Union County area Thursday night and Friday.
Bitter cold temperatures also are expected to return to the region over the upcoming weekend.
Icy conditions could make driving treacherous. The Illinois Department of Transportation, IDOT, advises motorists to make preparations if they plan to be on the road.
The National Weather Service office in Paducah was advising area residents early this week that the region will be in a transition zone of precipitation types Thursday night, Friday and Friday night.
Wintry precipitation is likely to impact Friday across much of Southeast Missouri and southwest Illinois.
Some light snow may linger into Saturday morning. The weather service also advised that the “main story this weekend will be the arrival of much colder air.” Highs are expected to be in the 20s on Saturday and Sunday, with early morning wind chills near zero early Sunday morning.
Here’s a look at the forecast for the area which was posted Tuesday morning on the weather service office’s website:
Thursday, today: Showers likely, cloudy, with a high near 59 degrees. Windy.
Thursday night: Rain, freezing rain and sleet before 4 a.m.; then sleet, possibly mixed with snow between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m.; then snow after 5 a.m. Low around 26. Windy.
Friday: Freezing rain likely, possibly mixed with snow before 3 p.m.; then rain likely, possibly mixed with snow. Cloudy, with a high near 33. Windy.
Friday night: A chance of rain and snow before 7 p.m., then a chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 21. Windy.
Saturday: A chance of snow before noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 27. Windy.
Saturday night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 10.
Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 24.
Sunday night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 11.
For those who have to travel in wintry conditions, IDOT advises:
Take it slow, especially when approaching intersections, ramps, bridges and shady areas. All are prone to black ice, an invisible danger during some winter storms.
Make sure your gas tank is full. Keep a cell phone, warm clothes, blankets, food, water, a first aid kit, washer fluid and an ice scraper in your vehicle.
If you have to make a trip, check the forecast and make sure someone is aware of your plans.
Carry a cellphone. Reminder: Using handheld phones while driving is illegal in Illinois, unless it is an emergency situation.
Always wear a seat belt, whether you’re sitting in the front seat or back seat. It’s the law.