Narrow band of freezing rain moves off to the east – area rivers remain at bankfull or in flood

The back edge of the rain moves off to the east early this Wednesday morning, including the narrow band of freezing rain/sleet which mainly affected elevated surfaces. The Urban and Small Stream Flood Warning will also end this morning. This will leave most area rivers at bankfull or in various stages of flood as the runoff from the 2 to 5-inch plus rainfall continues to maintain high levels the remainder of the week ahead. Stay informed as to individual river flood forecasts are issued in the coming days.

Latest Regional Weather Radar Mosaic…

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CHICAGO — Heavy rain caused flooding throughout the Chicago area and now, travel could become dangerous overnight due to freezing rain.

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for Lake, DuPage, Cook, Will and Kankakee counties until 6 a.m. Wednesday.

Freezing rain mixed with ice can result in difficult travel conditions during the morning commute. Drivers should be prepared for potential hazardous driving/slick conditions if they plan to be out Tuesday evening into the overnight hours.

A good portion of the Chicago area could experience a period of freezing rain/ sleet/wet snow Tuesday evening into overnight. Winds were shifting west to northwest and temperatures falling behind a cold front, as it departed the Chicago area, moving into Indiana. By late afternoon, readings had already dropped into the 30s along and west of the Interstate-39 corridor.

Rain will be slow to clear and temperatures aloft will be slower to change, resulting in a possible period of freezing rain and sleet followed by wet snow, if temperatures drop below freezing before precipitation ends from the west later tonight and early Wednesday.

WATCH: Heavy rain floods homes in Ford Heights

Rain has been heavier to the far southwest, and a Winter Weather Advisory will be in effect Tuesday night in Lee, Le Salle, Grundy, Livingston and Ford Counties where accumulating sleet/freezing rain/wet snow could create the worst driving conditions.

The Chicago  National Weather Service Forecast Office has expanded the Areal Urban and Small Stream Flood Warning  to cover most of the Chicago area until 10:45 a.m. Wednesday.

Chicago lies on the warm side of a front extending from the southern Plains, to lower Michigan. Unseasonable, moisture-rich Gulf air is being focused along this boundary which separates polar air from unusual  warmth, more typical of late April.

The ground is frozen and where it has melted, soils are saturated. So huge run-offs are anticipated which, in combination with ice jams,  which may develop on area rivers, increases the flood threat.

The rain also caused potholes on the roads -- specifically on southbound I-55 at 1st Ave. where about a dozen vehicles were damaged earlier Tuesday due to a large pothole. Potholes in the area have been repaired.

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